A good moisturizer with SPF is perhaps one of the hardest holy grail product to find. While there are plenty of great moisturizers in lotion, gel, cream or oil form and plenty of great sunscreen in various SPF, a good combination of the two is much more difficult to find. I have no intention of putting on two products in the morning if one works just as well. For me, I just have two criteria:
- It should be SPF30 or more, which eliminates 70% of moisturizer with SPF. And it should be broad spectrum (UVA and UVB) of course.
- It should feel and moisturize just as well as a normal moisturizer, which eliminates 80% of sunscreens. This means it should absorb well with no thick greasy feeling, no sunscreen smell, and no white cast left on the skin.
So I searched low and high, here and there. Some have SPF 30+ but are not moisturizing enough or too greasy. Some provides basic moisture with SPF but I wanted more omph, like some vitamin C or hyaluronic acid in it or something. Finally, after years of searching, I narrowed down my favorite to AmorePacific Natural Protector with SPF30. However, it contains paraben so I was hesitant in making it my Holy Grail. Fortunately they reformulated it recently to be even better, and withOUT paraben!
The one in white cap is the old version. Not only is the new one SPF35 instead of SPF30, it feels different and most ingredients are different as well.
Natural Protector SPF30 (Original version)
It is a lightweight cream with a floral scent. There is a little bit of white cast, typical of sunscreen during application but it disappears as I rub it in. It absorbs well and keeps me hydrated throughout the day due to ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, bamboo juice etc. It also contains antioxidants and anti-aging ingredients such as carrot extract and ginseng extract. By itself it leaves a slightly dewy/luminous finish. It works well under makeup and makes the skin feel smooth. It does not feel stuffy or greasy or look different even if I apply generously or reapply, but you can feel the silicone in this if you apply a lot.
Ingredients: Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate (7.0%), titanium dioxide (19.9%), zinc oxide (0.025%), Water, Butylene Glycol, Cyclopentasiloxane, Stearyl Dimethicone, C12- 15 Alkyl Benzoate, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Caprylyl Carbonate, PEG/PPG-17/6 Copolymer, Glyceryl Stearate, Polysorbate 60, Cetearyl Alcohol, Silica, Sodium Hyaluronate, Beta-Glucan, Tricholoma Matsutake Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Nymphaea Alba Flower Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Phyllostachis Bambusoides Juice, Hydrolyzed Ginseng Saponins, PEG-100 Stearate, PEG-40 Stearate, Stearic Acid, Aluminum Stearate, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Vp Copolymer, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Glycerin, Polyacrylate-13, Alumina, Polyisobutene, Polysorbate 20, Dimethicone, Myristic Acid, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Propylene Glycol, Hydrogenated Lecithin, PEG-5 Rapeseed Sterol, Ethyl Hexanediol, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, BHT, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, CI77491, CI77492, Fragrance.
Natural Protector SPF35 (New)
The biggest reason why I did not put this on my list of holy grail despite it being my favorite is due to the parabens in the ingredients list. I’m always tentative when products get reformulated, but fortunately this time it’s for the better. The sunscreen (active ingredients) used are different but still broad spectrum to protect against UVA and UVB. While the old product is water-based with lesser amount of skin beneficial ingredients added, the new one replaced water with bamboo juice. Bamboo sap is rich in minerals and amino acids and acts as a humectant to draw moisture into the deeper layers of skin and help maintain hydration. It strengthen and smooth skin while aiding skin cell regeneration. Bamboo extract is a natural anti-oxidant that fights the pollutants, toxins and free radicals we encounter every day, making it a great ingredient for daytime skincare.
The new SPF35 is also a light cream but feels softer than the old SPF30. Old SPF30 has a bit of white cast before you rub it in and gives a slightly dewy finish. The new SPF35 applies and absorbs wonderfully just like a good traditional moisturizer. Even when I apply generously, I don’t see white cast or feel the silicone. Not only is it more hydrating while being as lightweight as before, it makes the skin feel even more velvety soft.
Instead of ginseng and carrot extract from the old formula, the new formula contains plum and camellia extract. While the new formula does not contain paraben, it still contain alcohol and fragrance, which I know may be a deal breaker for some. Since it feels comfortable and hydrating on my skin even when it’s irritated and sensitive, I have no problem with that.
My second favorite moisturizer with SPF is Peter Thomas Roth Max Sheer All Day Moisture Defense Lotion SPF30. It contains vitamin A, C and E but does not contain fragrance or alcohol. However, it does contain parabens. As I’ve said, the perfect moisturizer with high SPF is difficult to find, but these two are as close as you can get. If you are looking for a good moisturizer with SPF for combination skin, or have dry skin and is looking for a sunscreen with good skincare benefits, I highly recommend giving one of these two a try. What are your favorite moisturizer with SPF?