Research shows 90 percent of wrinkles are caused by the sun's UVA light and sun damage is the #1 cause of premature aging in women and men. The best sunscreens provide broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB-sunburn) protection. Look for either zinc or titanium minerals in your sunscreen.
This is arguable, of course. But even dermatologists we've read tout La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Lait SPF is the best sunscreen in the world. I've read many who say they use it themselves. Why does this sunscreen work so well? Because of the chemical "Mexoryl," well-known all over the world to protect skin from wrinkle-causing UVA rays. (Most sunscreens only protect against UVB rays). How good is Mexoryl? "It produces a product which gives us almost perfect protection against sunshine," said Dr. Vincent DeLeo, chairman of dermatology at Columbia University to ABC News.
This sunscreen also makes EWG's 2011 Best Sunscreens List
La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL tinted creme was created just for the face. Unlike the lait version (No. 1 above), the tinted creme won't cast a white pall over the face. Plus, it's SPF 50+ so you know you're being protected. Dermatologists agree you need at least 30 SPF to protect the face from the sun. There's some debate over whether super high numbers can be trusted, but I have worn this religiously and have yet to sunburn. Downside: The price. At $47 this is pricey, but the product does go a long way and it's small enough to fit into a purse (sunscreen must be reapplied throughout the day if you are out in the sun). While I wish it was a little more product for the money, a few pea-sized dots will do you.
We told you about the best sunscreens for the face. But what about the body? California Baby products are organic and natural and aren't just for babies. It offers broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection and is also waterproof. I love that you won't get any bad chemicals or fragrances, which makes this sunscreen ideal for people with allergies and sensitivities to certain ingredients found in many storebought sunscreens.
Extra tip: Sunscreen isn't only for the face. We read in O magazine that dermatologists report seeing too many women with hands, necks and chests that looked 20 years older than their faces. These women were diligent to keep their faces out of the sun but forgot to protect their hands, necks and chests as well.
If you can't afford the $47 pricetag for Dermagenics, dermatologists frequently recommend Eucerin Extra Protective moisture lotion SPF 30 which combines sunscreen with moisturizer. It does not rate well on EWG's Skin Deep list, which is why it fell off my list this year, but if you must buy a product at a drugstore, it's a good bet.
Don't like those heavy creams for your face? Try an oil-free, noncomedogenic sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher. We hear good things about Dual Nature Face Protection SPF15 Skincare by Aveda 1.7oz.
Moisturizers with SPF protection are great time savers. A great bet is L'Occitane Shea Butter Ultra Moisturizing Day Care SPF 20.
But be careful, it's very thick. Another great bet is Clarins Hydration-Plus Moisture Lotion SPF 15, which combines sunscreen with Clarins' all-time bestselling moisturizers. A top favorite of dermatologists is Olay Total Effects UV Protection .
Foundations or tinted moisturizers with SPF ensures you are getting not only great coverage, but SPF as well. Hands down the best tinted moisturizer with SPF on the market is Laura Mercier.
The reviewers over at Makeupalley.com rave about Neutrogena's Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock. It goes on lightly, doesn't turn an oily face into a greasepit and best yet, it won't cast "ghost glow," the annoying white cast that some sunblocks give. Unfortunately, it does not rate as highly on EWR's Skin Deep panel, so I have moved it from 1st place to Honorable Mention.