Includes SPF 30
Doesn't leave residue
Hydrated, non-oily finish
Not ideal for drier skin types
Not Byrdie Clean
Aveeno Positively Radiant Sheer Daily Face Moisturizer SPF 30
We put Aveeno's Positively Radiant Moisturizer to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.
I don’t spend as much time choosing a moisturizer as I probably should. However, I learned in my 20s that even my dark, melanated skin needs daily protection from the sun. Ever since, I’ve really been interested in moisturizers that double as sunscreen.
So when I was asked to review Aveeno’s Positively Radiant Moisturizer with SPF 30, I happily accepted the challenge while also wondering whether it would actually work or if it would leave my face looking and feeling super greasy. Well, it turns out this budget-friendly moisturizer was a great fit for my skincare routine, and could be a winner for anyone with oily to combination skin. Keep reading for my full review.
Best for: Oily to combination skin types.
Uses: As a lightweight daily moisturizer and sunscreen.
Potential allergens: Benzyl alcohol
Active ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, and oxybenzone.
Byrdie Clean? No; contains phthalates, parabens, and oxybenzone.
About the brand: Aveeno is an American skincare brand that combines nature-derived ingredients and scientific research to create products that promote healthy skin.
About My Skin: Combination and acne-prone
I have an oily T-zone, but my skin is super dry everywhere else. I'm also acne-prone and am currently dealing with “maskne,” thanks to the pandemic.
Whenever I use a heavy, oil-based moisturizer, it leaves my face looking super greasy and shiny, so I’m always going for options with a light yet creamy texture, preferably oil-free. I also have some acne scarring, so I’ve been on a mission for a while now to get clear, even skin. For now, I’ve been alternating between using Urban Skin Rx 3-in-1 Even Tone Cleansing Bar and G&H Nourish+ Complexion Bar as my cleanser, then completing my routine with TN Dickson’s Witch Hazel Liquid Toner, Urban Skin Rx Even Tone Super Glow Serum, and Urban Skin Rx Complexion Protection Mineral Moisturizer.
Aveeno suggests using its Positively Radiant Moisturizer daily not only to moisturize your skin, but to protect against sun damage and early signs of aging. It also claims that it's “clinically proven” to even skin tone and texture in just four weeks. However, for the purpose of this review, I swapped out my Urban Rx moisturizer for Aveeno's for one week only.
If you’re primarily using it as a sunscreen, the instructions say to apply the product 15 minutes prior to sun exposure, and reapply after 80 minutes of swimming or sweating, immediately after towel drying, and at least every two hours. However, I used this product primarily as a moisturizer, so I applied it once daily after washing and toning my skin.
The Feel: Thin but mighty
Per the instructions, I applied a generous amount—one full pump on the nozzle—to my face. I immediately noticed how light the texture was. It definitely felt more like a sunscreen lotion than a moisturizer, and I wondered if it would be too thin to have any real hydrating effect on my skin.
However, as I spread the white, lightly scented lotion all over my face, not only did it seem to moisturize my skin, but it didn’t leave any residue behind and resulted in a matte finish that went great underneath my foundation.
The Ingredients: Science-powered hydration and protection
Soy complex: Soy has become a fixture in a range of skincare products, especially moisturizers and night creams. It’s known to help boost collagen as well as brighten and improve the tone of your skin.
Natural light diffusers: These mineral ingredients deflect light away from fine lines and wrinkles for a smoother overall appearance.
Broad spectrum SPF 15: In this case coming from chemical sunscreens like avobenzone, octisalate, and oxybenzone, this is key to preventing sun damage, which also prevents skin cancer and is known to reduce signs of aging.
The Results: Hydration without the shine
From the moment I applied Aveeno's Positively Radiant Moisturizer to my face, I wondered if my oily shine would make its return later in the day because of just how light the moisturizer felt. So I was pleasantly surprised several hours later, when I glanced in the mirror to find the moisturizer was still holding up and staving off oiliness.
During cooler seasons, I also tend to worry about my cheeks looking dry and ashen due to the cold air. Fortunately, that was also a non-issue during the time I wore this moisturizer, making it a decent match for my complicated, combination skin.
By the end of the week, my skin had settled into a balanced state of hydration without the oily shine or patchy dryness, so I was satisfied.
The Value: A great, affordable option
At under $20, Aveeno's Positively Radiant Moisturizer definitely falls in the more affordable range compared to other moisturizers I’ve purchased. It only takes about one to two pumps to get what you need, so a little goes a long way, whether you’re using it simply as a daily moisturizer or reapplying multiple times a day for sun protection.
Similar Products: You've got options
CeraVe Ultra-Light Moisturizing Face Lotion SPF 30: CeraVe's lightweight, non-greasy lotion ($19) uses hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and SPF 30 to keep your skin moisturized and healthy. Like Aveeno’s version, it leaves your skin with a smooth, matte finish, but the smaller container does have a higher cost per ounce, so it's up to you whether CeraVe's cult-favorite formula is worth it.
L'Oreal Age Perfect Day Cream SPF 15: L'Oreal's day cream ($18) works both as a moisturizer and sunscreen with SPF 15. It uses a soy protein formula much like Aveeno's, along with beta hydroxy acid to hydrate and smooth skin while reducing signs of aging.
RoC Multi Correxion 5 in 1 Daily Moisturizer: RoC's lightweight moisturizer and sunscreen with SPF 30 ($28) uses a unique ingredient called Hexyl-R complex, which hydrates and protects your skin while reducing dark spots and sagging. It's pricier than Aveeno, but may be right for you if you're into trying technology-forward ingredients or want a product that specifically focuses on fighting signs of aging.
As far as moisturizers go, any product that can hydrate my skin without leaving it shiny is always a win. It’s even better when you can get it for under $20. So if you’re in a pinch and need a budget-friendly moisturizing lotion with basic sun protection to pop into your daily routine, Aveeno's Positively Radiant Moisturizer absolutely delivers.
- Product Name Positively Radiant Sheer Daily Face Moisturizer SPF 30
- Product Brand Aveeno
- Price $20
- Weight 2.5 oz.
- Full Ingredient List Active: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (12%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (1.7%), Oxybenzone (3%). Inactive: Water, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Glycine Soja (soybean) Seed Extract, Dimethicone, Cetearyl Alcohol, Diethylhexyl 2,6-naphthalate, Glycerin, Ethylene/acrylic Acid Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Silica, Panthenol, Arachidyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Methylparaben, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Steareth-2, Fragrance, Polyacrylate-13, Behenyl Alcohol, Steareth-21, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Disodium EDTA, Arachidyl Glucoside, Polyisobutene, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-di-t-butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Benzalkonium Chloride, Boron Nitride, Polysorbate 20, Titanium Dioxide, Mica.