Ask a Dermatologist: Are Moisturizers With SPF Actually Effective?



I've never been able to understand how moisturizers with SPF could possibly work. See, inherently, sunscreen is meant to sit on the skin to act as a defense between your face and the sun. It doesn't penetrate, because it's supposed to block out all those harmful UV rays. When it comes to moisturizers, on the other hand, their very purpose is to penetrate the skin.

So what gives? How can a product that blends the two together work well on either front (i.e., protect your skin from the sun as well as properly moisturize it?). And with that in mind, how are there thousands of moisturizers with SPF on the market? There must be some evidence that they're effective, right?

I decided to direct my questions to a few top dermatologists and skincare founders to let the pros break it down. Below, find their thoughts on the moisturizer-with-SPF debate.