S-P-F: Three letters I’ve grown to love (and why you should too!)

Candice Swanepoel

Summer’s right around the corner—and it just wouldn’t be complete without the obligatory sun warnings and sunscreen reminders. Now listen, before you all moan and groan over the ‘SPF-is-your-friend’-spiel you think is coming, let me just say… I feel you. Up until a few weeks ago, I, too, was a non-believer. Sure, I would wear sunscreen when I’d go swimming or when I knew I’d be in the sun for more than a couple of hours, but other than that, it just never crossed my mind. I always thought, hey… I’m only 22, my skin is fine and I have a fountain of youth sitting in my backyard which pretty much means I am invincible.

But not really.

Could you blame me for not wanting to wear SPF on the regz though? We all know it’s for our own good, but c’mon… who actually likes the heavy, greasy feel of sunscreen on their face? Definitely not me. But that was before my beauty epiphany of sorts. Michelle recently asked me to test out some sun and skincare products, and I swear I’m not trying to be dramatic or anything, but it was a pretty big deal.

How I came around to the idea of daily SPF

So I realized that one day I WILL grow old. And I figure I might as well do it gracefully (sans sun spots, leathery skin and skin cancer) with a bit of help from the c*ckblocker that is SPF.

My problem? Like many, I thought that the only way to protect my skin from the sun was to use good ol’ sunscreen—thick, white, greasy sunscreen.


I didn’t know that you could have sunscreen in a moisturizer until I was given a few to test out. There are also makeup products with SPF protection as well! Talk about having your cake and eating it too. And you know what the best part is? With these products, you won’t feel like you rubbed your face down with a canister of canola oil.

Now I’m sure there are a quite a few of you out there who don’t use sunscreen because you don’t think you need to—which is exactly what I used to think as well. I assumed that because I have an olive complexion, I was immune to the sun… negative x2. I may not be as prone to sunburn as those with fairer skin, but it doesn’t mean I’m immune to UV rays and all that good stuff. The sun doesn’t discriminate! (See exhibit A: Kim Kardashian).

Kim Kardashian sunburn S P F: Three letters Ive grown to love (and why you should too!)


The SPF moisturizers that I heart

Putting the hot mess that is Kim K. in that photo aside, I want to introduce you to one of the newest items in my beauty product rotation — Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Moisture SPF 15:


Neutrogena OilFree Moisturizer S P F: Three letters Ive grown to love (and why you should too!)

I’ve been using Aveeno’s Daily Moisturizing Lotion since forever but this has easily become my new fave (sorry Aveeno, you’ve been replaced… for now!). I’m going to be the first to admit that I actually LOVE the smell of sunscreen (it will always remind me of the beach and sitting by poolside in the summertime), which is probably why I liked this moisturizer so much, but to make it onto my permanent beauty prodz list means it is preeeetty amazing. It’s oil-free, so it won’t clog your pores, and the formula is really light (but a little goes a long way), so it won’t leave your skin feeling greasy at all.

The one I tried contains SPF 15—which is probably not quite enough, since most derms advise SPF 30, but it has 15 SPFs more than I was using before! (Editor’s note: It’s also available as an SPF 30.) And it doesn’t contain any alcohol, which is a major plus. It also made my skin a lot softer and more glowy looking. Love.

If you aren’t a big fan of the sunscreen smell, Olay Complete All-Day UV Moisturizer Combination/Oily is another good one.

Olay Moisturizer S P F: Three letters Ive grown to love (and why you should too!)

It too contains SPF 15, but the scent is much lighter than the Neutrogena. It also has vitamin E (an antioxidant that will help to protect and repair your skin) and vitamin B3 (which protects the skin from pollutants and other irritants to help slow down the aging process). What I love about this one is that it’s super-lightweight and is specifically formulated for people with combination or oily skin. You won’t get that sticky feel on your face that you might get with some moisturizers and it looks great underneath makeup.

Now, I’m not just saying this because I am a fan of Aveeno products, but Aveeno’s Daily Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 15 also works nicely.


Aveeno Lotion SPF15 S P F: Three letters Ive grown to love (and why you should too!)

This one is actually meant for your body, but I’m a rebel—I use it for my face too, and it’s fine. So if you’re looking for an everyday all-over lotion with some sun protection, this is perfect. I actually bought this by accident a year or two ago instead of the regular non-SPF body lotion that I normally use, but it worked just as well. The funny thing is that I didn’t even notice a big difference other than the fact that the bottle had SPF 15 written on it. It feels like a normal moisturizer and doesn’t leave your skin feeling greasy like most sunscreens (and I have yet to encounter an Aveeno product that doesn’t leave my skin feeling amazing!).

Makeup with SPF

If that’s still not enough reason for you to use moisturizers with SPF, then might I suggest you get some from your makeup? (Then there really is no excuse as to why you can’t protect yourself from the sun while still lookin’ fancy.)

A classic fave is Bare Escentuals bareMinerals Original SPF 15 Foundation:

BareMinerals FoundationSPF15 S P F: Three letters Ive grown to love (and why you should too!)Looks like a powder, goes on like a cream… AND you get the serious bizness sun protection you need. If you aren’t going to use an SPF moisturizer, then something like this is probably the next best thing.

Don’t forget your lips!

If you’ve ever gotten a sunburn on your lips, you know that it is NOT cute and it hurts like a mothertrucker. Trust me. Then there’s the whole lip colour issue. Summer is the best season of the year to experiment with every bright lipstick under the sun—ha!—so chapped and irritated lips are the last thing that you want. Ergo, an SPF lip product is a must.

I personally like using Jack Black’s Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25. Besides the sunscreen, it also contains vitamin E and green tea extract. The natural mint in it also freshens your breath (yay!) and leaves your lips feeling nice and tingly so you know it’s working.

JackBlack LipMintSPF25 S P F: Three letters Ive grown to love (and why you should too!)

Jasmine Kabiling is a Toronto-based journalism student. Follow her on Twitter: @orjasmic_.


Do YOU use SPF on the regz, or are you (*cough*) non-compliant like I used to be?
Have you tried an SPF moisturizer or makeup product?
What are some of the items you switch or add to your beauty product rotation in the summertime?
And is it weird that I like the smell of sunscreen?!


Wednesday, May 16/2012 at 2:35 pm

I am a sunscreen addict; I had a weird feeling when I was younger that sunscreen was important, and have been using it almost daily since I was 14. (People were just starting to suggest wearing, say, SPF 10 to sunbathe – it was a new idea.)

Now I’m 37 with just the barest beginnings of wrinkles, and they’re all smile lines! (Love that!) I was carded well into my 30′s.

Wear sunscreen.

I will try out the Aveeno body SPF; always looking for something light for daily body use. I love Vichy fluid SPF 30 for my face; very light, & doesn’t irritate my very sensitive skin.


Wednesday, May 16/2012 at 3:26 pm

Don’t get me wrong – SPF is great! But it only covers UVB rays (think of ‘B’ for burning), which account for a small pittance of our sun exposure. Ever wonder why you burn or your skin looks older after a week of baking in the tropical sun even though your reapply an SPF 60 every 2 hours? Why are tanning beds considered so dangerous?
UVA protection is equally, if not more important, as UVA (think of ‘A’ for aging) rays penetrate deeper into the skin, account for photoaging of the skin, and make up the majority of our exposure. There is currently no national scale for determining UVA coverage (although peeps are working on it). Look for ingredients such as titanium oxide, zinc oxide, and avobenzone, with a photostabilizer (to keep it effective longer), such as octocrylene, in addition to a good ole’ SPF factor, for your best protection from burning, aging and skin cancer!


Thursday, May 17/2012 at 1:42 pm

Thank you for saying this, I was thinking the same. Also I would like to include that the SPF you DO get from moisturizers and makeup products is actually much lower than the advertised amount. In order to get the full SPF you would be using way more product than could ever look good or be comfortable. According to Futurederm.com (a well-sourced blog written by a studying dermatologist and her dermatologist friends) says that, “It turns out that your average SPF 15 powder is giving you a true SPF of 1.1, and your SPF 15 moisturizer is giving you actual protection of SPF 8 to 10 with average application!”
So it is good to include products with SPF in your routine but it is important to note that the sun protection they offer is very low and you should always wear REAL sunscreen too, preferably with both physical and chemical sunscreen ingredients.
Here is the article I was talking about:


Friday, May 18/2012 at 2:45 am

This is a really interesting point – think about the amount of sunscreen slathered on us as kids (which is responsible for sunscreen’s bad rep). How could we possibly expect to get the same amount of protection from a quarter-size amount of moisturizer?


Saturday, May 19/2012 at 12:57 am

Ah, SPF coverage. A topic I’m more than averagely acquainted with (the joys of being Australian!). Some recommendations from the Australian Cancer Council (they know their stuff!): Choose a broad spectrum sunscreen, as they protect from both UVA and UVB rays. Regardless of how many anti-sun measures you take, limit your exposure to sun between 11am-3pm in summer. And don’t think sunscreen can be used in isolation – glasses, sleeves and hats are an important part of the equation. Don’t forget to get some unprotected sun expose outside of the peak times – low level UVB is the best source of vitamin D, and just a few minutes can give you your daily vit D recommended limit. The Aus Cancer Council has lots of other useful information here: http://www.cancer.org.au/cancersmartlifestyle/SunSmart.htm.


Wednesday, May 16/2012 at 3:37 pm

Living in the UK, I wear 15 at winter and a 50 in the summer. People get shocked when they hear I’m 36 this year and still get ID’d when buying booze – it’s the spf, baby! I’ve worn it on my face since 19 (yup, skin devotee already then) and I can proudly say I don’t have a single fine line on my face (been examined by facialists who try to put it to their skills for giving me great skin)… fact is – sunblock is a girls best friend. Been using La Roche Posay and am very please with it. :)


Wednesday, May 16/2012 at 4:12 pm

The Jack Black lip balm is awesome! It’s SPF 25 and it goes on clear…not white!

I’m always trying to find a good SPF that works well underneath foundation (it ain’t easy!).

Origins A Perfect World SPF 25 is the best I’ve found so far, but it can leave you pretty shiny in a couple of hours. I might try that Olay Complete next!


Thursday, May 17/2012 at 5:48 am

I have to politely disagree with the ladies who claim that their need for ID when purchasing alcohol is down to their diligent use of sunscreen – it isn’t – you just have good genes and/or naturally ‘young’ looks. I have been using sunscreen since I was 13 (I was a goth!) and have good skin for my age (almost 37) but I haven’t been asked for ID since I was about 15. People who look like teenagers when they are in their 30′s usually have babyish features or naturally plump skin and lips etc. Style and attitude also contribute to younger looks – most people think I am in my early thirties cause I dress more stylishly that the average mother at the school gate, I make an effort with my hair and makeup and I don’t take myself too seriously – you know the way most some women act like they have the weight of the world on their shoulders just cause they have kids – well I stay young at heart and it takes more years off than the use of sunscreen ever could!!!


Dot & Lil
Thursday, May 17/2012 at 9:57 am

I’m a recent convert too, have been meaning to get my sun situation sorted for a long time, but have finally got it down. I’ve been using and loving Clinique Cityblock tinted moisturizer every day. It’s such a nice moisturizer, too.


Thursday, May 17/2012 at 1:05 pm

SPF is definitely a must this summer! And so is fabulous skin care–especially when it’s free. Check out my contest ending June 1st 2012! http://www.everything-beautiful.com/enter-to-win-3-deluxe-miracle10-giveaways-and-my-skin-care-review/


Thursday, May 17/2012 at 9:30 pm

Everyone should try Bienfait Multi Vital SPF30 by Lancome. It is a daily moisturizer which is available in two textures: a lotion and a cream (for a dry or combination skin). Both products are non-comodogenic and contain fatty acids, vitamins, minerals AND amino acids! I have a super oily/ combination skin, and I swear that the lotion balances my skin and really helps keep my oil production under control, which I attribute to it’s hydrating properties! I love and live for foundation, and this is an amazing base! PLEASE TRY!


Friday, May 18/2012 at 2:50 am

I’ve been using the Olay (sensitive skin version) mentioned above for ages. I like it for getting SPF in the winter, but real-deal sunscreen is a must on top for the summer. I bought some great smelling Hawaiian Tropic (SPF 30 or 45) stuff last summer which made it more enjoyable to wear. Don’t forget to slather it on the décolletage, ladies!


Monday, May 21/2012 at 4:06 pm

I use BB cream which has SPF42, or when i go light with tinted moisturizer I apply Clarins Ecran UV protection 40.


Tuesday, May 22/2012 at 4:07 pm

Can anyone recommend really good natural, synthetic preservative free, facial sunscreens? All I have tried so far have a thick consistency or make me break out! I’ve relied on the SPF of my mineral makeup for the winter, but I want something with a higher SPF for summer. All of the other beauty products I use are eco-friendly, so it would be nice to keep it that way with my facial sunscreen as well. (Summers past I’ve given up on natural sunscreen for my face and turned to La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 SPF- which I love the lightness of and is good for my oily, sensitive skin.) Anyone have any recommendations?


Thursday, May 24/2012 at 9:36 am

Check out this one: I’ve always been a fan of it. It’s not from a strictly natural brand, Avene is a dermatological brand but this product has very natural ingredients and is the very best for very very sensitive skin.



Tuesday, May 29/2012 at 10:19 pm

I’m a bummer for sunscreen, I can’t leave the house without putting on (from head to foot). Its an essential to keep skin protected with atleast SPF 60.


Wednesday, August 28/2013 at 12:08 am

Hola me gusto muchísimo este blog me encanto el tema sobre las cremas hidratante ahora solo quiero saber puedo usar estas cremas en el invierno? Y mejor aún si tengo la piel grasa lo puedo usar


Tuesday, May 22/2012 at 2:50 pm

Goths are always good about sunscreen; I was too! The savings on Manic Panic powder alone… I just couldn’t quite pull off a parasol.

I’ll allow “the carding” could be a combo of the genes & sunscreen, but I still credit the sunscreen. I look nothing like you describe. I am tall (5′ 10″), not baby-faced & have smallish lips & eyes. I think it was a combo of the relaxed clothes (graphic T’s & jeans) & no wrinkles, the things people use as shorthand for age. So I looked style-free :( , but younger.

But since I used to forget to sunscreen my hands, I can see what damage looks like on my skin; mostly poorer texture & age spots. (Yup, at 37. Yay.) My parents & brother all had/have more wrinkles; I couldn’t talk them into sunscreen.

I’d love to hear from people who check ID’s as part of their job; what DO you look for?!


Wednesday, May 23/2012 at 12:37 pm

It’s not the sunscreen. It’s the genes. The last time I was carded was maybe two years ago… I’m 43, and didn’t use sunscreen at all until my late 30s because I’m allergic to most of them.

And now I’ve hit the age wall, and nobody at all is surprised that I am 43, ever.

Sorry, ladies.

Speaking of sunscreen — I still dislike it. They’re always shiny and nasty and play up every pore, even with powder or something on top!

Can anyone recommend a mineral sunscreen (the only kind I can wear) with NO tint and NO scent, and a matte finish?


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