We all know ingredients like retinol, vitamin C, and glycolic acid are power players in the anti-aging arena—but nothing helps skin look its best like sunscreen. Easy to use but often ignored, SPF staves off free radicals emitted by UV light, which causes the deterioration of the skin. This can manifest as everything from fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and skin laxity to even cancer, ranging from common basal cell carcinomas to rarer (yet significantly more concerning) melanomas.
If you happen to love makeup, you might be muttering to yourself, “Well, SPF plays horribly with makeup.” And honestly, we’d generally agree with that statement. Often, foundation and other formulas applied over sunscreen can get pilly, patchy, and fade quickly. But sorry: Poor makeup application doesn’t give you a free pass to sacrifice your skin’s health.
That’s why—as both skincare fanatics and makeup lovers—we’re huge enthusiasts of SPF primers. These formulas are developed to help makeup go on seamlessly and provide skin-enhancing benefits while also defending your complexion from the hazards of UVA and UVB rays. Here, we’ve curated our favorite SPF primers to help you protect your look and your skin in one swipe.