As a beauty writer, I’m lucky enough to have access to some of the best skincare experts in the business. It’s my job to quiz them on how to treat our skin and what the best skincare products are, before reporting back to you. So of course, whenever I meet a new dermatologist, facialist, or skincare expert—my first question is always: What’s the number one thing we should all be using on our skin?
Surprisingly, 99.9 percent of them always answer with the same product—SPF. Sure, in many ways it’s not that surprising. We’re all well-versed on the importance of using a daily sunscreen. But with so many new and exciting ingredients out there to try... Really? SPF is the best?
Of course, retinols are great and vitamin C is a hero (the both of which came in at second and third choice respectively). But if there’s one product that’s going to protect you from loss of collagen, UV rays, pollution, and all the other environmental aggressors our skin battles with everyday, it’s SPF. “Sun damage is a main cause of weakened collagen,” explains Dr. Dennis Gross, dermatologist and founder of the cult-favorite skincare line Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare. “When collagen is damaged, skin looks dull."
In fact, every skin expert I’ve ever spoken to agrees with Gross and recommends a good quality SPF as his or her first recommendation for all skin types. “The most important advice I can give as a skincare specialist is to ALWAYS protect your skin by wearing a daily SPF all-year-round” London-based facialist and skincare expert Sarah Chapman says. “I wear sunscreen under my makeup every day and always advise my clients to do the same. UVA and UVB rays remain present in cities on cloudy days and are a leading cause of skin damage... UVA rays can even penetrate through glass! In today’s environment, we need to protect against everything from UVA and UVB rays, to infrared and blue light.”
Celebrity esthetician Debbie Thomas agrees, “While we are all more aware of the sun's UV rays causing unsightly pigmentation, most people don't realize that up to 80 percent of the visible signs of aging are UV related. That’s everything from redness, wrinkles, dry scaly patches, skin tags, and sagging.”
Want to know which SPFs in particular have the dermatologists' stamp of approval? Browse seven of the best SPF skincare products below.
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