The Facial Sunscreen That Changed My Skincare Routine for Good
Behold: An everyday facial sunscreen you'll actually look forward to applying.
Some people collect notebooks, others amass coins—but for me? I accumulate sunscreen. My sunscreen habit got its start during my high school years, when my dad developed basal cell carcinoma smack dab in the center of his forehead. It was an abrupt diagnosis that left me reeling, and news of his cancer prompted me to slather on SPF 50 on the regular solely out of vanity-induced fear.
A (somewhat healthy) obsession with avoiding the sun has left me with a vanity brimming with every type of sun protection imaginable—from chemical sunscreens and SPF sticks, to an assortment of lotions and foams that promise to keep harmful UVA/UVB rays at bay. Admittedly, some products have expired while others have yet to be removed from their packaging, but one facial sunscreen in particular sticks out as the best of the best among a bathroom counter cluttered with a questionable amount of SPF.
My no-fail favorite: Image Skincare Prevention+ Daily Ultimate Protection Moisturizer ($40; amazon.com). The name, although unremarkable, told me everything I needed to know, and once I tried it firsthand at a recent Heyday salon, there was no going back.
I was relaxing mid-facial at the Manhattan-based skincare shop when the aesthetician began slathering on a lightweight cream that smelled vaguely of poolside piña coladas. Assuming it was yet another serum or toner that touted innumerable anti-aging benefits, I inquired out loud about the name of said product, and could barely contain my excitement when my skin therapist informed me that the good-smelling goop was indeed sunscreen.
Did I need yet another form of SPF for my already chaotic bathroom countertop? Well, no...not really. Did I push my way up to the front desk to purchase a brand-new bottle for myself as soon as the Heyday Skin Gods were finished poking, prodding and primping my skin back to (what was hopefully) a more youthful state? You better believe it.
Aside from its surprisingly pleasant scent, the real appeal behind this daily sunscreen lies in its consistency. The lotion strikes the difficult balance of being not-too-thick and just thick enough that you can easily mix it in with a tinted moisturizer for added coverage. The oil-free moisturizer won't leave you with an unsightly white cast either—it blends just as it should (read: all the way) and successfully shields your skin from UVA and UVB rays without clogging your pores in the process.
Made from a blend of plant-derived stem cell extracts and potent antioxidants, its a broad-spectrum sunscreen that I actually find myself reaching for every morning after ice rolling my skin back into submission.
"I've never before encountered a sunscreen that goes on smooth and doesn't leave a greasy film," wrote one Amazon reviewer of the cream. "I use it every day, come rain, snow, or sunshine."
"This sunscreen blends so perfectly and goes on lightweight," wrote another. "It's by far my favorite SPF."