Sunscreen face wash is now a thing, but does it work?

Just in time for summer, there’s a new product on the market that might be able to protect you from the sun’s harmful rays. Emphasis on might…

You can now buy facial cleaner that contains sunscreen. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? We all know by now that we should be using sunscreen products on the regular. (We do know that, right? Because even one sunburn increases your odds for skin cancer. And believe me, you don’t want that.) But applying SPF products every day sometimes just doesn’t happen. We forget. Or sometimes it’s hard to find a good lotion that doesn’t make your face break out. So the idea of a face wash with built-in sun protection sounds downright magical. Amirite?


Dr. Russo Sun Protective Day Cleanser SPF 30 is now available and can protect your skin from incidental sun damage, meaning exposure to the sun from regular activities, not sunbathing or hanging out at the beach. The cleanser was developed by dermatologist Luca Russo and contains special chemicals that help the SPF stick to your face after the suds are rinsed off.

We have to say, this sounds pretty genius. However, we’ve got a few concerns. First of all, according to the instructions, the cleaner must be lathered onto your face for TWO FULL MINUTES before it’s rinsed off. While that doesn’t sound like a long time, two minutes seems hella-long when you’re washing your face. We doubt anyone actually lathers up for longer than 20-30 seconds or so. So you’d probably need to set a timer or something to make sure you’re skin is actually getting any sun protection.

Also, have you ever heard the adage “don’t fry, reapply?”


Reapplication of SPF products is crucial. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “Reapplication of sunscreen is just as important as putting it on in the first place, so reapply the same amount every two hours.” EVERY TWO HOURS. Now who is going to wash their face every two hours? No one, that’s who.

So while SPF face cleanser sounds totally amazing, we’re not convinced it will actually work all on its own. Although, it might be a great way to have added protection from sun exposure. So go for it, if you like. Just please don’t toss out your SPF lotion. To make sure you’re protecting yourself, check out the ins and outs of sun protection here.

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