I Used to Avoid Sunscreen Until I Found This Silky Primer with SPF

CoTz’s Face Prime & Protect Tinted SPF 40 blurs your pores while protecting your skin from harmful rays.

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CoTz Face Prime and Protect Tinted SPF 40 Review

Health / David Hattan

Any dermatologist will tell you that one of the cardinal sins of skincare is skipping sunscreen. And, unfortunately, I was a repeat offender of that atrocity until recently. I saw it as one extra step in my already too-crowded morning routine, and I never wanted to risk ruining the texture of my makeup. But then I found CoTz’s Face Prime & Protect Tinted SPF 40—and I was saved. 

Too dramatic? You’d only think so if you’ve never tried this facial sunscreen. Its creamy, luxe texture glides onto your skin and instantly blurs your pores, softens your skin, and adds a hint of color. When I put it on for the first time, I almost decided to skip my foundation altogether because my skin already looked silky and refreshed.

coTz Face Prime & Protect Tinted SPF 40


Buy It: CoTz Face Prime & Protect Tinted SPF 40, $27.50; amazon.com, ulta.com, planetbeauty.com

What’s more, I have dry, sensitive skin that’s prone to stinging from sunscreen. Couple my skin type with the fact that this SPF is matte (which can often exacerbate dry patches and flakey skin), and I deservedly had my doubts about whether or not this product would end up in my trash bin next to the handful of other sunscreens I’ve tried.

After spreading the Prime & Protect SPF over my face, I sat for a moment, clenched, and waited for the sting to begin—it never came. This is most likely because it’s a mineral sunscreen (also known as physical sunscreen). Unlike chemical sunscreens, which sink into your skin to absorb UV rays and are more likely to cause irritation, mineral sunscreens are gentle and sit on the outer layer of the epidermis to reflect UV rays. 

The downside to mineral sunscreens is that (because they sit on the surface of your skin) they often leave a white residue, making you look like you’ve seen the Ghost of Christmas Past. Thankfully, CoTz’s Face Prime & Protect Tinted SPF 40 is tinted so you can leave the washed-out complexion to Dickens characters. 

Warning—the first time I squeezed this sunscreen out onto my fingertips, I was taken aback at how dark the color of the tint looked. Though I naturally have medium olive skin, the Prime & Protect tint shade looked like it would be way too dark for me. I was pleasantly surprised when it faded to match my skin tone perfectly as I swiped it on. While CoTz does suggest this product is ideal for darker-skinned people, plenty of reviews from users with pale skin say the tint melts to mesh with their tone beautifully. 

And even though the tint made my skin look naturally smooth, I still needed proof that it works under makeup like the label claims before dubbing it my new go-to. The result was a flawless makeup application. Makeup may seem unimportant at best when we’re weighing the risk-to-reward ratio of great makeup application versus protecting ourselves from skin cancer, but most of us still want our expensive beauty products to work as they should. 

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the best sunscreen is the one you’ll actually use consistently. And it’s easy to skip the ‘screen when you’re worried about your makeup routine and the day-to-day damage of the sun isn’t always visible to the naked eye. But, as one in five Americans will develop skin cancer within his or her lifetime, the risks that come with avoiding sunscreen are very much present whether we can see them or not. 

Experts recommend using a sunscreen that’s SPF 30 or higher, so Prime & Protect is a safe bet with an SPF of 40. To top it off, this sunscreen is reef-safe, cruelty-free, water-resistant, and unscented (dermatologists recommend avoiding fragrance at all costs if you have sensitive skin). I couldn’t find a box this sunscreen didn’t check.

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