I've found that most moisturizers with SPF don't have UVA filters in them (the ones protect form aging UVA rays, shown as PA or PPD factors on the packaging). I don't care if I burn or not, I don't go out in the sun anyway, but I do care about aging and I want protection from UVA. Photo stable protection with a safe combination not, avobenzone without encapsulation mixed with zinc or titanium, there is no photostability, it degrades quickly and leaves skin unprotected. Worst thing, I have to pay for a false sense of security that ultimately does nothing.
So I use separate moisturizers and sunscreens.
My personal preference are sunscreens with micronized zinc oxide (z-cote) with some additional uvb filters, octinoxate or octinoxate or micronized titanium dioxide (t-lite). I never use sunscreens with just one filter, even if it's zinc oxide, in micronized form z-cote doesn't offer full protection, although some natural companies advertise their zinc sunscreens as broad spectrum, but use data about about non-micronized zinc oxide to back up their claims (for comparison, zinc oxide protects from 290 nm to 700 nm, micronized zinc oxide from 290 nm to 380-400 nm), but that's another rant.
Others prefer sunscreens with Tinosorb (Eucerin), Heloplex (Neutrogena), Mexoryl (Bioderma, Vichy, Lancome, Biotherm, Garnier, Loreal, La Roche Posay), but I personally find them too greasy and I feel safer under a zinc sunscreen, although they leave a whitish cast on skin, but a white matte cast is easer to deal with than metallic/greasy shine.
I really like Shiseido sunscreens, I find them moisturizing enough to be used alone in summertime. Sisley All Day All Year is great for low protection (SPF 8, I think) and antioxidant benefits, but it's beyond expensive.
Wow, you've definitely done your research. I'll try to take this all on board, thank you for the indepth reply.
So the 'greasy' ones are quite effective, just come with the undesirable greasy look?
It's such a shame that skincare still isn't perfect. What sunscreen is it that you use then? Shisheido? That's fairly expensive isn't it?
Problem is, my moisturisers at the moment are already a bit too greasy, and another sunscreen on top would make me look awful.
Not all of them are greasy, there are matte versions and the greasiness depends on skin type and what skin care products are used underneath the sunscreen, also the ambient temperature and humidity affect skin. Vichy and Garnier have these "fluid" and "sensitive" versions, they have state of art filters, nice base and don't cost an arm and leg.
Right now I'm using Skinceuticals Daily Defense SPF20 sunscreen, my Shiseido Extra Smooth run out. The Skinceuticals might seem exxy (around $40), bet it comes in a 90 ml tube, it's almost twice the amount you usually get. But I'm not 100% happy with it, it has a noticeable white cast and since it's american it has no UVA rating, but ingredients are good, but it's really matte.