"I really believe that putting it on has to be like brushing your teeth," Garner says of the essential step, adding, "Skin cancer is preventable — all you have to do is get serious about protecting yourself from the sun."
The Neutrogena brand ambassador since 2007 credits the brand for helping her do just that. The daughter of sailors, Garner, 49, spent much of her childhood summers on a boat exposed to the sun, and the damage would show up immediately in the form of burns.
Now, she's diligent about wearing sunscreen and she spreads the word as often as possible about the benefits of SPF. "I tell people, 'Nothing looks better in your 50s than sunscreen in your 20s.' It's really worth it to go the extra mile. And my tricks for that, is that you should just have a wardrobe of sunscreen possibilities everywhere you turn."
"I have one right by my bathroom, one right by my kids' bathrooms, there's a whole pile next to the back door."
The formula Garner is super-excited about: Neutrogena Invisible Daily Defense Face Mist SPF 50. "It's so light. You would never see it. You're not oily or not greasy. It doesn't impact your makeup." And she also calls the brand's hydrating, oil-free Invisible Daily Defense Face Serum SPF 60+ "incredible".
Garner also shared how her skin care regimen has evolved.
"It used to just be sunscreen and makeup. Then it was hyaluronic acid. Now at my age there's always going to be a retinol involved." She calls the Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Retinol Oil "a game changer."
"My skin has always been sensitive to retinol and would turn bright red if it was too strong. But this [line-smoothing] oil doesn't freak my skin out," she previously told PEOPLE.
Recently, she added the Neutrogena Rapid Firming Peptide Contour Lift Cream to her routine, and alternates it with the oil. "It just gives the skin a real youthful vibrancy, and a kind of bounce to it."
Garner is adamant about teaching her kids — Violet, 15, Seraphina, 12, and Samuel, 9 — good skin habits.
"People say to me , 'My gosh, I have the hardest time, my kid does not want to put on sunscreen.' But you just can't let that be an option."
The Yes Day star says that in her household, you can't step outside until your skin is protected — and the key to that is variety. "There's every kind of delivery system that you could possibly want now. So, they get to pick if they want a lotion, a spray, a stick."
Now Garner can trust her children to help one another apply sunscreen, but on days when they are not motivated, "They know I will take them out and spray them down. You can't give in."
As for whether they are starting to experiment with any makeup on Garner's vanity, she says, "I think kids their age are going to do what they're going to do, whether you let them or not. I'm happy for them to experiment with makeup, but some of my brushes are off limits!"
Garner has even let them pick out whatever Neutrogena makeup products they wanted to play with while on drugstore runs.
"I don't have a problem with that as long as their sense of self is strong. However they want to express that is up to them, and it's great."