15 Best Sunscreens For Your Face

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It's only in the last couple decades that we've recognized the importance of sunscreen; we're no longer delicately roasting away in the cancerous warmth of ultraviolet rays. UV light, according to dermatologist Evelyn Jones, "is our biggest risk factor for skin cancer." "The UVL rays cause damage to our skin cells increasing the risk of skin aging and skin cancer. Using sunscreen on a daily basis is critical to protect the skin cells from this damage. This includes cloudy days when up to 80% of the UVL rays will penetrate through the clouds," Dr. Jones told AMA.

Since we're never safe from the sun, even in the winter, Dr. Jones advised, "365 days of the year — if you just plan and are intentional about putting sunscreen on everywhere the sun can see, then you're going to be better off and better protected." To be better equipped, invest in two kinds of sunscreen – one that's formulated for your body and the other for your face. Most sunscreens for your face "are often designed to be more easily absorbed and feel lighter," according to dermatologist Neelam A. Vashi (via She Knows). If you're in the market for a new face sunscreen, shop around as you scroll.

How we selected

Sunscreens that are marked 'for the face' are often taking a lot of other skincare concerns into account when being formulated. "Facial skin is generally more sensitive to irritation than body skin, so face formulations have been tested to cause less irritation and not trigger acne," Dr. Noelle Sherber told Health. "If you're acne-prone or sensitive, avoid the body versions for your face, especially the dry-touch sprays — they're absolutely full of alcohol, which is very drying and irritating for facial skin."

Keeping this in mind, we've curated facial sunscreens that work for different skin types and tones. You can find them across a full spectrum of price ranges as well as formulations (whether its stick, liquid, or powder). There are both physical and chemical sunscreens included in this list as well as reef-safe options. These multifunctional, high-performing facial sunscreens are also overachievers (and overprotective) on Amazon review boards, with raving reviews from customers across the web.

Best overall

We imagine that in its acceptance speech as Allure's Best of Beauty award winner, Elta MD's UV Clear would credit its oil-free formulation that's chock full of skin-loving ingredients. A nickel-sized drop of the sunscreen can deliver deep hydration, courtesy of hyaluronic acid, and gentle exfoliation through lactic acid. It also has niacinamide which improves texture and reduces inflammation.

It's to no one's surprise that it's expert-approved. "My favorite sunscreen is EltaMD Clear," board-certified dermatologist Christopher O'Connell told Allure. "It's a clear zinc-oxide sunscreen that also contains niacinamide to help give the skin a glow." The sunscreen is a favorite (and best-seller) on Amazon, too. Over 32,000 customers have given it 4.7 stars out of 5.

One customer said, "My [dermatologist] recommended this [to] me since I've got super sensitive skin from using retinol for acne and anti-aging. I've TRIED to find a cheaper face sunscreen that is this calming, effective, non-pore-clogging and goes on smoothly under makeup — I just haven't. This one is the best. I can't live without it and I'll just have to cheap out on other products because I've decided, ultimately, that this one is just worth its weight in gold."

Price: The EltaMD UV Clear Sunscreen retails for $37.05 on Amazon.

Protection: SPF 46

Type: Mineral 

Best budget

Another brand that's touted by dermatologists across boards is Cetaphil for its simple approach to sensitive skincare. "Part of the reason why [Cetaphil has outpaced market growth] is because customers are [seeking] trustworthy, simple and derm-recommended brands," June Lee Risser, of the brand's parent company Galderma, told Glossy. The expert-endorsed brand has now become one of Gen-Z's top brands, as attested by the 5.2 million views on TikTok for the #cetaphilskincare.

If you haven't already climbed aboard the Cetaphil fandom, we'd recommend starting with its multifunctional facial moisturizer and sunscreen. Oil-free as well as lightweight, this moisturizer is the only skincare product you'll need post-cleansing. Enhanced with vitamin E, this moisturizer helps repair and hydrate your skin barrier while providing broad-spectrum protection with SPF 50. It's fragrance-free and non-comedogenic; it works for all skin types, from acne-prone to sensitive.

The product also has 4.5 out of 5 stars from over 10,000 Amazon customers. One reviewer said, "I use this daily for sun protection. Several people have commented on how good my skin looks (healthy) when I am wearing this protection. Works great."

Price: The Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer retails for $26.58 (pack of 2) on Amazon.

Protection: SPF 50

Type: Mineral

Best drugstore

Putting on this La Roche-Posay product is like turning on a luxurious, moisturizing bath with silky milk every morning. The brand's Anthelios Melt In Milk Body & Face Sunscreen is a lotion that seeps into your skin, as promised, to provide complete hydration and broad spectrum protection. With SPF 60, this multi-use product is the only moisturizer-sunscreen combo you'll need stepping out. In addition to being Amazon's Choice in sunscreens, it comes recommended by professionals like celebrity makeup artist Rae Morris. "This is my go-to sunscreen and I use it personally every day...You won't get breakouts with this one," Morris told Byrdie.

One reviewer said, "I love this sunscreen because it's easy to spread and doesn't leave you feeling greasy and heavy like a lot of facial sunscreens do. It's great for sensitive and acne prone skin. I also noticed water doesn't reactivate it and make it oily. Perfect for swimming, the beach or just hanging out in the sun! It goes everywhere with me."

Price: The La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt In Milk Body & Face Sunscreen retails for $35.99 on Amazon.

Protection: SPF 60

Type: Chemical

Best splurge-worthy

This luxe sunscreen serum from Dr. Brandt Skincare comes in a rose gold-accented bottle fit for aesthetic shots on Pinterest vanities. Use the dropper to draw a lightweight, smooth liquid that detects and corrects hyperpigmentation and offers protection from UVA/UVB rays. This sunscreen uses non-nano zinc oxide, which is generally considered to be safer than its nano-sized counterparts (via Babo Botanicals). It's also infused with plankton extract which, the brand claims, can detect hyperpigmentation and even out skin tone. The radiant finish makes this perfect for the last step in your skincare routine.

On Sephora, 8,800 people have favorited the sunscreen. One well-traveled customer used it across the globe, "The sunscreen itself is really nice. I never burn when I use it. I've tried it against the Mexico, Dominican Republic & UAE sun and it never let me down." Another said, "The product offers me good sun protection while providing a beautiful healthy glow on my skin. It doesn't collide with the make up application — it actually serves as a decent base. My ultra-sensitive and combination skin accepts it — so it's definitely a KEEPER for me."

Price: The Dr. Brandt Liquid Sun Shield Daily Brightening Mineral Sunscreen retails for $65 on Sephora.

Protection: SPF 50

Type: Mineral  

Best cult-favorite

A list of the best sunscreens without Supergoop! just doesn't feel right (there's another one of its products in this list, too). The skincare brand provides a broad spectrum of products intended to make sunscreen a part of your daily routine. "Consumers today are finally starting to understand the importance of daily SPF and I'm so proud to have played a part in that, but by no means are we finished. We won't rest until people think about daily SPF just as they do buckling their seat belt or brushing their teeth," founder Holly Thaggard told Vanity Fair.

With over 213 million views on TikTok (for the #supergoop), the brand clearly has a cult following. One of their best-selling products is the Mineral Mattescreen. The formula, which is 100% mineral-based, works to blur pores and leave you with a matte finish. It's great for people with oily skin but perfect for summers, too. A customer on their website said, "I've been looking for a daily sunscreen that doesn't feel icky for years! Have tried at least 10! This is the first and only one that I actually love putting on!"

Price: The Supergoop! Mattescreen retails for $38 on Supergoop!

Protection: SPF 40

Type: Mineral

Best for acne-prone skin

Anything, from venti lattes to skincare samples at Sephora, can trigger acne. TIZO2 reduces the guesswork, however, when it comes to your daily sunscreen. The brand's Facial Primer has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 40, and offers a mattifying, poreless finish. Formulated especially for those with sensitive skin concerns, the primer is made without fragrance, is non-tinted and oil-free. It's also water-resistant (for 80 minutes) and perfect for layering below your makeup.

One reviewer on Amazon said, "Hands down, the best facial sunscreen I've ever owned. I have adult acne and sensitive skin. Most mineral sunscreens make me feel like something is constantly on my face and scratch off easily. The things I look for in a sunscreen, like matte after hours of wear and not being noticeable by me when I'm in wind or something — this product has it all. I'm very happy with my purchase. Worth every penny."

Price: The TIZO2 Facial Primer/Sunscreen retails for $43 on Amazon.

Protection: SPF 40

Type: Mineral

Best for darker skin tones

For people with darker skin tones, sunscreens can often leave a white cast that makes you want to use it less. Shontay Lundy, the founder of Black Girl Sunscreen, told Business Insider that she was "underwhelmed" by the options for people of color. "Normally, Black people don't wear sunscreen because we weren't taught to do so," she said. However, skipping or skimping on sunscreen comes with its consequences. "(Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation) is much more likely to happen in us because our melanin kicks into overdrive," dermatologist Mona Gohara told USA Today. "If we don't wear sunscreen, we can be left with hyperpigmentation and brown marks that can last for a long time."

And so, Lundy created her brand "to find a solution for eliminating white residue and making women of color feel great and look great in the sun." The brand's best-selling sunscreen is a reef-safe, ultra-sheer moisturizing cream that is water-resistant and infused with skin-loving ingredients. Avocado, jojoba, and sunflower oil moisturize and reduce inflammation while cacao and carrot juice provide antioxidants. One reviewer on Ulta said, "I almost cried when I found this and used it! Finally a good sunscreen that won't leave a white cast making my brown skin look ghostly or grey! Absolutely love it! Amazing hydration, would recommend to all POC!"

Price: Black Girl Sunscreen retails for $15.99 on Ulta.

Protection: SPF 30

Type: Chemical 

Best for reapplication

Your sunscreen only protects you for a short while — depending on the amount of light you're exposed to, you're going to need to reapply consistently. Most experts agree that reapplying sunscreen every two hours will ensure protection (via Johns Hopkins Medicine). "My favorite way is to use a sunscreen mist," board-certified dermatologist Dr. Lindsey Zubritsky told HuffPost."It's great because it works even as a setting spray for makeup and is easy and convenient to reapply my sunscreen. I also love reapplying my sunscreen with a beauty blender. I'll usually use a tinted sunscreen when using this method to match with my foundation."

Zubritsky recommended Sun Bum's daily sunscreen face mist, and it's one that many are obsessed with. The face mist has SPF 30, which is adequate sun protection when reapplying. One reviewer, whose life changed with this product, said, "I absolutely love this stuff! I was looking for a daily sunscreen that would easily spray on so I'd actually remember to use it daily, this stuff exceeded my expectations! Easy to apply, amazing sun protection and has a delightful scent! 10/10 recommend!"

Price: The Sun Bum Daily Sunscreen Facial Mist retails for $12.59 on Amazon.

Protection: SPF 30

Type: Chemical

Best tinted

For those that want a daily lightweight base, a tinted BB cream or sunscreen might be the perfect essential to add to your makeup bag. The tinted sunscreen from All Good is a great contender; its mineral-based protection has SPF 30 and is filled with ingredients that repair the skin barrier. Both calendula and buriti oil soothe the skin while rosehip oil instills hydration. The sunscreen is also reef-safe and does not contain nano zinc oxide particles. The soft tint is suitable for all skin tones, according to the brand.

One Target customer said that it gave them color: "I love this product! Gives my pale legs color without making my sun spots look worse, all while protecting my skin from the sun." Another, with a darker skin tone, said, "I have tan skin so mineral sunscreen is tricky for me. I like this one since it doesn't leave a cast and the tint isn't super noticeable."

Price: The All Good Tinted Sunscreen retails for $15.99 on Target.

Protection: SPF 30

Type: Mineral 

Best multitasking

ILIA launched the Super Serum Skin Tint in 2020 and it's become a staple that's made room for itself in vanities by removing the need for other products. And it's not hard to tell why: it's a smooth serum that triples up as a light foundation, skincare treatment, and sunscreen with SPF 40. Choose from 38 shades that cater to skin tones and undertones that will probably make any other base redundant. The 'serum' part of the product is just as impressive — it features niacinamide to soothe, squalane to hydrate, and hyaluronic acid to attract moisture.

Unsurprisingly, the serum has won numerous awards. It won Allure's Best of Beauty in 2020 and Elle's Green Beauty Awards in the same year. It's doing pretty well in shoppers' carts, too. "This is everything I hoped it would be! I've already bought my second bottle! It's not a full coverage foundation, BB or CC cream; but what it is is pure magic. It is moisturizing but not greasy, the sun protection is fantastic, and the light skin tint and sun kissed look is everything. I would recommend to anyone and everyone and I will be buying this again and again," one reviewer raved on Amazon. Another only applies a little blush to achieve "the NO MAKEUP look."

Price: The ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint retails for $48 on Amazon.

Protection: SPF 40

Type: Mineral

Best water-resistant

It's a defeating feeling to have sweat beads form and take off all the protection you have against the sun. It's almost counterintuitive that sunscreen can come off when the sun is out. For those sweaty days, choose a water-resistant sunscreen that fights sweat like it does UV rays. The Blue Lizard Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen is a reef-safe, water-resistant formula that lasts for over 80 minutes. One reviewer on Amazon said, "This stuff is amazing, doesn't need to be reapplied every hour, doesn't burn sensitive skin at all, and it's just amazing. First sunscreen I've ever used to stay on SO long....like 5+ hours with constant water play at the beach in central FL."

However, water-resistant isn't the same as waterproof. You still need to reapply your sunscreen regardless of its '80 minute' claim. "It's all called water-resistant because it will wear off more slowly, but all sunscreens are going to wear off. There's nothing that you put on and then you don't have to do it again. Usually, those water-resistant formulations will wear off in about 40 to 80 minutes," dermatologist Olushola Akinshemoyin Vaughn told Wisconsin Public Radio. But if you're in the water for a while, this paraben-free and fragrance-free option is definitely the one you want to have in your beach bag.

Price: The Blue Lizard Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen retails for $14.99 on Amazon.

Protection: SPF 50

Type: Mineral

Best reef-safe

Sunscreens with chemicals like oxybenzone, octinoxate, and octocrylene have been found to damage coral reefs in the oceans (via CNET), making it important to pick sunscreens that are reef-safe. "The term reef safe typically means that the sunscreen contains only mineral UV-blocking ingredients like oxide and titanium dioxide," board-certified dermatologist Joshua Zeichner tells Save The Reef. "Both nano particle — a smaller particle size — and traditional zinc oxide sunscreens are both safe and effective, and both will be considered safe for reefs. The only difference is the cosmetic feel on the skin."

Essentially, you can make a conscious decision to look for mineral options instead of chemical sunscreens. The Thinksport Safe Sunscreen is a top-rated sunscreen by the Environmental Working Group for its choice of safe ingredients. It gives you broad spectrum protection that is water-resistant and is free of biologically harming ingredients. According to many reviewers, the product is a great facial sunscreen, too. "I have now been using this on my face almost every day for about two weeks, and I could not be happier! It is far easier to rub in than most zinc sunscreens I have used, and although it is thick, it doesn't leave my face greasy or cause any breakouts," one customer on Amazon said.

Price: The Thinksport Safe Sunscreen retails for $12.49 on Amazon.

Protection: SPF 50

Type: Mineral

Best mineral

Physical or mineral sunscreens use ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium oxide as compared to chemical sunscreens, which use ingredients like oxybenzone. "Physical blockers really work like a shield because they sit on the surface of the skin and deflect the sun's rays," Dr. Klint Peebles told AMA. These are great for people with sensitive skin and offer immediate protection after putting it on. "The physical sunscreens are also a little more resistant to water, so if you're going to be swimming, this type of sunscreen is a much better option," dermatologist Evelyn Jones told AMA.

The Versed Guards Up Mineral sunscreen is a popular one, probably because it doesn't leave a white cast and works for all skin types. The sunscreen nourishes your skin at the same time as it's enhanced with antioxidants from moringa seeds and sea fennel extract. One customer on Amazon said, "I have seriously sensitive skin so most sunscreens actually make my skin burn upon contact, but Versed is actually zinc based so no more burning or irritation! I apply this every day whether I wear makeup over it or not and I highly recommend!!"

Price: The Versed Guards Up Mineral Sunscreen retails for $24.99 on Amazon.

Protection: SPF 35

Type: Mineral

Best chemical

Many prefer chemical sunscreens as they don't usually leave white casts and work better as bases for makeup. "With chemical blockers, they're going to work like a sponge and absorb the sun's rays and get rid of them by converting them to heat," Dr. Klint Peebles told AMA, noting that "they're often easier to rub into the skin and are the ones that have generally been more commercially available."

The Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protector Lotion is a chemical sunscreen with SPF 50 that 37,900 people on Sephora have favorited. The sunscreen does not have oxybenzone listed as one of its ingredients, but it does have other chemicals like avobenzone, homosalate, and octisalate. The brand also boasts of including HeatForce technology, where heat-sensing essence is activated by external heat, and WetForce Technology, where water bonds with the negative ions to create a barrier, in the formula.

One reviewer on Sephora said, "This sunscreen does amazing under my makeup. Makes me look a little oily at first but it settles in nicely." Another said, "Being someone who has a dark skin complexion it's hard to find sunscreens that don't leave a white cast but this sunscreen blends into the skin perfectly! I also love that it doesn't pill on top of other skincare products and doesn't clog my pores or make me breakout."

Price: The Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protector Lotion retails for $49 on Sephora.

Protection: SPF 50

Type: Chemical

Best for under make-up

If you wear any kind of makeup, your sunscreen often becomes a base for your look. Makeup, by itself, usually doesn't have enough SPF to protect you throughout the day so it's best to invest in a sunscreen that does well under your foundation. Enter Supergoop's Glow Screen, a daily primer with SPF 40 that leaves your skin with a dewy, glowy finish. One reviewer on the brand's website said that it gives them a "lightweight, sheer tint that wears well under makeup. I now wear it daily; on its own sometimes and as a beautiful, protective primer under makeup."

Celebrity makeup artist Erica Bogart approves of it too. "I'm obsessed with this product, this is a new go-to — I'm wearing it, rocking it, every single day...It creates a very opalescent, luminous effect on the skin," Bogart told The Desire Company. "This is awesome to hydrate and prep your skin with no makeup or underneath your makeup for [an] everyday glow."

Price: Supergoop! Glow Screen retails for $36 on Supergoop!

Protection: SPF 40

Type: Chemical