The weather is warming up, and that means one thing: it’s time to start thinking about sunscreen.
If you’re like most people, you probably think of sunscreen as something you need to put on your body — but what about your face? Your face is one of the most sensitive areas of your body, and it’s also one of the most important areas to protect from UV and UA rays. That’s why we’ve curated a list of the best sunscreens for your face.
Don’t think sunscreen is important? Well, check the stats:
- 20% of Americans will get skin cancer by age 70.
- If you get 5 or more sunburns, your melanoma risk doubles.
- 90% of skin aging is caused by sun exposure.
Don’t take on the risk of cancer, and don’t let your skin age prematurely. Use the best sunscreen for your face, and live a long life full of fun in the sun. Here are our top picks.
1. EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 (Best Overall)
EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 is a sunscreen that’s neither thick nor thin, and there’s no smell. It takes a bit of rubbing to get the formula to sink in and there’s a very thin but detectable clear film that it leaves behind.
EltaMD UV Clear was created specifically for anyone that suffers from rosacea, acne and other conditions like hyperpigmentation. To support people who are experiencing these issues, EltaMC UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 includes niacinamide, which is comforting on the skin and even lessens redness that can occur after spending time in the sun.
This formula is non-comedogenic and dermatologist-recommended. EltaMD UV Clear is a good choice for those who are looking for a mineral sunscreen that rubs in without any white cast.
2. Coola Classic Face Organic Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 (Best for Dry Skin)
Coola’s Classic Face Organic Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 is a tinted sunscreen that looks and feels like a facial moisturizer — making it a great option for anyone who suffers from dry skin. It has the consistency of a thick lotion, but it sinks into the skin quickly and doesn’t leave behind any residue.
The sunscreen is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, but it doesn’t feel heavy or sticky on the skin. That water-resistant is essential when you’re spending long days at the pool, beach or lake.
Users with sensitive skin don’t break out or experience irritation. Coola Classic Face Organic Sunscreen is available in two shades: light/medium and medium/dark. It’s also unscented, which is good for people who are sensitive to fragrance. But you can also buy a version that has a white tea scent.
Coola Classic Face Organic Sunscreen is one of the best sunscreens on the market. It’s perfect for people with dry skin, and it doesn’t leave behind any residue.
3. Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 PA+++ (Best for Oily Skin)
Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen is one of the best sunscreens on the market for a number of reasons.
First, it’s a viscous, colorless gel that transforms into a light matte finish after it dries. This makes it perfect for applying makeup afterward.
Second, it’s clear, so it works with all skin tones. This is really important, because other sunscreens for face often leave behind a pale film which is impossible to blend if you have a dark complexion.
And, third, it offers an incredibly lightweight and smooth texture, which acts like a primer. So, if you are wearing makeup, it’s nearly impossible to beat this as an option. Anyone with oily skin who wants a sunscreen that checks all the boxes will find an ideal option in Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen.
4. Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield SPF 50 (Best for Reapplications)
Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield SPF 50 is a powder sunscreen that can be used under or over makeup — making it the easiest for reapplications on this list. The brush-on formula comes highly recommended because it reduces the amount of oil in your facial skin.
Choose from among different shades to find one that blends with your skin tone. Enjoy a matte finish that comes with using a powder sunscreen for face rather than a cream.
Colorsescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield SPF 50 is also great for anyone experiencing acne. It does not cause breakouts or block your pores, and it even reduces shine throughout the day.
When you’re looking for convenience and effective protection for your face, Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield SPF 50 is an excellent choice.
When we see the price tag on SkinMedica’s Total Defense + Repair Broad Spectrum SPF 34, we have to do a double-take. $68 for a sunscreen? That’s a pretty penny. But, when you try it, you immediately understand why you would pay a premium price for premium performance.
What makes this sunscreen so special? First of all, it’s packed with vitamins C and E, which are powerful antioxidants that can be found in some of our other favorite skincare products. But more importantly, it guards against UVA, UVB, and Infrared-A rays — the three most harmful types of sun radiation. In addition, SkinMedica’s sunscreen contains squalane, glycerin, and niacinamide to boost radiance and strengthen the barrier — ingredients that are usually only found in much more expensive products.
So even though $68 might seem like a lot at first glance, SkinMedica’s Total Defense + Repair Broad Spectrum SPF 34 is definitely worth the splurge.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-In Milk Sunscreen SPF 60 is a sunscreen that works effectively for all skin types, which is why it earns its way onto this list. When you choose this as your sunscreen for face, you get SPF 60 protection from both UVA and UVB rays.
Beyond SPF protection, there’s much more that makes this French sunscreen so attractive. There’s no oil. It won’t irritate your skin. And you get an hour-plus of water resistance before you need to reapply. It features sheer, quick-absorbing application, and you get a light and smooth finish. It’s even earned approval from the European Union, which has in place some of the toughest standards for sunscreen in the world.
So if you’re looking for a high-quality sunscreen that will protect you from the sun’s harmful rays, La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-In Milk Sunscreen SPF 60 is the way to go.
7. Cetaphil Daily Oil Free Facial Moisturizer with SPF 35 (Best Value)
Cetaphil’s Daily Oil Free Facial Moisturizer with SPF 35 is both moisturizing and lightweight, which is as good as it gets for a sunscreen that also offers your face SPF 35 protection — broad-spectrum. The price is great, too, making it the best value on this list.
It’s also oil-free and formulated for sensitive skin, making it a good option for most people. Cetaphil’s Daily Oil Free Facial Moisturizer with SPF 35 is a great option for those who are looking for a lightweight, oil-free, and sensitive skin-friendly moisturizer with SPF.
8. SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 (Best for Sensitive Skin)
SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 is a great sunscreen for those with sensitive skin. The UVA and UVB protection skincare formula is very light and glides on smoothly, sinking in quickly.
It has a matte finish and a faint “universal” tint that evens out your skin tone, providing a blurring effect to soften the look of pores and dark spots. That makes it good to wear under makeup or on its own. Definitely consider this sunscreen if you experience sensitive skin!
What’s Your Go-To Sunscreen for Faces?
Sunscreen is an important part of a healthy skincare routine, no matter your skin type. By protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays, you can help to prevent wrinkles, age spots, and other signs of premature aging. That’s why it’s so important to find the right sunscreen for your face — one that will provide maximum protection without causing any irritation or sensitivity.
We hope this list has helped you narrow down your choices and that you will consider trying one (or more!) of the sunscreens we recommend. Have you found a facial sunscreen that isn’t on our list? If so, let us know by sharing in the comments section below.