The 10 Best Facial Sunscreens
This wiki has been updated 19 times since it was first published in May of 2018. No matter how extensive your skincare routine is, the best way to prevent the signs of aging is to use sun protection every day. Unfortunately, many lotions can be extremely greasy when used on your face. Not only do these facial sunscreens block out harmful, cancer-causing UV rays, they're also cosmetically elegant, so they work well under makeup and won't make you look oily. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
April 24, 2020:
There are scores of great facial sunscreens on the market in every variety possible. For our list, we wanted to include selections to satisfy a range of needs, from those with sensitive skin to vegans to people who want something with a high SPF, as well as solutions that can go under makeup, are suitable for children, and reef-safe for tropical destinations with strict sunblock regulations. And if you're interested in more biodegradable options for your next vacation, we have a list for that, as well.
For today's update, we sadly removed Obagi Sun Shield due to an alleged 2019 formula change that has turned off many customers. Obagi products are recommended by professionals for a reason, however, so it's still worth trying out a bottle to see if it's for you if your dermatologist suggests it. We also said goodbye to Earth's Recipe Waterful due to complaints of a sticky texture and overly powerful scent.
To fill these new vacancies, we added Heliocare 360 to replace the Earth's Recipe brand so as not to leave a void for users with oily skin who crave a gel formula. This selection is extremely lightweight, has a subtle tint, and was thoughtfully developed using cutting-edge technology. We also added Blue Lizard Sensitive, a reef-safe option formulated for those who react adversely to most sunscreens. Each bottle sports a clever cap that turns blue in UV light to remind you to reapply it every few hours. This seems obvious on the beach, but when you see it turn blue in the car or somewhere else you didn't expect, you'll appreciate the heads up.
More marine-friendly options include Coola Matte and Sun Bum Original Stick, while Supergoop! Everyday and Tizo Mineral are gentle enough for sensitive skin. Finally, if you want to cover all your bases, EltaMD UV Clear is the one to beat. It hydrates, protects, is lightweight, won't clog pores, and is suitable for rosacea and acne-prone skin.
Be aware that every person is different and will have their own individual reaction to sunscreens. To ensure you don't get burned and are as protected as possible, remember to wear hats, shawls, and other protective clothing, apply your sunscreen properly and frequently, and bring umbrellas and other shade-providing items to the beach, park, or wherever you will be exposed.
La Prairie Cellular Swiss Notably expensive, this lightweight, broad-spectrum formula is meant to be applied over serums and moisturizer or used in place of lotion. It protects against UVA and UVB rays with an SPF of 50 and is formulated with UV filters and powerful antioxidants to protect from environmental damage while delivering prolonged hydration. It has a silky texture that absorbs easily and a light, pleasing fragrance. laprairie.com
Dr. Barbara Sturm Sun Drops Sun Drops is different from your typical lotion-style or spray sunblock. It's a light serum that can be applied directly or mixed in with your moisturizer and provides broad-spectrum SPF 50 protection against UVA and UVB rays. An active complex of vitamin E and beta-glucan protects from oxidative damage, while purslane, an anti-aging powerhouse, helps calm the skin and reduce visible signs of irritation. molecularcosmetics.com
Sisley-Paris Sunleya Age Minimizing If brown spots, dehydration, loss of firmness, and wrinkles are a concern, consider this sunscreen cream, which safeguards from photo-aging and the harmful effects of the sun without impeding tanning. A UVA and UVB filtering complex lets in the right amount of rays to stimulate the skin's natural photo-protection reflex mechanisms while a mix of anti-free radical active ingredients help neutralize reactions that may cause aging. This exclusive complex guarantees the protection of cellular DNA and has powerful moisturizers to provide long lasting hydration. sisleyparis.com