The Best Sunscreens to Use on Your Face
Hating how sunscreen feels on your face isn't a valid reason not to wear it. Yes, facial sunscreens historically have a bad rap for being greasy and making you breakout by clogging your pores, but the moment has come for you to forget what you think you know about face sunscreen.
With all of the innovation and new technology in suncare, today's facial SPFs are nothing like those thick lotions that leave a chalky white cast and make it impossible to layer makeup over top of them.
Quick absorption aside, there's facial sunscreens out there for virtually every skin need. This includes a sunblock that'll moisturize your year-round dry skin, a water-resistant formula for your holiday long weekend, or one that's fragrance-free for your sensitive skin.
No matter your personal skincare concerns, make sure your facial sunscreen has the right level of SPF in to properly protect you from the damaging effects of the sun's rays. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shari Sperling previously told InStyle to go with a facial sunblock that contains SPF 30 or higher.
Another thing to consider is whether to use a chemical or physical sunscreen. In 2019, chemical sunscreens, which absorb into your skin to absorb the sun rays, are considered controversial because some formulas contain oxybenzone, an ingredient known to harm coral reefs. Physical sunscreens contain minerals like zinc and titanium dioxide and act like shield between your skin and the sun.
If chemical sunscreens (and the ingredients inside of them) are of concern, we rounded up five of the best face sunscreens that are all mineral-based and also go on without a trace.
EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46
If every facial sunscreen you've tried has made you break out, this mineral-based EltaMD option is oil-free, meaning it won't clog your pores. Along with preventing acne flare-ups, the lightweight, fast-absorbing lotion also fades dark spots from past blemishes and sun damage, thanks to the niacinamide in its formula.
ISDIN Eryfotona Actinica Sun Damage Protection
The zinc oxide in ISDIN's physical SPF works like a shield to keep UVA/UVB rays from burning your face. On top of protecting your skin on a surface level, this sunscreen is also made with enzymes that repair DNA damage caused by past ultraviolet rays.
REN Clean Skincare Clean Screen Mattifying Face Sunscreen SPF 30
This isn’t your average facial sunscreen. On top of protecting skin against UVA/UVB and blue light rays from electronics, REN’s sunscreen is a completely clean SPF that mattifies skin and prevents free radical, environmental damage. The formula is packed with the same ingredients you find often find in other skincare products, like antioxidant-rich fruit extracts and rice starch to control oil.
SUPERGOOP! 100% Mineral Smooth & Poreless Matte Screen SPF 40
SUPERGOOP!’s mineral sunscreen was made for wearing underneath makeup. It goes on so smooth and matte, creating the perfect base for foundation and concealer. And if you’re wearing it alone, the universal tint will blur over imperfections like dark spots so your skin looks more even-toned.
Neutrogena Pure & Free Liquid SPF 50
If you’ve been searching for a solid drugstore pick, this Neutrogena tube is your best-bet. The weightless, water-like liquid is dramatically different from other mineral SPFs because it instantly goes on clear. So, yes, it’s pretty easy to forget you even applied it in the first place.