The best face sunscreens

The sun produces UVA and UVB rays, which can both damage the skin, so an excellent-performing sunscreen cannot be ignored. Thus, we believe investing in your next holy grail of sunscreen is a must. Our skincare experts have scoured through the web to narrow down your options, ranging from tinted to high SPF ratings and even a selection of chemical and mineral sunscreens. Have a look at our top picks.

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen

Best Overall

Trust in the Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen to be your new trusty sun shield thanks to its skin-loving ingredients and versatile formula. It not only provides you with SPF 40 PA+++ protection but also a formulation that's fragrance-free and gives off an undetectable finish that feels weightless on your skin. Not to mention, it has oil-controlling properties which make for an outstanding makeup primer.

Why we love it:
– Can also act as a base for your makeup
– Great for all skin tones and types
– Also blocks the harmful blue light emitted by electronic devices

Coppertone Sport Face Sunscreen and Spray Pack

Best Value

Protect your skin from harmful UV rays without spending a fortune with the Coppertone Sport Face Sunscreen and Spray Pack. Both are mineral sunscreens that offer excellent water and sweat resistance for up to 80 minutes and dries light without the sticky feeling. The spray works at any angle and comes with SPF 30, while the lotion format has SPF 50, giving you optimal protection daily. Both also come with Vitamin E to keep your skin supple and moisturized.

Why we love it:
– Provides protection against both UVA and UVB rays
– Rubs into your skin fast and does not sting your eyes
– Features a non-comedogenic formulation so that it won't clog your pores

EltaMD Clear Facial Sunscreen

Best for Acne-Prone

The EltaMD Clear Facial Sunscreen is a clear physical sunscreen that offers SPF 46 protection and helps calm acne-prone skin. It's also infused with niacinamide to help lighten hyperpigmentation and dark spots, while hyaluronic acid helps in keeping your skin hydrated under the sun. Plus, worry not if you have sensitive skin, as this sunscreen is free from irritating fragrances, oils, and parabens.

Why we love it:
– Dries clear so you can wear it underneath makeup without worrying about white cast
– Offers broad-spectrum coverage perfect for daily use
– Comes in an airless pump bottle for easy dispensing of product

Neutrogena Age Shield Face Lotion Sunscreen

Best Anti-Aging

Having a broad spectrum of up to SPF 110, the Neutrogena Age Shield Face Lotion Sunscreen protects your skin from sun-induced free radical damage to prevent the signs of aging. Made from the unique sunscreen technology Helioplex to deliver UVA and UVB protection, it shields up to six layers deep into your skin to give you a radiant glow. It's also oil and paraben-free, leaving a non-greasy texture that won't clog your pores.

Why we love it:
– Dermatologically tested so you can be assured of its quality and safety
– Won't leave a white cast due to it being a chemical sunscreen
– Includes skin conditioners to revive dull and dry skin

CeraVe Tinted Face Sunscreen

Best Tinted

The CeraVe Tinted Face Sunscreen features a sheer universal tint that complements all skin tones, giving you a fresh, healthy glow. This mineral filter-based sunscreen reflects both UVA and UVB rays for comprehensive protection and is infused with three types of ceramides to help lock in moisture into your skin. It also has hyaluronic acid and niacinamide to keep your skin feeling hydrated and looking radiant.

Why we love it:
– Can be used as a makeup primer or worn alone
– Tested to be safe for those with allergies and on sensitive skin
– Has a dewy finish, perfect for everyday use

Something to consider:
While it's essentially better to have high SPF ratings in your sunscreen, keep in mind that none of them can still guarantee absolute defense against UV rays. It's still advisable to either lessen your exposure to extreme heat—if you're working outdoors, get some shade every once in a while—to protect your skin.

Having quality sunscreen for face use at home or in your bag is a good measure of protection from skin cancer down the line and premature aging. Making a habit of applying facial sunscreen daily is a great habit to get into, even at a young age. Our top picks for the best face sunscreens don't only offer excellent SPF protection but are also gentle and safe for your whole family.

What's the difference between UVA and UVB rays?

Keeping your skin protected from both rays is essential, but they vary in their impacts on your skin. UVA, for instance, can lead to skin cancer, while UVB causes damage such as wrinkles and skin tanning.

What do the different numbers in SPF mean?

SPF comes in many number variations that determine how strong it can shield you from the sun's UVB rays. Dermatologists recommend getting sunscreens at least SPF 30, which can block at least 97% of said UVB rays. Higher SPF numbers are better, of course, but do note that no matter how high it is, sunscreen still can never guarantee 100% protection.

How much sunscreen should I apply to my face?

Apply generous amounts not only on your face but also on your neck, ears, and your lips (we suggest using lip products that have SPF 30 or higher for this). Make sure you apply 15 minutes before heading out and reapply after two hours or as necessary.

How do chemical and physical sunscreens differ?

Chemical sunscreens absorb sun rays and contain one or two active ingredients, such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate. They don't leave a white cast and work great as a makeup base or primer.

However, physical sunscreens contain zinc oxide and or titanium dioxide and act as a shield from the sun's rays, leaving a white cast. Physical sunscreens are your best pick if you have sensitive skin.

About the Author

To say that Wendy Wilson has an obsession with shoes would be an understatement. She currently rents a two bedroom apartment even though she lives alone, just so she can have enough room to showcase her shoes and the rest of her apparel and beauty collection. She's always trying to stay ahead of the trends and knows all the best makeup brands, shoe companies, beauty blenders, hair tools, and more.

Why You Should Trust Us

Trends make the world go round these days, but that doesn't mean they are all good ones. The team at Blissmark is here to help you sort through the mountains of product options and find only the best when it comes to beauty, clothing, personal care, and more. Some decisions can be made based on looks alone, but for the complex ones where you need to know what the best option is, you can take comfort in knowing the Blissmark team of experts has done the research for you and picked only the best of the best products to showcase.

The products in this guide have been carefully curated by our team of experts and enthusiasts who understand the value and quality needed for the best options.