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California
moderate rain
27.5 ° C
29.5 °
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84 %
1.5kmh
100 %
Sat
30 °
Sun
35 °
Mon
37 °
Tue
36 °
Wed
36 °
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The Best Facial Sunscreens That Won’t Break You Out, Tested and Reviewed


By now, most of us know: protecting ourselves from getting too much sun is the best thing we can do to keep our skin youthful and healthy. We wear our sun hats on the reg, keep our eyes safe with our favorite shades, and of course, slather on the best sunscreens for face that help us keep our glow without compromising our skin. Not only does sunscreen protect against premature signs of aging, but it helps us proactively stay ahead of concerns such as skin cancer.

The drawback is that most sunscreens are loaded with ingredients that aren’t exactly safe. The FDA released a statement claiming that only two of the sixteen common active ingredients in sunscreen—zinc oxide and titanium dioxide—were “generally recognized as safe and effective.” Most sunscreens use oxybenzone, a hormone-disrupting chemical that comes with links to skin cancer, breast cancer, eczema, allergic reactions, and more. Traditional sunscreens have also been linked to causing damage to the ocean’s coral reefs. Not pretty stuff.

Featured image by Michelle Nash.

Image by Michelle Nash

The Best Facial Sunscreens

Thankfully, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide do an excellent job of protecting our sensitive skin from the sun’s rays. Gone are the days when a swipe of mineral sunscreen leaves your face with clogged pores and a ghostly white cast for the rest of the day. To help you sift through the noise and make sense of the best sunscreens for face, we rounded up our favorites. I’ll give you a teaser: they blend seamlessly into the skin and—bonus!—won’t break you out.

Below, we’re breaking down the best of the best facial sunscreens. From optimal choices for acne-prone skin to those that stay on all throughout any intense outdoor activity, these are the best of the best. Scroll through and find your new favorite—we guarantee it’s waiting.

Every product is curated with care by our editors and we’ll always give an honest opinion, whether gifted or purchased ourselves. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a small commission at no cost to you.

It should come as no surprise that the cult-favorite sun protection brand would sit at the top of our list of the best facial sunscreens. When it comes to sunscreens, Supergoop! perfects the balance between protection and helping you maintain that summer, sun-kissed glow. The brand’s Mineral Mattescreen leaves skin poreless without any clogging, offering a matte-like finish (hence the name) that lets you skip the foundation—ideal for summer. I consider this an everyday fave, as the formulation’s bamboo extract offers antioxidant properties that protects skin from free radical damage. It’s a solid, daily option that keeps shine and oil at bay while giving your skin a natural, sun-kissed summer look.

  • SPF Level: 40
  • Chemical or Mineral: Mineral
  • Size: 1.5 fl oz

If you still think that sunscreen is meant only to protect the skin, it’s time you discovered Sonny. Not only does the formula keep skin protected against UVA/UVB rays, but upon first application (and each thereafter), you’ll discover the immediate cosmetic boost. Not only did a single pump leave my face glossy and glowing, but I noticed that my skin stayed hydrated even several hours later. And though you may balk at the price, it’s more than merited. Truly—while I love the matte look the Supergoop pick yields, Sonny both evens out texture and skin tone while also giving me suncare peace of mind.

It’s skinimalism at its finest. Pair with the Screencream Moisturzier and Poreboy Pore Minimizer for best results.

  • SPF Level: 40
  • Chemical or Mineral: Mineral
  • Size: 1.0 fl oz

I keep this sunscreen, Sonny, and the Supergoop pick all in my regular rotation. While I love the glowy skin look, all options are my go-to’s for taming my naturally oily skin. Though I’d opt for something with more protection for a beach day, I find that any sunscreen with SPF 30 is a solid pick for protecting my skin during my day-to-day. What’s more, given this sunscreen’s matte finish, I can feel confident in my shine-free complexion.

I like to apply a generous amount to my face and neck as the final step in my skincare routine. For best results, reapply every two hours if you’re out in the sun and want to keep that matte look going strong.

  • SPF Level: 30
  • Chemical or Mineral: Mineral
  • Size: 1.7 fl oz

There’s nothing not to love about the entire Summer Fridays skincare and makeup lines (and the brand’s best-selling candle, for that matter). Every product takes on beauty with a multi-pronged approach. Meaning, the famed Lip Butter Balm hydrates and adds shine with every swipe; the Jet Lag Mask (that started it all) works as both a mask and moisturizer; and of course, the ShadeDrops sunscreen provides SPF 30 broad spectrum protection for every skin tone. It’s both lightweight and fast-absorbing, making it a good go-to for everyday wear. For those wary of white cast, have no fear—it’s natural finish is unmatched.

  • SPF Level: 30
  • Chemical or Mineral: Mineral
  • Size: 1.7 fl oz

Live Tinted is a brand to trust—and obsess over. The Hueglow Bronzing Drops illuminate my skin all throughout the year (because I apply and reapply without fail every morning, every day). And the Rays Copper Eye Masks rejuvenate delicate under-eye skin with their hydrating superpowers. So of course, when the Hueguard SPF Moisturizer + Primer came across my desk, I was instantly intrigued. And upon the first application, I was convinced: this is one of the best sunscreens for the face. Not only does it blend beautifully into the skin (for every skin tone, i.e. no dreaded white cast), but it keeps skin protected from the sun and blue light. So, while we all have many concerns related to screen time, the impact to your skin doesn’t have to be one of them.

  • SPF Level: 30
  • Chemical or Mineral: Mineral
  • Size: 1.7 fl oz

It’s hard to find fault with anything Drunk Elephant puts out—particularly this sunscreen. It keeps skin protected against both UVA and UVB light and boasts powerhouse antioxidants to keep skin protected from free radicals and oxidative damage. But what I love most about the best sunscreens for face is that they double as both a wellness and beauty product—helping us keep our glow while staying protected. With a hint of tint, this mineral sunscreen keeps skin gorgeous and glowing, all day long.

  • SPF Level: 30
  • Chemical or Mineral: Mineral
  • Size: 2 fl oz

The more, the merrier—while this sunscreen boasts an SPF level of 50, the consistency is anything but heavy. The sheer formula offers an organic, antioxidant-rich formula that guarantees protection from every angle. And it checks all the boxes—COOLA’s mineral matte sunscreen is dermatologist-tested (a huge plus in my book), non-greasy, and holds up to hours in the sun or in the water. While it’s advised to reapply every couple of hours, I’ve found that—given the SPF level and formulation—this lotion keeps my face protected longer than most.

  • SPF Level: 50
  • Chemical or Mineral: Mineral
  • Size: 1.7 fl oz

IYKYK—keeping your skin barrier protected is top of mind for all holistic beauty lovers. Thankfully, we’ve come to a place in the beauty industry where we understand that topical products aren’t the only solution. The result? Beauty-from-within formulations like Covey’s moisturizing sunscreen that nourishes skin from the inside out. It’s anti-aging, hydrating, and applies beautifully for all skin tones. While there are plenty of options on this list that make the most of buzzy skincare ingredients, Covey’s sunscreen does the most. Squalane offers lightweight hydration (re. moisturizing without a gloppy feel), while non-nano zinc oxide protects skin from dark spots and premature aging. Sun-safe, skincare perfection? It might just be.

  • SPF Level: 50
  • Chemical or Mineral: Mineral
  • Size: 1.5 fl oz

Wander Beauty can do no wrong. From the hard-working eye cream to the brand’s powder foundation, there’s no end to our obsession. And now: a protective and lightweight sunscreen that keeps your glow going strong. The sheer, lightweight SPF glides on easily without any sticky or heavy residue. The resulting look is high-shine and luminous—your skin, just glowier.

  • SPF Level: 40
  • Chemical or Mineral: Mineral
  • Size: 1.5 fl oz

I first discovered this clean beauty brand through my (much-loved, frequently re-purchased) bottle of Slip Tint. The tinted moisturizer was the perfect foundation for my preferred dewy look. So when I found a four-in-one sunscreen (serum, moisturizer, face oil, and SPF), I knew it would be an immediate yes. To confirm: Sunvisor delivers on every level. It hydrates and soothes skin with hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, and everyone’s suncare favorite, aloe vera. Blended with vitamin C’s brightening benefits, this is a beauty-boosting, protective powerhouse.

  • SPF Level: 35
  • Size: 1.5 fl oz

Emma Lewisham is the under-the-radar skincare brand that everyone needs to know about, stat. Not only is the entire beauty and skincare line effective but the B Corp brand is committed to sustainability from every angle. It offers carbon-neutral shipping and is led by its mission to “lead a movement towards circular, climate positive and transparent beauty.” There’s no thrown-away empties—all products can be returned and refilled, encouraging regenerative, sustainable consumption of beauty products.

And while I could write pages about Emma Lewisham’s admirable business practices (as well as the brand’s brilliant Skin Academy, which offers a treasure trove of beauty info), Skin Shield deserves all the spotlight it can get. Hydrating hyaluronic acid blends with soothing plant extracts for a daily cream that doubles as a protective layer. As with all of the brand’s products, Skin Shield’s formulation is the result of thoughtful scientific engineering, featuring carefully researched and clinically tested ingredients that work in harmony for your best-ever skin. And though I had to give this the dry skin seal of approval thanks to its ultra-moisturizing capabilities, it also wins the award for best packaging. The colors look gorgeous in my medicine cabinet and I love that the push-applicator dispenses exactly the right amount of product, every time. Not a single drop of this skin elixir is wasted.

  • SPF Level: 30
  • Size: 50 ml

This post was originally published on May 9, 2019, and has since been updated.



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