Sunscreen is everything when it comes to basic skincare. There are so many reasons to use it, but of course the most important reasons are to protect against sunburn and skin cancer. Sunscreen is also helpful to prevent the premature aging of the skin, and can also prevent hyperpigmentation from worsening. Basically, you should wear sunscreen every day -- whether you're spending a full day outside or not. However, we know some every sunscreen isn't for everyone, which is why we curated a list of the best sunscreen options that work for different needs. We rounded up sunscreens that are great for sensitive skin, function as moisturizers, are great for wearing under makeup, and considered the needs of melanated skin (white casts on your face aren't fun!). We even made sure to include a sunscreen that's water-resistant, because it's finally pool weather.
When shopping for a sunscreen, consider your daily activities. For days when you're spending the majority of the day inside, consider SPF 15. For sunny afternoons spent outdoors camping, running, or even at a festival, SPF 30 or higher is a must. SPF 40 and SPF 50 sunscreens are always options, but SPF 30 will do! Just be sure to apply it 30 minutes before going outdoors and to be vigilant with reapplication. Face sunscreen is typically safe for all skin types, but be sure to consult with a dermatologist if you have skin prone to chemical reactions. However, you can always go chemical-free and try a mineral sunscreen, which lays on top of the skin to deflect UV rays. Check out our favorite sunscreens below:
1. Our Top Pick
You may know this brand from TikTok, but this EltaMD facial sunscreen is also a dermatologist favorite. The SPF 46 sunscreen is recommended for sensitive skin types, so if you have acne, rosacea, or discoloration, give this sunscreen a try. It is a bit pricey (compared to good ol' Coppertone), but when it comes to quality skincare, this is absolutely worth the price. First, you're getting a sunscreen formulated for your face -- which means you won't break out or irritate your eyes or other sensitive areas. Another reason this is our top pick? The zinc oxide sunscreen is oil-free and clear, leaving you without a white cast. This sunscreen has been recommended for dark skin because it applies without leaving a white cast behind, so if you're like me and cannot stand a cloudy face, you'll love this for everyday use. It's fragrance- and paraben-free, so no clogged pores, either.
2. The Best Tinted Sunscreen
We all know that most sunscreens do not advertise a "healthy glow," but La Roche-Posay can -- because that's exactly what you get when you wear it. This tinted sunscreen has a light wash of color that won't leave a white cast and gives off a sun-kissed glow without the UV rays. Besides helping you look radiant, this oil-free sunscreen provides UVA/UVB filters to deliver an SPF of 50. It's dermatologist- and allergy- tested, paraben-free, and great for sensitive skin. If you'd like to try their non-tinted sunscreen, get it here. The sunscreen has over 10,000 positive ratings, including a rave review that one bottle lasts a long time. Ditch the foundation this summer, it's too hot: Some tinted sunscreen and a little concealer creates a lightweight, effortless summer makeup look. That's what you'll get with this skin-friendly, powerful sunscreen.
We want to note that the shade range on this sunscreen is limited, so if you're looking for a wider array or don't think it will match your skin tone, check out our other favorite from Supergoop here. This mineral-based sunscreen is also SPF 50, formulated with clean ingredients, and comes in 15 shades.
3. The Best Moisturizing Sunscreen for Everyday Wear
This is my everyday sunscreen because it works as a moisturizer and doesn't leave a white cast on my dark skin. Aveeno is a trusted, quality brand of skincare, not just sunscreen -- and this is a great option for when I'm just getting out the house to run a few errands makeup-free. The sunscreen is oil-free, and I love it because it penetrates my skin well and doesn't interfere with my makeup. The non-comedogenic sunscreen makes my skin feel super hydrated, even after a hot shower! Aveeno says their sunscreen is clinically proven to even skin tone and texture in four weeks. It's formulated with soy proteins to fight early signs of aging and to reduce the look of dark spots. Just be sure to use it everyday for results!
4. Our Favorite Water-Resistant Sunscreen
Here's a great sunscreen for hot afternoons spent swimming, hiking, or running. It has a SPF 70 rating and is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes in the water. SPF 70 is great for intense days outside, so consider this sunscreen if you spend long hours outdoors, especially in the water. It's a chemical sunscreen, and it absorbs into the skin and doesn't leave a white cast. It's PABA-free and non-comedogenic, meaning this sunscreen is great for sensitive skin and won't clog your pores. If you're already using Neutrogena products, consider adding this to your skincare lineup.
5. Our Choice For Reef-Safe Sunscreen
Men need skincare products, too, and men's skincare brand Every Man Jack has fantastic, hair, skin, body, and beard care products. Amongst their skincare lineup is this sunscreen, which is a great pick for anyone who doesn't want a fragranced sunscreen. The SPF 50 sunscreen is made with aloe vera, shea butter, and vitamin E and is free of parabens, phthalates, dyes, and oxybenzone. The sunscreen is never tested on animals and is ocean- and reef-safe as well. This is definitely a great sunscreen for those looking for environmental-friendly skincare products. It is a made in the USA sunscreen, so support this San Francisco-born company and protect your skin in the process.
6. A Sunscreen Made for Babies
Parents may be reluctant to put just any sunscreen on their babies, but Thinkbaby provides parents with an SPF 50 option that offers gentle and effective defense against UV rays. Thinkbaby created a vegan formula that is free of PABA, parabens, phthalates, BPA, oxybenzone, avobenzone, petroleum, gluten, and dairy -- basically anything that may irritate your baby's sensitive skin. Apply the sun cream to your baby's skin before heading outdoors, and be sure to reapply every 80 minutes after playing in the water. Your baby can now enjoy the sun with a fragrance-free sunscreen that's safe for them and the environment -- because the made-in-the-USA sunscreen is also reef-safe.
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