You’ve heard it before, but sunscreen should be a non-negotiable part of your daily skincare routine. That's because no matter the time of year, your skin is exposed to harmful UV rays (yes, that includes being outside and inside), which can cause painful sunburns and signs of premature aging. Of course, UV rays can also contribute to skin cancer. By now we all know that this is a precaution we should be taking every day, but with so many different types of sunscreen available, it can be hard to narrow down your options.
Let's dive into 22 of the best sunscreen lotions for all different skin types and situations. Whether you have sensitive skin, you need something water-resistant, or you're looking for a quick and easy application, there's something in here for you. These are the best of the best and we asked out experts to weigh in too.
About the Expert(s):
This weightless formula packs a serious punch, offering both hydration and sun protection in one easy step. This chemical sunscreen also features squalane and niacinamide, so you’ll be on your way to soft and balanced skin while helping to keep those damaging UV rays at bay.
Nourish and help protect your skin with this nourishing sunscreen. It uses invisible SPF 30 to help shield your complexion from UV rays, while hyaluronic acid, aloe, and niacinamide help fade dark spots, smooth pores, and defend against pollution.
If you love a matte finish, SUPERGOOP! Mattescreen is a product you should get to know. It offers SPF 40 protection and leaves a velvety matte finish on the skin. It’s lightweight, doesn’t pill, and pairs well under makeup.
Love a lightweight formula? So do we. This SPF serum from EVERYDAY HUMANS is like a glass of water for your skin with all the hyaluronic acid that’s packed into it. The best part is it’s the ideal texture for use under makeup, keeping everything smooth and primed.
We don’t want to hear your excuses about reapplying sunscreen. This product from BRUSH ON BLOCK makes reapplication on a bare face or over makeup a breeze. The product is refillable and you can take the brush head off to clean with your favorite makeup brush cleanser.
Don’t sleep on drugstore sunscreen buys! This zinc oxide formula is a must have in your sunscreen collection. It’s easy to spread (most zinc formulas lay it on thick!) and keeps you protected both in the water and out.
If you’re all about the no-makeup-makeup look like we are, this is the ultimate beauty essential. It’s the last step in your skincare routine but the first step in your makeup routine. You can have the perfect sun kissed skin all year round thanks to this SPF moisturizer from JOSIE MARAN. It also has a little shimmer to it!
Not all lip oils are created equal, and they definitely don’t all contain SPF. This lip oil from Australian sunscreen brand NAKED SUNDAYS delivers the perfect pop of color and SPF 50 for a healthy looking, sun protected, and hydrated pout.
This incredibly lightweight sunscreen contains a broad spectrum SPF 50 and 20 plant extracts (like aloe, arnica, and damask rose) to help keep your skin hydrated, calm, and, most importantly, protected from the sun. We especially love it for its zero percent sticky and totally weightless formula—which means it looks great alone or under makeup.
If you have a darker skin tone and often struggle with sunscreen formulas leaving a white cast on your skin, here is a totally invisible alternative. This clean chemical sunscreen is weightless, paraben-free, fragrance-free, and totally invisible when applied to the skin. Bonus: it works great as an SPF-packed makeup primer, making it perfect for a.m. application.
Dermatologists far and wide are huge fans of ELTAMD as a SPF brand. If you have oily skin, this formula doesn’t feel heavy and goes on sheer. We’ve tested this SPF in so many different settings, from the beach to skiing the slopes. It keeps oily at bay and it doesn’t make your sebum production kick into overdrive.
We get it, breakouts are tough. The thought of putting on just one more layer of product that could potentially aggravate your breakouts and clog your pores is daunting. Luckily, there’s plenty of great SPF options that care and heal your acne while also making sure your skin is protected from the sun. This product from ZITSTICKA feels as light and as hydrating as a serum.
If you’re in a hurry and are looking for something with just a touch of coverage (a little less than BB cream), a tinted sunscreen can be a lifesaver. With a subtle tint, it smooths and lightly evens out the skin while also shielding it from the sun. We love this tinted option from LA ROCHE-POSAY's Anthelios line because it’s formulated with brand's exclusive Cell-Ox Shield® technology: broad-spectrum protection from UVB and UVA rays, plus antioxidants to thoroughly protect skin from free radicals and premature signs of aging.
“I always recommend broad-spectrum sunscreens that are SPF 30 or higher and mineral (also known as physical) sunscreens meaning they use zinc or titanium and reflect light off the skin rather than absorbing UV rays into the skin,” says Dr. Caren Campbell.
Not sure where to start with your sunscreen collection? This hydration-focused drugstore buy is a great go-to for just about everyone—sensitive skin included. It features SPF 50, it's a 100% mineral formula (meaning it protects with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide), and it even includes three essential ceramides to lock in moisture and prevent dry skin. It's even been given the Skin Cancer Foundation Daily Use Seal of Approval.
While most sunscreens struggle to stand up to heat, sweat, and water, this innovative formula is actually strengthened by these variables. Made with SHISEIDO's WetForce Technology and HeatForce Technology, you can trust this body-facial sunscreen hybrid to stay put even on your most active days in the sun.
Sometimes, you just can't beat the convenience of spray sunscreen. However, some spray formulas do include questionable ingredients, so make sure you pay attention to the label. This particular formula offers water-resistant, 100 percent mineral broad-spectrum protection. It quickly absorbs for a sheer, matte finish that leaves skin hydrated, protected, and healthy.
When using a spray sunscreen, Dr. Akhavan has a couple of things he recommends keeping in mind: "I recommend only spraying these products when outdoors and keeping any mist as far away from the face and neck as possible," he says. Keeping spray products at a safe distance will help prevent any accidental inhalation of chemicals that can potentially be harmful to the lining of the lungs."
This is THE SPF. Seriously. Superbeam is a 100% mineral formula that goes the extra mile to care for skin with ingredients like niacinamide and banana leaf extract. It uses pearl and apricot extracts to leave behind a pearlescent finish. Not to mention it’s lightweight finish and convenient pump packaging.
Stick sunscreens are a beach bag MUST. Our editors never take a day trip to soak up the rays without one. This SPF 40 stick from MDSOLARSCIENCES is definitely the best in terms of protection and application. “I love the elegant texture of mineral sunscreens that you actually want to wear. I think this stick is a must for all moms applying sunscreen on children and for everyone wanting to reapply during the day,” says Sydney Givens, PA-C.
If you want sun protection, but hate the greasy feel of sunscreen and the classic "sunscreen scent," try this lotion. It still offers strong UV protection but comes infused with additional skincare ingredients like green tea, cucumber, and jojoba oil. Green tea leaves fight free radicals, cucumber soothes, and jojoba seed oil hydrates–all without leaving any greasy residue behind.
Ipster tressame says this has become an everyday product for her since receiving it in a Glam Bag. She writes, "It blends into the skin wonderfully without leaving residue, there's no lingering smell, and it feels good on!"
Whether you're spending a day in the sun or not, applying sunscreen to the face is a daily must. This lightweight formula is ideal for those weekday mornings when you need a fast-absorbing moisturizer that you can layer under makeup. It's packed with nourishing vitamin E, revitalizing white tea, and antioxidant-rich algae extract.
"This was non-greasy, it instantly absorbed, and it felt really lightweight," writes Ipster Sylk0781. "My face felt really hydrated and soft, plus I love the added SPF. Perfect moisturizer for the summer months!"
Here's another star formula that you can use on your face. This physical sunscreen uses the minerals titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to create broad-spectrum protection, meaning it protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
"UVA and UVB rays can both damage the DNA in skin cells and are both therefore responsible for causing skin cancer as well as signs of premature aging," says Dr. Akhavan. "Mineral-based sunscreens that contain either zinc oxide or a combination of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide work best to protect against the full UV spectrum."
This mineral sunscreen is also mixed with antioxidant-rich black chokeberry extract and marigold extract, both of which team up to create a strong blockade against free radicals.
Does your hair tend to feel dry and brittle after prolonged sun exposure? That could be because you haven't been protecting it against the sun. Yes, your hair is susceptible to sun damage, too. This formula blends strong sun protectors avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, and octocrylene with nourishing haircare ingredients like algae extract and bergamot oil. Spritz a little of this protective spray into dry hair before prolonged sun exposure. The non-greasy formula won't weigh the hair down and is even water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.
Want to try all the latest and greatest in SPF skincare? Take our Beauty Quiz now to get started. Already an Ipster? Refer your friends to earn points, which you can use toward products. Either way, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and Twitter @IPSY.
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