Best Facial Sunscreens

John Kopischke
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I spend a lot of time outside in the summertime.

I run, I garden, I swim.

I like to be outside as much as I can.

But that doesn’t mean I want to deal with sun burned skin!

So I try and take precautions to protect my skin from that brilliant yellow sun that is always shining brightly.

In the wintertime — when days are shorter and the trees are bare — I don’t use many sunscreens. In the summertime, I use a lot of sunscreen.

But I don’t like to use spray on sunscreens. My skin is ridiculously sensitive, and sunscreen spray makes all my body parts super itchy.

Instead, I opt for some other types of sunscreen.

NameCategoryProduct
EltaMD UV Shield Full-Body Sunscreen Broad-SpectrumBest OverallEltaMD UV Shield Full-Body Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum
Amazon BrandBudget PickAmazon Brand
Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free UV ProtectorUpgrade PickShiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector

1. EltaMD UV Shield Full-Body Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum

Our rating: 9 / 10

EltaMD UV Shield Full-Body Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum

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The EltaMD UV Shield Sunscreen SPF 37 contains an exclusive port system that delivers sunscreen directly to your skin, keeping you protected from harmful UV rays all day long. Even though dermatologists recommend you re-apply sunscreen every 2 hours, this one-and-done product will last for a full day at the beach or pool so you can spend more time relaxing in the sun than fussing with sunscreen. You can also rest assured knowing that this sunscreen protects from both UVA and UVB rays, is water-resistant for 80 minutes, and is PABA free and fragrance free.

EltaMD’s UV Shield comes in a 3.3 oz tube that’s available in SPF 30 or SPF 37 and can be conveniently purchased at Target, Sephora, Ulta, and other locations throughout the country.

2. Sun Bum Original SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion

Our rating: 9 / 10

Sun Bum Original SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion

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Pros:

  • Gets the job done
  • Can be used daily
  • Safe for everyday wear
  • Natural ingredients – no harmful chemicals
  • Great quality and price
  • Easily absorbed
  • No greasy feel
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Doesn’t leave a white cast
  • No obnoxious smell

Cons:

  • Rubs in, but does seem to clog the pores
  • The tube does feel flimsy
  • Despite being a daily sunscreen, you still have to reapply it to make sure you don’t run into any issues with the sun’s rays
  • Use only the recommended amount. If you think you need more, it is better off you just simply go with the higher SPF.

Tube

3. COOLA Mineral Face Matte Tint Sunscreen

Our rating: 9 / 10

COOLA Mineral Face Matte Tint Sunscreen

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Pros:

  • Minimalist, natural formula
  • Unscented and vegan
  • Can be worn under makeup

Cons:

  • Only offers SPF 30
  • Can’t be worn on top of makeup
  • Not available in travel sizes

By using only ten ingredients and excluding the chemical absorbers, COOLA’s Reef Safe Mineral Face Matte Tint adheres directly to the skin without excessive residue or feeling like a film on your face.

This sunscreen wears well under makeup with one exception: It is a little harder to apply makeup over a sunscreen than to apply sunscreen over your makeup.

If you’re looking for a minimalist, natural sunscreen that doesn’t cake or leave a heavy residue, your search is over.

4. Columbia Unisex Adult Bora Bora Booney

Our rating: 9 / 10

Columbia Unisex Adult Bora Bora Booney

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Pros:

  • Wind resistant
  • Cooling headband that helps your head stay cool
  • Adjustable chin strap
  • Looks stylish

Cons:

  • Not waterproof
  • If it’s windy outside, the hat may blow off your head and into the water

This Bora booney II hat from Columbia is one of the most lightweight hats on the market. It’s designed to protect your head and face from the sun and keep you cool at the same time. The light nylon material feels really soft on the skin and it’s wind resistant.

The highlight of the hat is the adjustable chin strap. The adjustable chin strap will keep the hat on your head whatever the weather. The hat comes with a lightweight band that sits between the two front panels to keep it in place. It’s not necessary but it is effective.

There are 2 reasons not to like the Columbia Unisex Adult Bora Bora Booney II Pro Sun Hat. One, it’s not waterproof. Two, if it’s windy outside, the hat may blow off your head and into the water.

5. Sun Bum Original SPF 50 Sunscreen Face Lotion

Our rating: 8 / 10

Sun Bum Original SPF 50 Sunscreen Face Lotion

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I use this sunscreen every day. With this company, you can buy small or large sizes.

Results in clear, radiant skin. Helps to control brown spots, fine lines and wrinkles for a healthier, better looking skin.

Staying power for at least two hours! Long lasting UVA/UVB sun protection. Unscented so there’s no nose burning. Provides an even sunscreen without oily or greasy residue.

6. Vapor Apparel Men’s UPF 50+ UV Sun Protection Long Sleeve Performance T-Shirt

Our rating: 8 / 10

Vapor Apparel Men’s UPF 50+ UV Sun Protection Long Sleeve Performance T-Shirt

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Pros:

  • Long Sleeve
  • UPF 50+ Wrinkle Resistant

If you’re looking for a top facial sunscreen, then this long-sleeved shirt by Vapor Apparel is exactly what you need.

It’s made from a DWR-treated fabric that is water repellent, durable, and resistant to wrinkles and abrasion. Spandex is blended into this shirt to provide just enough stretch to allow you to get full function of your arms while wearing it. You’ll find UPF 50+ in the fabric throughout the shirt.

This t-shirt doesn’t fall short on your comfort, either. It’s made from an extra soft, breathable fabric and is both quick-drying and anti-odor. For all these features, you can expect to see this shirt in most…if not all… of your outdoor clothing collections.

7. TIZO 3 Mineral Sunscreen

Our rating: 8 / 10

TIZO 3 Mineral Sunscreen

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Pros:

  • Cruelty-free
  • Gluten-free
  • GMO-free
  • Never tested on animals
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Made in small batches in the USA
  • Topical and not ingested

Nourishing Facial Sunscreen/Facial Sunblock for Men Women-Tito's Handmade Skin Care-Cruelty Free-Gluten Free-GMO Free-Never Tested on Animals-Blended in Small Batches.

8. Neutrogena Age Shield Face Lotion Sunscreen

Our rating: 8 / 10

Neutrogena Age Shield Face Lotion Sunscreen

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Pros:

  • SPF 110
  • Affordable
  • No breakouts
  • Lightweight, sheer formula

Cons:

  • Absorbs quickly
  • A bit on the greasy side
  • Doesn’t provide complete coverage

Spending the day outside is fun in the sun, but exposure to sunlight can cause skin cancer and prematurely age your face. Protect yourself from these dangers by choosing one of the best facial sunscreens for your skin type.

The best facial sunscreens for oily skin absorb into your skin, preventing shine without clogging your pores. The best facial sunscreens for sensitive skin use mineral blockers that are gentle and reduce reactions while providing all-day or all-night protection, depending on the product.

The best facial sunscreens for oily skin and large pores aim to reduce shine while preventing skin cancer and UVA/UVB exposure. These products remove dirt, oil and makeup without clogging pores. The best facial sunscreens for sensitive skin and dry skin are gentle enough to use on any skin type and prevent aging.

9. EltaMD UV Daily Facial Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 40

Our rating: 8 / 10

EltaMD UV Daily Facial Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 40

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Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Good for combination skin
  • Fragrance-free
  • Won’t clog pores

This facial sunscreen isn’t fragranced and will not irritate sensitive skin. It contains no alcohol. This sunscreen is also great for oily and combination skin as it is lightweight enough to absorb quickly for those who have oily skin.

This sunscreen is best for people who have normal skin as it is not very moisturizing for those with dry skin. It can also be greasy depending on the temperature and the humidity.

10. Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector

Our rating: 8 / 10

Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector

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Pros:

  • Very Absorbent
  • Non-Greasy
  • Right Price

The Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector For Face Packets are the top choice of facial sunscreens in Japan. I'll tell you why.

Shiseido have been making high-end skincare products in Japan for 150 years, a history that gives them great expertise in skincare.

It's also the main reason why Shiseido is the bestselling brand of makeup in Japan.

11. La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Anti-Aging Primer

Our rating: 8 / 10

La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Anti-Aging Primer

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Pros:

  • Good sun protection
  • Received the highest score from Labrotests

When you want the best facial sunscreens, there is no better choice than this amazing product from La Roche-Posay.

This product is a top-rated anti-aging product for the face that can be used daily.

It’s actually an anti-aging SPF 30 sun screen that protects your face from UV rays, keeping your skin smooth, hydrated and protected from the elements.

12. Vapor Apparel Women’s UPF 50+ UV Sun Protection Long Sleeve Performance Slim Fit T-Shirt

Our rating: 8 / 10

Vapor Apparel Women’s UPF 50+ UV Sun Protection Long Sleeve Performance Slim Fit T-Shirt

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This athletic performance shirt is one of my top new picks for the best outdoor t-shirts. It features UPF 50+ protection that blocks 97.5% of harmful UV rays from the sun.

The Vapor Apparel shirt wicks moisture away from your skin to help you maintain a cool temperature, plus the bamboo rayon fabric is super soft and has a breathable and anti-static construction that prevents the accumulation of dirt and odour.

This performance shirt is designed to be slim fit, so if you prefer a looser fit, you might want to check out the larger sizes.

13. Amazon Brand

Our rating: 8 / 10

Amazon Brand

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Pros:

  • Sunscreen that isn’t too greasy
  • Good for sensitive skin

Cons:

  • A little expensive for the size
  • Needs to be rubbed in a bit

Overall, it’s an excellent product that’s well worth the price if you want an alternative to sunscreen in a spray can.

Too many spray sunscreens are made with lots of unnatural ingredients. This sunscreen is made with hypoallergenic aloe and vitamin E and is dermatologist tested.

The Amazon Solimo Sheer Face sunscreen is easy to apply and doesn’t make your face runny. It has a nice, non-greasy feeling and doesn’t leave your face with a white mask or orange after residue.

14. Avene Mineral Ultra-Light Hydrating Sunscreen SPF 50 Plus Face Lotion

Our rating: 5 / 10

Avene Mineral Ultra-Light Hydrating Sunscreen SPF 50 Plus Face Lotion

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Pros:

  • Hydrating
  • Lightweight
  • Natural-looking
  • Doesn’t irritate
  • Highly rated

Cons:

  • Not as long-lasting as some
  • Relatively high price

If you’re looking to prevent wrinkles, dark spots, and other signs of aging, this face sunscreen from Avene is a great option.

It’s lightweight, hydrating, and absorbs quickly without feeling greasy or leaving a white cast. It’s highly rated and comes in at a great price.

We love that it doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals, and contains instead a multitude of fantastic ingredients derived from nature.

Conclusion

Sunscreen is an important part of our daily routine, both when we visit the beach and when we are just out around the city. It’s even more important for people with skin that is susceptible to being burned. This list of the best sunscreens of 2016 has been put together to guide you in choosing the right sunscreen for you.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
EltaMD UV Shield Full-Body Sunscreen Broad-SpectrumBest OverallEltaMD UV Shield Full-Body Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum
Amazon BrandBudget PickAmazon Brand
Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free UV ProtectorUpgrade PickShiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free UV Protector