When you’re heading to the beach, the pool, a sporting event or another activity where you know we’re going to be in the sun a while, it’s important to always pack sunscreen. But you might not often think about the other times you’re exposed to the sun throughout the day like driving in your car, or maybe when you go for a quick walk around the neighborhood. Or we’re enjoying dinner outside at a restaurant. Do you always remember sunscreen during those times? The ten-minute sun exposure here and the five-minute sun exposure there can add up to a lot of sun damage to our skin if we’re not careful. That’s why wearing sunscreen daily is so important, even throughout the colder seasons of the year. It’s not just about preventing sunburn, but also avoiding premature skin aging, reducing the look of dark spots, boosting skin brightness and improving texture. So today, I’m sharing some of the best daily sunscreens for your face.
Best Daily Sunscreens for Your Face
There are a lot of foundations that contain sunscreen, which is amazing for that added protection. But it’s best to wear a facial sunscreen specifically made for our face on a daily basis. I like to do my morning skin care routine, and then end with putting my facial sunscreen on as my last step before putting on my makeup.
There are many different face sunscreens to choose from in the beauty industry. When you’re choosing a sunscreen, you want to consider your skin tone and skin type. Do you have oily skin? If so, you’ll most likely want to choose a sunscreen that’s more mattifying. Do you have dry skin? If so, you’ll want to choose a sunscreen that has moisturizing and hydrating ingredients. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, it’s best to use a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher, but using a broad spectrum SPF 50 is better. They also recommend applying your sunscreen to your face and body 15 minutes before sun exposure and reapply at least every two hours or the recommended amount of time on the sunscreen bottle. It’s also best to reapply after toweling off from swimming or sweating.
There are two different types of sunscreens on the market – chemical sunscreens and mineral sunscreens. Both are effective at protecting your skin from the sun, but how they protect your skin differs. Chemical sunscreens are the most widely sold sunscreens throughout the U.S. This type of sunscreen uses chemical ingredients like oxybenzone to absorb the sun’s harmful rays before they can penetrate your skin. The benefits to chemical sunscreen are that it generally absorbs quickly into the skin and doesn’t leave a white cast, making it ideal for those with darker skin tones. However, they aren’t great for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin as some of the chemicals can be harsh.
Mineral sunscreen with ingredients like zinc oxide physically block the sun’s harmful rays. That’s why mineral sunscreen is sometimes referred to as physical sunscreen as well. Mineral sunscreen is gentler than chemical sunscreens and ideal for those with more sensitive skin. However, mineral sunscreens can sometimes leave a white cast on your skin. Mineral sunscreen is also better for the environment as some chemical sunscreens ingredients like octocrylene, octinoxate and oxybenzone have been known to have negative effects on marine life.
Your sunscreen should protect you from both UVA and UVB rays, which is called broad spectrum. UVA rays are a little less intense, but can penetrate deeper into the skin. UVB rays cause damage to the outermost layers of your skin.
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Tula Protect & Glow
This broad spectrum sunscreen has an SPF 30. It contains probiotic extracts, pineapple and papaya that smooths and nourishes your skin throughout the day. Plus it’s formulated without parabens, sulfates, phthalates and other not-so-clean ingredients. It leaves no white cast and gives a slight glow, making it a perfect sunscreen to wear with or without makeup. Protect & Glow was named Best SPF by Health’s 2020 Beauty Awards. It’s $36 for 1.7 ounces.
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Tula Mineral Magic
Mineral Magic sunscreen from Tula is a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 30. The fluid is peach-toned but doesn’t leave a tint on your face. It’s non-comedogenic and non-greasy, and will leave your skin with a soft matte finish. This is a great sunscreen for those with oily or combination skin because it helps to control your sebum throughout the day as you wear it. This is the sunscreen I use currently and I love that it’s a mineral sunscreen that leaves no white cast.
Sun Bum Face Tint
Sun Bum Face Tint has the most amazing texture right out of the bottle. It has a broad spectrum SPF 30 with an ever-so-slight tint to it, and helps even out your skin tone. It almost acts like a primer for foundation. Or if you want to skip makeup, this would be a great option. Once you rub it into your skin, it drys into a velvety, mattifying texture. It’s water resistant for up to 40 minutes too. The price point is great for the quality of this product at just $17.99. This would be a great option for someone with oily or combination skin.
Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen
Supergoop! is an amazing brand to buy sunscreen from because they specialize in it. All their products are reef-safe, cruelty-free and made with clean ingredients. They pledge to never include oxybenzone, octinoxate, parabens and 1600 plus other ingredients into their products. The founder of Supergoop!, Holly Thaggard, actually started the company by making sure schools had SPF pumps on hand for students and staff, and they continue doing so even today. The Unseen Sunscreen has an SPF 40 and feels weightless on the skin. It has a clear, almost primer feel when applied to the skin.
Kinship Self Reflect Probiotic
Kinship Self Reflect Probiotic mineral sunscreen has an SPF 32. The vegan and cruelty-free formula blends easily into the skin and feels sheer and lightweight. It won the Byrdie Eco Beauty Award 2020 for Best SPF and the Cosmopolitan Holy Grail Beauty Award 2020 for Best Face SPF. As a brand, Kinship excludes over 1,3000 plus questionable ingredients from their products.
Elta MD is a broad spectrum SPF 46 sunscreen. It’s fragrance-free, so it’s a great option for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin. It has no white cast and great to wear with or without makeup. It’s formulated with sodium hyaluronate to moisturizer your skin and with lactic acid to keep your pores from clogging. It has over 3,400, five-star reviews on the Derm Store website, with many saying that it’s light and quick to absorb.
Beautycounter’s Countersun Daily Sheer sunscreen is another great clean-ingredient option. It protects against UVA, UVB and HEV blue light rays. Blue light from computers, phones and other electronics can affect your skin too. So it’s nice to know some sunscreens like this one protect your skin from those types of rays too. It doesn’t have a tint to it, and goes on sheer. Countersun contains chicory root extract and squalane, which help lock moisture into your skin. It also contains vitamin E which has antioxidant benefits to keep your skin looking youthful. It’s $42 for 1.7 ounces.
Alba Botanica Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen has a broad spectrum of 30. It’s the best inexpensive option on this list at only $5. But don’t let the inexpensive price fool you because it’s an incredible product. It contains no artificial colors, parabens, phthalates, sulfates and doesn’t do any animal testing. Plus all the ingredients are 100 percent vegetarian. This sensitive mineral sunscreen is fragrance-free and water-resistant. It ‘s a little bit thicker so give it a few minutes to rub into your skin. It’s an affordable sunscreen and available at most drugstores.
La Roche Posay Anthelios
La Roche Posay Anthelios – say that four times fast- has the highest SPF in this list at an SPF 60. The formula is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes and is best for combination skin. It’s free of fragrance, oil, parabens, oxybenzone and octinoxate. It’s light weight and fast absorbing, and acts as a great primer for makeup. They rigorously test their products on all skin types but especially on sensitive skin to develop the most effective products without causing irritation.
Bliss Block Star
This SPF 30 sunscreen has a nice tint to it to color correct any minor blemishes in the face while also protecting your skin from the sun. You can wear it alone or under your foundation. With this product, I don’t think you’ll need as much foundation as you normally do because it’s a color corrector and dries with a beautiful matte finish. So it sets you up with a beautiful canvas for your foundation. It’s a nice lightweight formula and won’t clog your pores. Bliss Star also has a nice blend of blueberry acai and green tea extracts that help defend your skin against free radicals. Plus it contains rosa canina fruit oil that helps control oiliness on the face and the appearance of pores. So this is a great option for oily skin types.
First Aide Tinted Moisturizer
The First Aide Tinted Moisturizer has an SPF 30 that helps blur imperfections on the face. This sunscreen comes in different shades including ivory, cream, light, sand, medium, tan, bronze and deep, making it a great option for different skin tones. It’s made with colloidal oatmeal that helps with skin dryness and irritation. It also contains hyaluronic acid that assists the skin in retaining moisture. It’s made with clean ingredients, no artificial fragrances and it’s cruelty-free. This is a great option for dry and/or sensitive skin. Your skin will look radiant and hydrated with this magic moisturizer in a bottle.
Tarte Sea Set & Protect
Last but certainly not least is the Tarte SEA Set and Protect Sunscreen Powder. A sunscreen powder is a great option to reapply sunscreen throughout the day. When you have your makeup set, you don’t really want to apply more lotion over the top of your existing makeup. So using a sunscreen powder is perfect to give you the sun protection you need without ruining your already-set makeup for the day. This formula is vegan and talc-free with a broad spectrum SPF 30. However, this is not sweat or water-resistant. You can also apply this to your scalp and over the tops of your hands.
Sunscreen is the most important step in a morning skin care routine. It’s especially needed if you’re using products like retinol or different types of acids in your skincare routine because they make your skin extra sensitive to the sun. Another easy way to protect your face from the sun is wearing a straw hat while you’re outside. They’re on-trend and protect your face. Win-win!
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Do you have a favorite facial sunscreen? Let us know in the comments below!