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Like your arms, legs, and chest, your face is frequently exposed to the sun. You should protect it with sunscreen every day, not just on trips to the pool or the beach.

It’s also important to choose the right sunscreen. Some sunscreens include ingredients to address specific skin types.

To help narrow down your search, here’s a list of the best face sunscreens as recommended by Healthline’s dermatology experts, who have no interest or affiliation with any of these companies.

best face sunscreen

Shop for EltaMD’s UV Clear Facial Sunscreen online.

If you’re looking for a sunscreen with extra SPF, EltaMD’s UV Clear Facial sunscreen is a must-have — and it’s a favorite among dermatologists.

This sunscreen creates a barrier between your skin and the sun, protecting it from many dermatological disorders.

As a broad-spectrum product, it also protects against both UVB and UVA rays. Active ingredients include zinc oxide and octinoxate, and it also has hyaluronic acid to help your face stay hydrated.

Pros

  • mineral-based with SPF 46
  • fragrance-free, paraben-free, and oil-free
  • lightweight and non-greasy
  • doesn’t leave a residue on the skin
  • suitable for sensitive skin, including for rosacea and skin that’s acne-prone
  • formulated with niacinamide, a vitamin B-3 anti-inflammatory to soothe skin
  • available in tinted and non-tinted versions

Cons

  • more expensive than other brands
  • isn’t water-resistant so you’ll need to reapply after swimming or sweating

best face sunscreen

Shop for La-Roche Posay Anthelios Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid online.

Here’s another option for more SPF. It’s a close contender to EltaMD’s sunscreen, according to our experts.

As an added benefit, this sunscreen is also water-resistant, so your face is protected for just over an hour of sweating and swimming.

Because of its matte finish, it’s a great sunscreen to apply under makeup. Active ingredients include:

  • avobenzone
  • homosalate
  • octisalate
  • octocrylene
  • oxybenzone

Pros

  • SPF 60 broad-spectrum protection
  • water-resistant up to 80 minutes
  • fragrance-free, paraben-free, and oil-free
  • features a “cell-ox shield,” with broad-spectrum protection plus antioxidants to reduce free radicals
  • suitable for sensitive skin
  • noncomedogenic, so it won’t clog pores
  • can help reduce the appearance of sun damage

Cons

  • more expensive than other brands
  • slightly greasy on the skin

Shop for Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer online.

Rather than use a separate sunscreen and moisturizer, Aveeno’s Positively Radiant Sheer Daily Moisturizer provides both in one for extra hydration and an SPF.

This lightly scented product not only protects your skin from UVA and UVB rays but it’s also more affordable than the EltaMD and La Roche-Posay sunscreens.

For the price and coverage, it’s a favorite sunscreen among our experts. Active ingredients include:

  • avobenzone
  • homosalate
  • octisalate
  • octocrylene
  • oxybenzone

Pros

  • contains Soy Complex to help even your skin tone and texture
  • oil free, hypoallergenic, and noncomedogenic
  • light fragrance
  • lightweight and non-greasy
  • affordable

Cons

  • isn’t water-resistant so you’ll need to reapply after sweating or swimming
  • may cause some irritation if you’re sensitive to fragrances
  • includes soy, so may not be appropriate if you have a soybean allergy

Shop for Olay Complete Daily Moisturizer online.

This broad-spectrum sunscreen is an excellent product if you have sensitive skin and you’re looking for all-day moisture.

It’s gentle, lightweight, and non-greasy, although our experts warn that it may leave more white residue than you prefer around dry spots and beards.

Active ingredients include:

  • octinoxate
  • octisalate
  • octocrylene
  • zinc oxide

Pros

  • contains vitamin E, vitamin B-3, and aloe to moisturize and soothe skin
  • features SolaSheer Sensitive technology to protect against UVA and UVB rays
  • fragrant-free, oil-free, and noncomedogenic
  • suitable for sensitive skin

Cons

  • isn’t water-resistant so you’ll need to reapply after swimming or sweating
  • may leave a white residue on the skin

Shop for CeraVe Skin Renewing Day Cream online.

This product isn’t only a broad-spectrum SPF, it’s also a skin-renewing day cream with anti-aging properties.

It might be the perfect sunscreen if you’re looking to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. This gentle, non-irritating cream is also a contender if you have sensitive skin.

Active ingredients include octinoxate and zinc oxide.

Pros

  • formulated with encapsulated retinol to reduce fine lines and wrinkles
  • fragrance-free, oil free, and noncomedogenic
  • includes patented MVE controlled-release technology for extra hydration and moisture
  • features three ceramides to help protect your skin against environmental factors

Cons

  • not water resistant, so you’ll have to reapply after swimming or sweating
  • product is heavier and may feel greasier on skin compared to others, according to our experts

Shop for Nia 24 Sun Damage Prevention Sunscreen online.

Sun damage can lead to discoloration and sun spots, and there’s the risk of skin cancer.

This broad-spectrum sunscreen provides an SPF to help prevent sun damage, as well as a pro-niacin formula to help repair skin damage. This is a form of vitamin B-3 that can improve skin tone, texture, dark spots, and other discoloration.

Pros

  • oil-free and fast-absorbing
  • may repair skin damage and improve skin tone, texture, dark spots, and other discoloration
  • suitable for sensitive skin

Cons

  • more expensive than other brands
  • isn’t water-resistant, so you’ll need to reapply after sweating or swimming
  • heavier on the skin, compared to Olay

Shop for Tizo 2 Mineral Sunscreen online.

This broad-spectrum sunscreen protects against sunburn and premature skin aging caused by the sun. It’s recommended for all skin types, including sensitive skin. One added benefit is that it’s also waterproof.

Active ingredients include zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

Pros

  • broad-spectrum mineral-based sunscreen with SPF 40
  • fragrance-free, oil-free, and noncomedogenic
  • water-resistant up to 80 minutes

Cons

  • more expensive than other brands
  • thicker sunscreen, may not absorb as easily into the skin

Shop for Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Sunscreen Lotion online.

This mineral sunscreen is available in both SPF 30 and 50, though the formula specifically for face is exclusively SPF 50.

Our experts recommend Neutrogena Sheer Zinc because it’s a broad-spectrum product, and also because it has a National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance. In other words, it’s suitable for sensitive skin and doesn’t include many irritating ingredients.

Pros

  • formulated with zinc oxide and Purescreen technology to reflect the sun’s harmful rays
  • fragrance-free, oil-free, paraben-free, and noncomedogenic
  • awarded the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance
  • water-resistant, but doesn’t state for how long

Cons

  • slightly more expensive than other brands
  • our experts feel that the sunscreen is too thick, making it difficult to rub into the face and over facial hair

Knowing how to properly use sunscreen is just as important as choosing the right sunscreen for your skin.

To filter out a large percentage of the sun’s harmful rays, select a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.

Apply generously to skin about 15 minutes before heading outdoors. This allows time for the sunscreen to absorb into your skin before sun exposure. Don’t forget to protect your neck and ears.

Apply sunscreen to your face before applying a moisturizer, foundation, and other makeup. Wait about 15 minutes after applying the sunscreen, and then continue with your skin care routine.

Be mindful that some facial sunscreens aren’t water-resistant, or they may only be water-resistant up to 40 or 80 minutes. You’ll need to reapply all sunscreen as directed, especially after swimming or sweating.

Protecting your face from the sun’s harmful rays decreases risk of sunburn, premature aging, and skin cancer.

Whether you’re gardening, playing sports, or enjoying other outdoor activities, choose a sunscreen that’s specific to your skin type and apply it daily for superior sun protection.