The Best Sunscreens for Your Face

The Best Sunscreens for Your Face

Our picks include chemical sunscreens, which contain filters that absorb UV light; physical (or “mineral”) sunscreens, which block UV light; and combination sunscreens, which contain some mix of chemical and physical active ingredients. For more on sunscreen ingredients, see our main sunscreen guide.

Our pick

Supergoop Play Everyday Lotion SPF 50 with Sunflower Extract

Supergoop Play Everyday Lotion SPF 50 with Sunflower Extract

Nicely scented, available in bulk

This chemical formula is designed for face and body. It rubs in easily and appears nearly transparent once applied. It has a light, pleasant scent and comes in three sizes, including an 18-ounce jug that’s very affordable on a per-ounce basis.

Buying Options

$32* from Supergoop
(2.4 oz)

*At the time of publishing, the price was $22.

Supergoop Play Everyday Lotion SPF 50 with Sunflower Extract is a chemical formula for face and body. It smells minty and a bit floral. Unlike our other picks, this formula comes in three sizes. It’s very expensive per ounce in the small bottle, but if you buy the 18-ounce jug, you pay less per ounce than for any of our other picks.

SPF: 50
Type of protection: chemical
Broad spectrum: yes
Price per ounce (at the time of publication): $10 in small tube, $3.20 in large jug

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Also great

CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion with Sunscreen SPF 30

CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion with Sunscreen SPF 30

More moisturizing, but greasier

If you can’t find our pick or prefer a smaller pump bottle, this combination sunscreen is a good option and will protect your skin just as well. But it’s a tad greasier.

Buying Options

$13 from Amazon

If our pick is out of stock or you prefer to use a small pump bottle, try the CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion with Sunscreen SPF 30. Our testers found it a tad more moisturizing, but they also thought it was a little greasier and harder to rub in (though less so compared with much of the competition). It usually costs a little more per ounce than our main pick.

SPF: 30
Type of protection: physical and chemical
Broad spectrum: yes
Price per ounce (at the time of publication): $4.49

Also great

Olay Complete Daily Moisturizer with Sunscreen SPF 30

Olay Complete Daily Moisturizer with Sunscreen SPF 30

The most moisturizing, but can leave a white cast

We found this combination sunscreen thicker and more moisturizing—if a bit harder to rub in—than the competition. It may leave a white cast on dark skin.

Buying Options

$24 from Amazon
(pack of two)

Olay Complete Daily Moisturizer with Sunscreen SPF 30 was more moisturizing than most, our testers noted. A combination formula, containing both chemical and physical active ingredients, the Olay moisturizer smells only slightly sunscreeny. The small pump bottle looks elegant, particularly for a drugstore lotion. However, it takes a bit more effort to rub in this sunscreen, most notably on dark skin. It typically costs a little more per ounce than our main pick.

SPF: 30
Type of protection: physical and chemical
Broad spectrum: yes
Price per ounce (at the time of publication): $5

Also great

Drunk Elephant Umbra Physical Daily Defense SPF 30

Drunk Elephant Umbra Physical Daily Defense SPF 30

A mineral option that’s not at all sticky

Unanimously loved by all testers, this physical sunscreen is nearly invisible to both the eye and touch. But it’s pricey.

Buying Options

Buy from Sephora

May be out of stock

*At the time of publishing, the price was $34.

Available lightly tinted or untinted, Drunk Elephant’s Umbra Physical Daily Defense SPF 30 is lightweight, sheer, and easily absorbed. Testers with varying skin tones and amounts of facial hair rated this their favorite physical sunscreen overall. Its only detraction: the price. The tinted version regularly costs $18 an ounce; the untinted version is $11 per ounce.

SPF: 30
Type of protection: physical
Broad spectrum: yes
Price per ounce (at the time of publication): $11 (Sheer), $18 (Tinte)

Also great

Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40

Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40

No white cast whatsoever

This clear, chemical sunscreen is a good choice for dark skin or for wearing under makeup. However, it’s on the greasier side of our picks, and it’s pricey.

Buying Options

$34 from Dermstore

Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 has a formula unlike any other. The main ingredient is the same stuff that comprises makeup primer (and thus the sunscreen doubles as such, creating a smooth, if slightly greasy, surface); the formula itself is totally clear, leaving no white cast whatsoever. It smells faintly like butterscotch. It comes in a squeeze bottle that’s small and easy to stash in a purse. But it’s a whopping $20 per ounce.

SPF: 40
Type of protection: chemical
Broad spectrum: yes
Price per ounce (at the time of publication): $20

Everything we recommend

Our pick

Supergoop Play Everyday Lotion SPF 50 with Sunflower Extract

Supergoop Play Everyday Lotion SPF 50 with Sunflower Extract

Nicely scented, available in bulk

This chemical formula is designed for face and body. It rubs in easily and appears nearly transparent once applied. It has a light, pleasant scent and comes in three sizes, including an 18-ounce jug that’s very affordable on a per-ounce basis.

Buying Options

$32* from Supergoop
(2.4 oz)

*At the time of publishing, the price was $22.

Also great

CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion with Sunscreen SPF 30

CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion with Sunscreen SPF 30

More moisturizing, but greasier

If you can’t find our pick or prefer a smaller pump bottle, this combination sunscreen is a good option and will protect your skin just as well. But it’s a tad greasier.

Buying Options

$13 from Amazon

Also great

Olay Complete Daily Moisturizer with Sunscreen SPF 30

Olay Complete Daily Moisturizer with Sunscreen SPF 30

The most moisturizing, but can leave a white cast

We found this combination sunscreen thicker and more moisturizing—if a bit harder to rub in—than the competition. It may leave a white cast on dark skin.

Buying Options

$24 from Amazon
(pack of two)

Also great

Drunk Elephant Umbra Physical Daily Defense SPF 30

Drunk Elephant Umbra Physical Daily Defense SPF 30

A mineral option that’s not at all sticky

Unanimously loved by all testers, this physical sunscreen is nearly invisible to both the eye and touch. But it’s pricey.

Buying Options

Buy from Sephora

May be out of stock

*At the time of publishing, the price was $34.

Also great

Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40

Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40

No white cast whatsoever

This clear, chemical sunscreen is a good choice for dark skin or for wearing under makeup. However, it’s on the greasier side of our picks, and it’s pricey.

Buying Options

$34 from Dermstore

Source: NY Times – Wirecutter

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