Finding the best sunscreen isn't as easy as going to the store and grabbing one with the right SPF (which is at least 30, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.) Depending on your skin type and general needs, you may need a spray or slide-one, something light-weight or something super strong.
To take some of the guess work out of your sunscreen shopping, we've combed the market and interviewed experts to find the best sunscreen for every skin type and need. Whether you have sensitive skin, are looking for the best beach-effective sunscreen, or want to protect your scalp, here you'll find the best sunscreen for you.
If you have dark skin, avoid using a sunscreen with high levels of zinc oxide, which can look chalky, says Dr. Loretta Ciraldo, a dermatologist in Florida. Instead, she suggest you, "choose a zinc-free formula that’s translucent.”
“Primer-like face sunscreens work best for those who wear makeup, since they often contain ingredients like silica that help products layer smoothly on top,” says Melanie Palm, MD, a California-based dermatologist.
“Look for a formula that contains zinc oxide, since the ingredient actually helps calm skin too,” Dr. Ciraldo explains. In fact, it’s used in diaper rash creams and is free of fragrance, which can cause irritation.
You want to add sunscreen to your everyday skincare regimen. Neutrogena's sheer zinc face sunscreen absorbs quickly and is great for even sensitive skin.
Facial sunscreens, as opposed to ones made for the body, are often developed so they don't block pores and have added skincare benefits. CeraVe has a mineral sunscreen packed with ceramides and niacinamide, which work together to hydrate the skin and help restore the skin's natural barrier.
With a super-sheer stick, you can simply swivel, swipe (around your nose, on your ears, and scalp), and go — no need to rub in.
Here's a super-lightweight lotion that's great under makeup because it dries fast and leaves your face feeling smooth and silky.
Dust a mineral sunscreen powder over your part and any other exposed areas to prevent any accidental burns.
Another effective way to protect your scalp is by spritzing a hair-protectant product with UV filter over any exposed areas.
Even if you won't be outside for long, it's crucial to wear SPF on exposed body parts (chest, hands, arms, etc.), as sun damage can accumulate over time. Luckily, Aveeno's nourishing body lotion gives you sun protection too.
To stay shielded from the sun all day, reapply SPF at least every two hours. This spray makes it easy to spritz on an extra coat.
Look for a high-SPF cream to slather on before you head outdoors. This one is water-resistant and has a clear formula, giving the skin extra protection without leaving residue.