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Best Beauty & Skin Care Products

2024 Edit of the Best Face Sunscreens

Janeca Racho
Writer and expert2 months ago
View Janeca Racho's profile
SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense Sunscreen in silver bottle

There is no over-stressing the importance of sun protection. Particularly when you consider that photoaging or UV-induced damage to the skin is responsible for up to 90 percent of the visible changes to the complexion, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Over-exposure to the sun leads to free radical damage and causes a plethora of skin concerns including pigment changes or discoloration, redness and inflammation, loss of elasticity, uneven tone and texture, and worst of all, skin cancer.

Fortunately, innovations in skin care technology have allowed sunscreens to come in all shapes, sizes, and formulations without the ick, grease, and white cast that used to make SPF application a turn-off. Wondering which one is right for you? We’ve got you covered. Below is a list of our favorite sun protection to help you choose the best sunscreen for your face.

Table of Contents:

How to Choose the Right Sunscreen for You

As a non-negotiable part of your skin care regimen, it’s crucial that you pick a sunscreen that delivers total UV defense without impacting your skin health or the environment. Getting your sunscreen formula right is key, especially if you have sensitive skin or coping with specific skin concerns that could be triggered by the wrong ingredients. Here are some things to consider when picking out the best face sunscreen.

  1. Your Skin Type: The best sunscreen for face can do more than just protect your skin from UV damage—they also preserve and improve your skin health. Depending on the ingredients and formulations you choose, they can help restore barrier function, hydrate and improve moisture, and rebalance oil production. Oily skin can benefit from mattifying and oil-free sunscreens, while sensitive skin types should opt for minimalist mineral formulas. For skin that tends to be on the parched side, go for SPF with hydrating and nourishing ingredients like hyaluronic acid and niacinamide. 
  2. Broad-Spectrum: Broad-spectrum simply means your sunscreen of choice provides protection from both UVA and UVB rays. These two types of radiation can increase the risk of skin cancer, but they also damage the skin in different ways. UVA penetrates deeper into your skin and is known to accelerate signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles. Meanwhile, UVB rays have shorter wavelengths and do the most harm on your skin’s surface, resulting in sunburn, blisters, and even DNA mutations that can lead to melanoma. 
  3. SPF 30 or Higher: Sun protection factor or SPF is a measure of how well your sunscreen can protect your skin from UV rays. An SPF 30 sunscreen provides your skin with 30 times more protection than going out in the sun with just bare skin. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends using a minimum of SPF 30 whenever you spend a lot of time outdoors, and SPF 50 or higher for those who have a higher risk of skin cancer or genetic conditions. Higher SPF is also best when engaging in high altitude activities like hiking and skiing and when travelling to places near the equator. 
  4. Water-Resistant: Your sunscreen needs to be able to stay in place as you swim laps or sweat it out while running. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, sweat- and water-resistant sunscreen typically lasts from 40 to 80 minutes and will have to be reapplied consistently. 
  5.  Form: Sun protection can only last for up to two hours, so it’s important that you choose a sunscreen that you can conveniently apply and reapply whenever necessary. Opt for a sunscreen form—whether as a stick, moisturizer, or powder—that will make application and reapplication a breeze. 
  6.  Reef-Safe: For conscious beauty advocates, achieving healthy skin shouldn’t come at the expense of the planet. Studies have shown that certain ingredients in sunscreens contribute to coral bleaching, cause significant damage and disrupt fragile reef ecosystems. It’s a serious problem that has prompted several beach destinations like Hawaii to ban the use of sunscreens that contain chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate, so make sure to keep a close eye on that ingredients list! 

Why is Wearing Sunscreen so Important?

Unlike some beauty and skin care products that become optional as your skin or the season changes, sunscreen is a year-round staple that you should never do without. That’s because UV rays can be persistent in damaging your skin. They can pass through clouds during gloomy days (and even in winter) and slip past glass while you’re sitting in your car or beside a window at home.

Fortunately, sunscreen formulations have come a long way, making it easier to choose the best face sunscreen regardless of your skin type and concerns. Our top picks for best sunscreen for face boast of multitasking formulas that not only prevent UV-induced skin degradation but also repair existing damage and enhance skin health.

Dermstore’s Best Face Sunscreen of 2024

The best face sunscreens aren’t only great at keeping harmful UV rays in check, they’re also multitaskers that deliver much-needed TLC to every skin type and help calm the most common skin concerns. These are the top picks from our Dermstore team:

    Remember: making sun protection a priority is a small yet all-too-important step in maintaining skin health and radiance all year long. Thanks for joining in on the 2024 Edit of Face Sunscreens You Need, and click here for a full list of the best face sunscreens available on Dermstore! 

    Janeca Racho
    Writer and expert
    View Janeca Racho's profile

    With over 10 years of writing and editing experience, Janeca Racho has worked with clients in the fashion, entertainment, food, health and travel industries. An adventurer at heart, she will gladly trade her heels for a good pair of hiking shoes and skip hotels to camp under the stars. She loves horror movies, googling ingredients in her beauty products and backpacking trips with her toddler. Her newfound obsession: nude lipstick.