The Face Sunscreens You’ll Actually Want to Wear

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Wearing sunscreen is hands down, the best thing you can do for your skin. Don’t just take my word for it. Every dermatologist and esthetician will tell you to wear SPF daily to protect your skin.

I know that finding the right sunscreen for your skin tone and type can be tricky. For years, I thought I had to suffer through wearing thick and greasy sunscreen. Thankfully, I’ve found that doesn’t have to be the case.

There are plenty of great sunscreens available these days. But since you can’t test every single SPF out there, I am putting together a list of SPFs for you to try.

This particular post is going to be all about sunscreens for the face. Stay tuned for the next post where I share my favorite SPFs for the body.

SPF Efficacy (What Do Those Numbers Mean?)

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, and the number indicates how well the sunscreen protects skin against sunburn. It is not an indicator of how long you can stay out in the sun. Instead, it indicates how much longer it takes skin to start to redden with sunscreen applied compared to how long it takes to start reddening without it.

To get the SPF number, a simple formula is used during testing. The number of seconds it takes a patch of skin to slightly redden when covered in sunscreen is divided by the number of seconds it takes to slightly redden when there is no sunscreen applied.

This formula is why a lot of people think the higher the SPF the better. While the differences in SPF values seem large, there’s actually very little difference between how much UVB they filter. That’s because the efficacy starts to taper off around SPF 30.

If you look at the chart, it shows that SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays. But don’t go reaching for that SPF 100 thinking you will get 100% protection.

It is important to know that some UV rays can always get through to the skin, no matter how high the SPF.

Ultimately, that means sunscreen should be just one part of your sun protection. Make sure to wear a hat, sit in the shade, and wear sunglasses.

SPF Efficacy Chart

Face Sunscreens You Will Love To Wear

Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen For Face

Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40

Active ingredients: Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octisalate, and Octocrylene

The gel-like formula dries down matte and completely clear. Plus the weightless, oil-free formula is filled with skin-nourishing ingredients like hydrating meadowfoam seed oil and shea butter.

The slippy texture of the Unseen Sunscreen serves as great pore filling primer and SPF in one. After applying, your makeup will sit nicely on the skin with no pilling.

Buy Now at Sephora | $34

Best Face Sunscreens

COOLA Full Spectrum 360° Sun Silk Drops SPF 30

Active ingredients: Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octisalate, and Octocrylene

On application, this sunscreen feels incredibly silky and light. The formula is a bit thin so make sure to apply several drops on each area of the face.

Buy Now at Sephora | $46

Mineral Sheerscreen SPF 30 PA+++

Supergoop Mineral Sheerscreen SPF 30

Active ingredients: Zinc Oxide

This super sheer formula instantly blends to a natural, smooth finish that wears well alone or as a primer under makeup.

This sunscreen has added skincare ingredients including squalane to soften the skin and aloe leaf juice to smooth the skin.

Buy Now at Sephora | $38

La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Mineral Ultra-Light Sunscreen Fluid SPF 50

Active ingredients: Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Ultra-Light Sunscreen has a light-weigh texture, is fast absorbing, and does not leave a white cast. This SPF dries down matte and is great on its own or under makeup.

Buy Now at Ulta | $37

Buy Now at Amazon


Glowscreen Sunscreen SPF 40 PA+++

Supergoop Glowscreen Sunscreen SPF 40

Active ingredients: Avobenzone, Octisalate, and Octocrylene

Glowscreen is really a primer and SPF in one. The slightly tinted formula gives the skin a dewy, luminous finish, that is perfect under makeup.

It also added skincare with a blend of hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and Vitamin B5 that leaves skin healthy and hydrated.

Buy Now at Sephora | $36

COOLA Classic Face Sunscreen is one of the best face sunscreens.

COOLA Classic Face Sunscreen SPF 30 – White Tea

Active ingredients: Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octisalate, and Octocrylene

This sunscreen is lightweight but also water-resistant making it great for active days outside. The white tea gives it a bit of scent but it doesn’t linger.

Buy Now at Sephora | $32

Glossier SPF

Glossier Invisible Shield Daily Sunscreen SPF 35

Active ingredients: Avobenzone, Homosalate, and Octisalate

The serum-like sunscreen is made with tiny spheres packed with UVA and UVB filters, water to create its serum-like texture, and vitamins E to neutralize free radicals.

Buy Now at Glossier | $25

COOLA Full Spectrum 360º Refreshing Water Cream

Active ingredients: Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octisalate, and Octocrylene

This new broad spectrum sunscreen is infused with hyaluronic acid and coconut water, giving it a very unique water cream texture. And no you don’t dip your hands into the jar, it has a pump for a mess free application.

Buy Now at Sephora | $46

Shop For Face Sunscreens

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