Best Sunscreen for Face

What's the Best Sunscreen for Face that you've tried?

I tend to just use an Origins moisturizer in the AM with SPF in it. I really liked Shiseido’s, but the formula has seemed a bit thicker lately.

— Christine

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Oh, wow. That stuff was one of the biggest skincare misses for me in a long long time. I was shocked, because I really enjoy Murad’s Essential C Day Moisture (spf 30), but the Invisiblur tore up my skin!

I was low on time and just put makeup on over it, figuring I’d make use of its primer qualities, and it looked like my face was sloughing off. My boyfriend, who almost never comments on my skin, was actually concerned for me.

But it looks like such a fluffy, innocent, pink little product!

Goes to show no two skins are the same!

The Sun Bum stick formula. It looks and feels like a giant lip balm, but it dries quickly and doesn’t get greasy. Didn’t break me out at all. And it smells like banana popsicle! I haven’t used it with makeup, just for beach and pool days, though, so I can’t attest to wear when combined with other face products.

I received a sample of Radical Skincare Skin Perfecting Screen SPF 30 that I rationed out over about 5 days because I was in love, but of course you can’t get it in Canada. (Even though I got the sample from Sephora Canada…-_-) And more recently, Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence Face Sunscreen SPF 50+ PA+++ goes the distance on my hella oily face, although it has a lot of alcohol in it. So far so good in terms of avoiding irritation, though.

Yup. For anyone interested, Amazon has it for super cheap and free shipping. It’s called “Description
Biore KAO JAPAN AQUA RICH Sarasara SPF50+ PA++++ NEW 2015 50g Sunscreen”

Neutrogena Age Shield Face SPF 110. I have drier skin, and I haven’t tried it with liquid foundation, but I really like it on its own (diffuses pores), or with a powder foundation. I’m also a big fan of Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid SPF 70.

Skin Food Brocoli Sun Cream SPF 45 is also a favorite, but not as convenient to acquire.

I like AmorePacific’s natural protector or Supergoop! city serum ( something like that- the label is worn off my packaging) for day- to day under makeup. For long time outdoors, I totally reach for something with Zinc and/or Titanium Oxide. They are usually heavy and not comfortable. I have one by Etage right now. It is a local Skin care and laser center. But, I use Banana Boat kids a lot if I’m at the pool in the summer.

There is a really lightweight physical sunscreen from La Roche-Posay you might like (it has Zinc Oxide). It’s a high SPF, though the bottles for the physical and chemical sunscreens are really similar so you just have to double check the packaging. When I need to use a physical sunscreen (I avoid long times outdoors mostly so it’s rare) I always reach for that one.

Oh Thanks! Great to know Anne! I certainly will be checking that out. La roche Posay makes great stuff. I wish it was still available OTC like it used to be though. Do you order directly or from Amazon or somewhere like that?

It’s still available OTC in the US (they have it at Ulta) but I know you can get it off Amazon. When I lived in Canada during university I could get it at Shoppers Drug Mart. If you’re in another country that doesn’t have it OTC, I’m pretty sure you could at least get it off Amazon. The particular name for the sunscreen is the La Roche-Posay “Anthelios”.

Yep, that should be it! Though check the ingredients as they have a physical and a chemical version, I use the chemical one. The physical one should have zinc oxide in it. But both should be good. I haven’t tried the tinted version myself as I like to use SPF regardless if I’m wearing any sort of tint/foundation/etc and I find the untinted version works well under makeup but I’ve heard good reviews on the tinted version so which ever version you like should be good.

Elta MD UV Clear SPF 46 – It’s got Zinc and Octinoxate which are the only two sunscreens that don’t give me cystic acne. Also, it’s the least greasy sunscreen I’ve ever tried (and I have tried hundreds).

I’ve tried several over the years, and I have to say that my two favorites have been, one by Neutragena that has retinol and spf (cannot remember its name, but it comes in a toothpaste-like tube, HTH), and this year I tried First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Pure Mineral Sunscreen Moisturizer and I love it!

Seconding the First Aid Beauty sunscreen!! So happy to find a mineral sunscreen with no fragrance and no white cast, and it’s one of the few face sunscreens I’ve tried that doesn’t irritate the skin near my eyes.

The Missha Sun Milk in the Blue Container – SPF 45 PA+++ for full UV range protection. It feels hydrating but not oily. The texture is between an annoyingly runny milk that gets all over your hands and a really thick and cosmetically inelegant cream with a white cast. YUCK. It’s a perfect medium. Low white cast. Terrible smell at first, but not noticeable after dry-down.

I use one from Kinesys, which is a clear spray without alcohol. It’s really light and effective and doesn’t mess with my makeup. Of course you don’t spray it directly in your face!

I love the La Roche Posay one – Anthelios? I always forget the name. I used to use the one from Kiehl’s, which is great too (and a SA showed me that it is EXACTLY the same as one from Lancome – same ingredients, same bottle, same EVERYTHING) – I wonder if they’re all made in the same facility as the LRP one and all labelled differently! I think I’m going to look for the Murad one, if it’s sold in Canada.

I just moved back to the US from Canada in April, but I remember a bunch of new-to-Canada Murad products were in the pipeline and I think at least one sunscreen was on that list.

Paula’s Choice Resist Super-Light Daily Wrinkle Defense SPF 30. Additionally, for a primer I like Hourglass Mineral Veil SPF 15 and for a BB I use Dr Jart+ Premium BB Beauty Balm SPF 45 PA+++.

The Paula’s Choice is my pick too, hands down. It has even taken the place of my foundation primer, day or night, because it’s so nicely mattifying.

i HATE the smell of sunscreen, so it’s difficult to find a good one-especially since i have to wear at least spf 50. i really like channel’s sunscreen. works great under makeup, no sunscreen smell, and no white cast, so i can wear it on no makeup days (which happen frequently in the AZ heat).

The current version of Josie Maran’s spf 45 moisturizer seems to be working out pretty well for me (about 2-3 weeks now). I had found out I fare better with physical sunblock than chemical sunblock. I react in direct sunlight to it and my forehead becomes a red minefield. :/

TiZO # 3 – facial mineral sunscreen. #3 is the tinted version… I just end up using it as one and done for face. I adjust the colour with a tiny drop of ColorFx since the tint shade runs too ruddy orange and dark for my skintone. I also have #2 which I use under foundation. The finish for both is matte and non-greasy.

OK, I am a paaaaaale girl and wear sunscreen EVERY DAY so I have a lot of strong opinions here 🙂

Top choice: Biore Hada-Labo UV SPF50+ PA++++ UV Creamy Gel – this stuff goes on smooth, dries completely without looking shiny or giving a white cast, and is a dream under makeup. It doesn’t take much time to soak in before I put on my face makeup – on me, it almost acts as its own primer. It is not moisturizing; so I put it on after my normal daytime face moisturizer.

Second choice: Supergoop City Sunscreen Serum SPF 30 – another great one for under makeup. This one has a lower SPF, which is the primary reason why I don’t wear it as often. When I wear this one, I don’t always wear moisturizer underneath.

Other great face sunscreens in my arsenal:
Ole Henriksen Protect the Truth Vitamin C SPF 50+ Sunscreen – this stuff smells like oranges and leaves my dry skin nicely moisturized. It works under makeup with a little effort – be sure to apply a thin layer and let it soak in for 20 minutes or so before trying to put on foundation. It leaves you slightly glowy/shiny – I’ve had good success pairing it with the L’oreal Infallible Pro-Matte matte foundation for a very natural-looking finished look.

Supergoop Advanced SPF 37 Anti-Aging Eye Cream – I use this around my eyes, where I don’t want to use my normal sunscreen. I have sensitive skin around my eyes with occasional patches of eczema on my upper and lower eyelids (which, ugh) – this is a great product for me to get sun coverage without irritating my skin.

Finally, I received a sample of the IPKN Pore Apple Sun Cream (SPF 40) in last month’s Birchbox, and I liked it a lot. I haven’t used it enough to definitively put it in my top picks, but I’m probably going to buy the full size. It has a much thicker texture than my other sunscreens and leaves my face pretty shiny/glowy – but I have pretty dry skin, so I actually like that. For someone with oily skin, I’d give it a pass.

I started doing research into sunscreen and have found that physical sunscreens are much better for you. I use ThinkBaby which moisturizes (due to the hyluronic acid) and acts as a primer. It has great ingredients and wears beautifully.

I have a Neutrogena Oil Free Moisture moisturizer with SPF, but it smells like sunscreen and feels slightly gritty. My Rimmel BB cream with SPF also smells like sunscreen, and I can smell it the entire day I’m wearing it. I tried a sample of the Cotz sunscreen and it felt very lightweight, but the full size is quite pricey ($20 for 1.5 oz). I’m currently trying a sample of the Coola sunscreen, and I also have one from Oz Naturals. I haven’t yet found the perfect one, although quite a few of my foundations have SPF, so that does help with protection as well.

I’ve been using La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios SPF 60 for years. It’s now more available in the US these days (via Ulta, Amazon, etc) so I don’t have to hunt it down or have friends/relatives send it to me from elsewhere which is lovely. I use the chemical version, though they have a physical version with zinc oxide as well. A similar one is the Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+ (for about $5 more). They’re both broad spectrum SPFs, and very liquid-y so they sink in nicely and work well under makeup or just as is with your normal skincare routine. The La Roche-Posay one also comes in a tinted version.

Haha, oh man. I have tried SO SO SO MANY sunscreens. Like.. over a dozen, just this summer. The good news is that the bar in general is way higher than it was, even compared to five years ago or so.

Currently on the leaderboard for me:

* Clarins UV Plus HP SPF 40 Day Screen (NOT the tinted version) — I’ve even, in a real emergency, used this on my chap-prone lips (without balm!) — and it did not tear them up. How?! This stuff is SILKY and effective.

* Supergoop! Mineral Skin Soothing spf 40 — probably my very very favorite, for now? Sunscreen I’m devastated to use up. Doesn’t irritate my eyes unless I really jab them with sunscreen covered hands, just very very good for my skin. A pleasure to wear. Shiny the first hour unless you powder it a bit, but I can handle that. Just feels luxurious instead of like a chore!

* Shiseido Extra Smooth lotion SPF 38 — great under makeup, doesn’t need another primer, thin and very fluid. Long-lasting! Slightly drying on me without a few pre-absorbed drops of facial oil underneath. Permeates skin well enough that most face washes will NOT remove it properly — not even drop cleansing ones. Boscia Makeup Break Up cool cleansing oil does the trick.

* Jack Black moisturizer with SPF 20 — the most truly (for my dry, flaky, yet somewhat acne prone skin) moisturizing, balanced option. Due to the lower spf, I reserve this for when I know I’m going to be layering makeup with spf on top.

I’m VERY pale skinned. The melanin bus unfortunately did not stop at my address at all!

Even tinted products intended for use on fair skin tend to be weirdly dark/orange on me. I’d rather use a clear/white sunscreen and then put makeup where I need it, on top!

I use Clarins UV Plus HP SPF 40 Day Screen too but since it is what I have open at the time, I will use it up and try another moisturizer with SPF.

For face: I have dry skin and use the Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Lotion spf 30, and when it’s really hot I’ll use the Paula’s Choice Hydralight Shine-free spf30, both are great and can be used around the eyes as well.
For body: La Roche Posay Anthelios spray spf30 and spf50.

It has to be La Roche Posay Anthelios SPF 50+ Dry Touch Gel-Cream. This stuff is awesome and I’ve tried quite sunscreens as I’m big on using sunscreen every single day. It sets to a silky matte finish, doesn’t cause my foundation to break down and is SPF 50+ UVA and UVB. This gets a big thumbs up from me and my combination skin. 😀

Ooh, I’m really curious to see what the responses are to this one, since I’m still looking for my HG face sunscreen! I’m currently using Chanel’s, and while I do like it, it’s not perfect. Pros: Excellent oil control, dries down quickly, layers very well under makeup. Cons: Extremely pricey, heavily scented, can leave a white cast if applied too heavily.

Hands down La Roche Posay Anthelios sunscreen spf 50 for face. It is amazing, and I have oily skin, live in hot and humid weather. I buy it from drugstore.com and have also seen it in Duane Reede stores in NYC.

MDSolarSciences Mineral Creme. It’s a zinc sunscreen so it’s a little thick and leaves a bit of a white cast, however it’s less thick and less white than any other zinc sunscreen I’ve ever tried. It has a silicone slip so it doesn’t feel greasy (feels like a primer) and it’s not weird under makeup.

I have oily, acne-prone skin and I like physical rather than chemical blockers. My fave is Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Sheer Mineral Sun Spray Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ (a mouthful, I know!) It’s lightweight, doesn’t get oily and doesn’t break me out. And I am a woman of color, MAC NC43/NW40ish or Nars Sheer Glow in a Syracuse/Tahoe mix…this product has no white cast!

I love Suntegrity tinted face sunscreen in Light, has great coverage and a lovely consistency, and is a physical (zinc) sunscreen. I’ve also been loving the new Tatcha sunscreen/primer, no breakouts!

La Roche-Posay Anthelios. I tend to use the cream formula in the tube during summer, and the fluid version during winter; I find that complements my seasonal moisturisers well. The cream is also specifically aimed at those of us with sun allergies, so it’s best to use for the sunny months. That kind of protection is less relevant in the winter here – especially as I spend a great deal of it with an umbrella over my head!

DermaE Antioxidant Natural Sunscreen! Feels amazing on the skin, absorbs easily, a high percentage of zinc oxide, but minimal white cast.

I’m also a fan of SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion and MDSolarSciences, though the latter breaks me out.

I am a total FREAKOLA about sunscreen and have tried so many I can’t count them. My current favorite is Replenix sheer spray – it uses only zinc oxide for an active (alot of zinc, too – 12%!) , has good amounts of the antioxidants green tea, resveratrol, and co q10, and it’s spf 50. It really is light and sheer, and on me, also acts as a primer. I have very dry skin, but I don’t need to use a moisturizer under this, except in winter. It does take about 15 minutes to really absorb before makeup – and that’s the only con I can come up with! I buy it at a site called Idealceuticals and pay 28.50 for a four oz. bottle. I always have a bottle that I’m currently using and an extra one in reserve, because I will use it all over when I’m outside for any length of time.

I use Clarins Day Screen High Protection SPF 40 Untinted. I am normal to dry, but clog very easily and am very sensitive to sunscreens. Josie Maran’s goes on quite thick at first in my opinion, especially for the Georgia summer heat and humidity, and I find that something in La Roche Posay Anthelios formulas irritate my skin.

Sorry, hit “post” too soon.

I like it because it absorbs quickly and completely and doesn’t make my face greasy, it doesn’t have strong scent, it doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin, and it has super-high SPF for my super-pale skin.

For my sensitive and oily skin, Cotz makes my favorite sunscreen for my face. No breakouts, sweatproof, and made with physical blockers (I prefer physical blockers in the summer only because they feel less greasy on my face than chemical ones).

Peter Thomas Roth Ultra-Lite SPF 30. I’ve used this for years. I sometimes try others, but zinc oxide makes my face itch, and other sunscreens with chemical blockers break me out more often than not. PTR has always been reliable for me, and it’s reasonably priced too.

My skin is combo in summer, so I have to use 2 different sunscreens. On my cheeks, Supergoop City Serum SPF 30. Then on T-zone, Paulau’s Choice Hydralight Shine Free Daily Mineral Complex. If my under eye is dry, I use FAB 5-in-1 Age Delay cream SPF 30 there

Paula’s Choice RESIST Super-Light Daily Defense SPF 30. Physical block (I can’t use chemical sunscreens — they aggravate my rosacea), extremely lightweight, matte. Wish it had higher SPF, but given how it wears (and how little time I spend in the sun), it’s perfect for me.

I have been liking the Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47. I love that it’s a physical SPF, a cruelty free company, is lacking parabens, sulfates, etc. On top of that, even though this moisturizer leaves a white cast at first, it tends to disappear pretty quickly. I have the most sensitive skin on the PLANET – anything sets it off and makes it red and breaks it out. But so far so good using the Josie Maran moisturizer. Best of all it doesn’t feel grimey and sticky on my skin. This is my biggest gripe with the Paula’s Choice SPF products I have tried. I keep wanting them to work, but they just dont….at least not yet! I like using the Smashbox Camera Ready BBCream as my overall foundation, esp. in the summer, and I am happy it has SPF as well.

Shiseido – the only one which works for me and doesn’t break me out. I wanted to love the Neutrogena one – coz its more affordable and coz everyone raves about it. But it broke me out!

Replenix sheer physical SPF 50 (spray and cream) is my hg sunscreen. It is all physical and doesn’t leave your face white. Best of all it is gentle to my very sensitive skin and wears well under my favorite foundations (Guerlain, Chanel and Sisley).

Nivea Sun Protect Water Gel SPF 33 Pa+++ (the japanese Nivea!). I used to use the famous Bioré Aqua, which I like but after I tried this I really, really don’t feel the need to try new sunscreens. I guess it’s completely chemical, so if that’s not your cup of tea beware, but is lighter, watery-er and just better for my normal-dry skin than the Bioré one. The Bioré is better I think for oilier skin, but as you rub it, it has a thickness and dryness to it that kind of dries my skin a little bit/is not as comfortable. The Nivea one (produced by Kao if I’m not mistaken, so nothing to do with our Nivea…) is not as resistant -I wouldn’t wear it to the beach, or if I was going to sweat too much for example…for everyday is just perfect though- but I literally just rub it as homogeneously as I can and…let it dry! It’s super watery. Also the bottle has a pump; two pumps = 1.3 ml aprox. so is a quick and easy thing to use anytime.

No contest! It’s Paula’s Choice Resist Super-Light Daily Wrinkle Defense, SPF 30. Sunscreens on my face have always driven me nuts with a heavy, sticky, goopy feeling, and an almost uncontrollable urge to go scrub it off my face immediately. Not only does this one not do that, but it feels very light and comfortable. It’s also nicely mattifying, and helps minimize pores, so it has taken the place of a foundation primer for me too, day or night. Seriously, love the stuff!

On a whim I picked up Frezyderm second skin SPF50 on Amazon and I’m glad I did! Fantastic protection and the texture is like nothing else I’ve tried before: acts like a primer by smoothing everything out.

Apparently it’s a Greek brand and hard to come by, but when my bottle runs out I’ll be making the effort to find some more. Nothing else will do!

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