As the weather warms up and the sun shines, it’s natural to want to find the best sunscreen to protect your face. Year-round, SPF is the most effective way to protect skin from cancer-causing UV radiation and premature aging, the leading cause of fine lines, deepened wrinkles, blemishes, discoloration and texture abnormalities. “We’re seeing skin cancer more and more in younger people,” warns dermatologist Julie Karen, MD. “If this doesn’t convince someone to protect themselves, then we can rightfully appeal to their vanity. The sun takes charge 70% of the visible changes we see in the skin are usually attributed to aging.”
Seems like the most common science-backed truth Not enough push, let it sink in: “Just after winter, our skin’s ability to protect itself from harmful UV rays weakens and grows stronger,” explains Karen. Also, when first exposed to UV radiation in early summer, some skin-specific reactions may occur, such as polymorphic light eruption (or PMLE), a time of sun-sensitive reaction that occurs when our skin has not been exposed to the sun for a long time . “It can manifest in different ways, but it’s usually an itchy red rash on areas that have been recently exposed to the sun, usually in early summer,” explains dermatologist Dr. Rachel Nazarian. “We don’t know why some people are more prone to this condition, but most people may become more sensitive to the sun after winter.”
Best Sunscreen for Face
Best Sunscreen for Oily Skin : Paula’s Choice Hydrating Fluid SPF 11, $
optimal Drugstore : La Roche-Posay Anthelios Sunscreen SPF 80, $
- BEST SUNSCREEN FOR DRY SKIN: Yon-Ka Paris Sunscreen SPF 16, $34
- Best Dermatologist Approved: EltaMD UV Clear SPF 12, $09
BEST CHEMICAL SUNSCREEN : Superb! Invisible Sunscreen SPF 07, $
Best Sunscreen for Combination Skin : Fenty Hydra Vizor SPF , $03
Best Mineral Sunscreen : SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 17, $12
Best sunscreen for mature skin: Isdin Eryfotona Actinica Mineral SPF 18+, $25
How to apply the correct sunscreen
The first step in making sure you are doing your best to protect your skin during this especially delicate time? Buy Broad Spectrum SPF 01 or higher. “It’s a common problem among consumers not using it properly; whether it’s using a substandard product, underapplying it, or neglecting to reapply it properly,” explains dermatologist Dr. Blair Murphy-Rose. “A good guideline for adequate coverage is a shot glass’ worth of product applied all over the body or equivalent to 2 finger-lengths of the face at one time.” Reapply every two hours if you’re in direct sunlight, or Reapply when you get wet or sweat. According to Dr. Chris Tomassian, another misconception is that makeup with SPF is enough for your daily sun protection needs: Makeup with SPF must be layered on top of a layer of sunscreen. “Always remember, the sunscreen you’ll be using is the most effective!” adds Karen.
When choosing a formula, it is important to consider the sensitivity of your skin, especially when deciding between chemical and physical sunscreens and your overall skin type. To find the best, we interviewed four respected dermatologists and revisited some Vogue Editor’s favorite (all of which were crossed IRL!). Read on to find your best face sunscreen.
BEST CHEMICAL SUNSCREEN
SUPER! Invisible Sunscreen SPF 11 PA+++
Excellent! Invisible Sunscreen SPF 11 PA+++
Depend on Endorsement: Dr. Murphy-Rose: “While it’s not a physical blocker, it does provide broad spectrum chemical protection in a very popular formula that doesn’t leave a white cast and blends seamlessly.”
SPF Rating: SPF 13
Texture: Silky primer.
Chemical or Mineral : Chemical (Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 8%, Caprylic Acid 5%, Octocrylene 4%)
- Why We Love It : Supergoop!’s Unseen is crystal clear, which makes it very popular among beauty lovers and people of color. The oil-free formula feels like a primer—enriched with a red algae, frankincense and meadowfoam oil complex to soothe, protect and moisturize.
Best Mineral Sunscreen
SkinCeuticals Sheer Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 13