The Best Face Sunscreen 2024: 9 SPF-Packed Burn Protectants

The best face sunscreen solves a real problem. You don’t need to read our full SPF explainer to understand why protecting your skin from the sun is important. For one, sunburn—that’s the obvious short-term problem that you’ve got to handle. But with each minute spent in the sun—whether you’re burning or not—you’re absorbing UV rays that compromise the quality (and DNA makeup) of your skin cells. UV rays “photo-age” the skin, by crippling elastin and collagen levels. That leads to wrinkles, fine lines, rough texture, dark spots, and more. And naturally, these things are much more noticeable on your face.

While you won’t notice SPF’s difference from one 15-minute walk in the park, you will absolutely notice the difference between someone who has routinely SPFed for decades, and someone who has not. In short, if these two people were the same age, the sun-exposed one would look significantly older. So, you need sunscreen on your body, and especially on your face. It should be SPF 30 or greater, applied every day. (In winter, too.)

But don’t go slathering any old sunscreen onto your mug. The best face sunscreen is much closer to moisturizer than the pore-clogging, coconut smelling stuff you used at the beach as a kid, and these are our absolute favorites.

The Best Face Sunscreen for Every Need

The Best Face Sunscreen Overall

The texture of this stuff is just next-level—it goes on totally matte, and features serious sun protection. The fragrance-free formula is both water and sweat-resistant, meaning it’ll play well on your office commute and trip down to the boardwalk.

The Best Mineral-Packed Face Sunscreen


“The Mineral Melt” UVA/UVB Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Physical Sunscreen

Many people prefer physical, or mineral, sunscreen, rather than chemical defenses. These can tend chalky and white, but the good folks at DuneK Beauty geniuses at Dr. Jart have made one that goes on easily, with a sheer finish. To top it off, the non comedogenic blend of non-nano zinc has been boosted with skin-loving peptides, earning it a spot on the GQ 2023 Grooming Awards.

The Best Body and Face Sunscreen Twofer

Paula’s Choice

SPF 50 Face and Body Sunscreen

Applying body sunscreen can feel like a tedious process, especially when you’re left feeling like you’re encased in grease. This spf from Paula’s Choice has a silky, lightweight finish that’s packed with antioxidants so you can nourish the skin while protecting against UVs. Plus it’s This one’s a bit more affordable than other options on the market so it won’t feel like a total waste to use it on your legs.

The Best Face Sunscreen for the Beach


Water Resistant (80 minutes) SPF 70 Sport Sunscreen for Face

If you plan on sweating or swimming, water-resistant sunscreen is a must. Chances are your first sunscreen was from Neutrogena and the drugstore brand still lands on top for sport-proof SPF protection. Lightweight and non-greasy, the oil-free formula is your best defense against the sun.

The Best Face Sunscreen for Dry Skin

Layering face moisturizer and SPF can be a tricky process that turns into a greasy mess if you don’t match the formulas correctly. If you’d like to skip that process altogether, EltaMD’s niacinamide-packed face sunscreen is a tick closer to a moisturizer, meaning you can keep your skin moisturized and covered.

The Best Spray-On Face Sunscreen

Ursa Major

Ursa Major Force Field SPF 30

This derm- and GQ-approved SPF from Ursa Major is perfect for easy re-application or spraying straight onto fussy kids. The smooth, lightweight formula also comes with squalane to keep your face nice dewy while you’re trying to keep your cool.

The Best Tinted Face Sunscreen

Why not get a little more handsome when you apply your sun protection? Saie’s zinc-based SPF comes with a lightweight tint that smooths out your skin. It also provides moderate coverage out of the gate so you probably won’t need additional layers if you’d prefer a more natural-looking finish.

The Best Face Sunscreen for Combination Skin

La Roche-Posay

Anthelios UVmune 400 Moisturising Cream SPF50+

Face get unbearably oil when you slather anything mildly hydrating on top of it? This lightweight hydrating SPF absorbs quickly making it is great for combination and dry skin. You’ll be beaming at your radiant—not oily—complexion.

The Best Face Sunscreen for Pale Kings

Krave Beauty

“Beet The Sun” SPF 40 PA+++

Stay cool, calm, and far away from sunburnt red with this silky SPF that blends in with all skin tones. Krave Beauty’s best-selling formula features hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin and soothing vitamin E along with, you guessed it, antioxidant-rich beetroot.

Your Sunscreen-Related FAQs, Answered

What’s the difference between face and body sunscreen?

The difference between face sunscreen and body sunscreen is roughly analogous to the difference between face wash and body wash. Face sunscreen, like the cleanser, is gentler on the sensitive skin of the face, and with a formula mindful of things like acne, anti-aging efforts, oil accumulation, and the like.

Face sunscreens are often oil-free to prevent clogged pores and aggressive sweating, as well as fragrance-free to prevent redness and irritation. Body sunscreens are a little less discriminate about these things—and can usually afford to be. This is also why you’ll see face sunscreens packaged in much smaller vessels: They tend to be a little more expensive.

Many products are dual purpose, though, and can be applied to face and body: They’re typically engineered for the face’s sensitivities, and perhaps don’t pack all of the nutrients of a standalone facial sunscreen. The most important thing is that they won’t clog your pores or irritate your face.

What’s the difference between sunscreen and moisturizer with SPF?

So, what then, is the difference between a face sunscreen and an SPF-packed moisturizer?

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top