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The Best Facial Sunscreen

Last updated on July 19, 2022

We looked at the top 7 Facial Sunscreens and dug through the reviews from 15 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best Facial Sunscreens.

Our Review Process

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Our Picks For The Top Facial Sunscreens

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Product Overview
Key Takeaway
Pros
Cons
 Top Pick

EltaMD Skin Care UV Clear SPF 46 Facial Sunscreen

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EltaMD Skin Care

UV Clear SPF 46 Facial Sunscreen

Featuring mineral ingredients, this sunscreen is gentle and less likely to cause issues if you have acne or sensitive skin. It has an SPF rating of 46 and offers broad protection. It's ideal for use if you won't get wet or sweat.

Overall Take

Gentle OptionConsider this gentle mineral sunscreen if you have skin concerns and don't need water resistance.

Pros
" Lightweight. Absorbed quickly. Leaves no residue. Dermatologically tested. Oil-free. Fragrance-free. Paraben-free."
Cons
"It takes a bit of rubbing to get the formula to sink in and there's a very thin but detectable clear film that it leaves behind."
 We Also Like

Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration SPF 30 Facial Sunscreen

Hawaiian Tropic

Silk Hydration SPF 30 Facial Sunscreen

Made not to make your face feel smothered, this sunscreen offers comfort yet still provides strong sun protection. It smells like coconut and features hydrating ingredients.

Overall Take

Comfortable to WearThis broad-spectrum option feels comfortable since it provides moisture and doesn't weigh down your skin.

Pros
" Keeps skin moisturized for 12 Hours. UVA/UVB protection. Will not clog pores. Broad-spectrum UVA and UVB coverage. Silk hydration is weightless."
 Strong Contender

La Roche-Posay SPF 60 Oxybenzone-Free Facial Sunscreen

La Roche-Posay

SPF 60 Oxybenzone-Free Facial Sunscreen

Designed for people with oily skin, this chemical sunscreen avoids ingredients that can cause acne to flare up or irritate the face. It has an SPF 60 rating and is suitable for swimming on hot days.

Overall Take

Minimizes IrritationIf you usually experience acne, consider this non-clogging formula that also minimizes irritation.

Pros
" Oil-free. Dermatologically tested. Allergy-tested. Fragrance-free. Water-resistant. Paraben-free. Oxybenzone-free. Octinoxate-free."
 Also Great

Cetaphil SPF 35 Moisturizing Oil-Free Facial Sunscreen

Cetaphil

SPF 35 Moisturizing Oil-Free Facial Sunscreen

Featuring an SPF 35 rating, this lotion is made to offer both sun protection and nourishment to those with combination skin. The formula isn't clogging or irritating, and it doesn't have a fragrance.

Overall Take

Versatile OptionWhether you want a daily moisturizer or sun protection, this versatile product can handle the job.

Pros
" It restores the skin's moisture with hydrating ingredients, like glycerin and panthenol, and protects against free radical damage, with niacinamide and vitamin E."

Buying Guide

Sun exposure can damage your face to cause undesirable effects such as wrinkling and dryness as well as increase your chances of getting skin cancer. That means you’ll want to use a good facial sunscreen for protection. While you might opt to just use your regular sunscreen, getting a specific formula for your face is a good idea so that the ingredients won’t be too harsh for this sensitive area or cause issues like breakouts.

Considering the sun protection factor (SPF) is crucial for finding a facial sunscreen that will work best for you. Many facial sunscreens start with an SPF rating of at least 30, though you can find them with an SPF of 70 or even higher. You should keep in mind that the higher rating the facial sunscreen has, the longer it protects your skin. In addition, you’ll want to verify that the facial sunscreen is labeled as a broad-spectrum formula since that will keep your skin safe from UVA and UVB rays.

You’ll want to identify your skin type and note any issues you experience so you can choose the right facial sunscreen formulation. You’ll also want to consider your everyday activities – such as whether you’ll be swimming – in the decision.

Most products on the market consist of chemicals that provide sun protection, last long and often come with features such as water resistance. You’ll find you need to use less of these products to do the job as well as reapply them less often. However, these chemical sunscreens also can cause irritation, clog your pores and have negative environmental effects. In addition, there’s up to a 15-minute waiting time from application until protection is in full effect.

Other facial sunscreens consist of mineral ingredients that act as a physical block from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. These options tend to cause less irritation, can offer longer protection if you’re not getting wet and can be ideal for those with acne. However, they don’t perform as well when you do water activities, and they require more generous and frequent application. In addition, you might see an unwanted white film that affects your skin tone.

Whichever facial sunscreen type you choose, look out for some special features. For example, you might look for moisturizing ingredients if you have dry skin or a non-oily formulation if you have acne. You might also prefer sunscreens that are either vegan or labeled as not harmful to ocean life.

Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
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Products Considered

We identified the majority of the facial sunscreens available to purchase.
7

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

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15

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Style Craze, ReviewThis, Allure, Skincare Hero, The New York Times.

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User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

Our experts reviewed the top 7 Facial Sunscreens and also dug through the reviews from 15 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Facial Sunscreens.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

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What to Look For

  • For the best results, start each day with an application of sunscreen to your face and other exposed areas of the body. This applies even if you’ll be going out on a cloudy day since the sun can still cause skin damage even when it’s not bright out.
  • If possible, you should always apply the face sunscreen as the first layer before you move forward with any makeup or other skin products. However, it’s OK to put certain products such as acne medications on first.
  • As a further safeguard, you can use makeup that has some SPF protection in it, but don’t rely on such makeup alone.
  • To make sure you get the right coverage, follow a few guidelines for applying face sunscreen. First, rather than just spreading it all over your face at once, try putting smaller dots of sunscreen on the different areas of your face and then spreading it out. Make sure you apply the formula to your ears, temples and hairline too.
  • Putting on face sunscreen usually isn’t a one-time daily task. A rule of thumb is to reapply it every two hours of sun exposure, whether you’re outside at the beach or inside by a sunny window. If you’re doing water activities, you might reapply more often such as every hour or each time you finish swimming and use a towel to get dry.
  • Always take a close look at the face sunscreen’s ingredients list to see if you identify anything you’re sensitive or allergic to. If you use a particular product and notice signs like red skin that’s itchy, painful or swollen, that could indicate an allergy. You’ll want to get the sunscreen off your skin, avoid using it again and seek a doctor’s help. Doing a patch test can help identify such an allergy before you apply the sunscreen to your entire face.

More to Explore

To keep your face looking good and staying healthy, using facial sunscreen is just one protective step to take. When going outside, be sure to wear sunglasses that offer broad-spectrum protection and both protect your eyes and the delicate neighboring skin from damage. In addition, try to use a hat that has a wide brim and keeps the sun off your face and offers protection to your neck and scalp as well.

Of course, it also helps to minimize your time out in the sun whenever possible. If you do need to be outside for an extended period, look for a shady area and try to coordinate activities outside the peak sunlight hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

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