The Beauty Range: Face Sunscreens

Mar 20, 2020

Spring has officially sprung.  And since one of the few permissible activities in this time of crisis is outdoor exercise, I need to put  face sunscreen on my shopping list.  Here are some of my favorites.

The Only One That Doesn’t Make Me Break Out

Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen ($45)

The One That Completely Disappears

Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen ($34)

The One for Those Embracing Clean Beauty

Ren Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30 ($38)

The One You Can Find in the Drugstore

Bare Republic Mineral Sport Lotion ($15)

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  1. A says:

    Two caveats: (1) My people do not like the sun (Irish, Norwegian, Scottish – I am approximately ghost colored). (2) I can only use mineral sunscreens because the chemical ones make my psoriasis flare (i.e., for body I’ve been buying baby sunscreen long before I had a baby).

    For face, I use the Neutrogena Healthy Defense Sensitive Skin SPF 50 every morning – have been using for 10+ years. If I will be outside long enough to need to reapply, my favorite is the Cerave mineral sunscreen stick. It sold out last summer for a while, but I just stocked up on some for this summer. My back-up is the Neutrogena Baby sunscreen stick – my husband likes it too.

    For body we’re Neutrogena Baby people.

  2. Sarah says:

    Coola (parent brand of Bare Republic) has nice ones! Even some mineral ones that don’t cast too much of a glare, which can happen with Bare Republic. But we should all be wearing sunscreen on our face every day! Even in the winter. It’s the literal most important anti aging thing you can do. I’d venture to say none of the other stuff matters if you aren’t wearing sunscreen, so if you’re only doing one thing, it should be that.

  3. Nicole says:

    Question, do people apply the sunscreen after a face moisturizer but before foundation? Or do people use the sunscreen in lieu of a moisturizer? I know their are combination products out there as well.

    • A says:

      The Healthy Defense I use above is a moisturizer with sunscreen. With the SPF high enough and the dime-size amount I apply, I have never had issues with burning (and believe me I burn).

    • B says:

      I use moisturizer, let it sink in for a minute or two, and then add the supergoop sunscreen above as effectively a makeup primer before bb cream. Without the moisturizer I find my skin gets too dry, and the supergoop has the same velvety texture as a makeup primer, so it works well for me!

    • Belle says:

      Before.

  4. Erin says:

    To be a bit of a buzzkill, for those of you with really fair skin like me, I’d be wary of a lot of these. I am 34 going on 65, so I subscribe to Consumer’s Reports, which does independent testing of sunscreen every couple of years. Sunscreen is not independently tested by the government, it’s up to manufacturers to do their own testing and verify the SPF in their products. Unsurprisingly, many SPFs are flat out wrong. The actual product has lower SPF than the bottle says it does.

    Most of the most highly rated sunscreens in Consumer’s Reports, those that are effective according to their independent testing, are greasy. And they smell like a pina colada. So I’m very wary of “non-greasy” sunscreens. Mineral sunscreens in particular aren’t very effective, unfortunately.

    Good news is I’ve found one that is fairly highly rated and on the less greasy/smelly side: Walgreens SPF 50 hydrating broad spectrum sunscreen. It comes in a orange and yellow bottle. So for you fair skinned ladies, you may want to give it a try. I layer a mattefying primer on top, then use my foundation/powder on top of that. Hoping to be out in the sun more again very soon!

  5. Jules says:

    I live in Hawaii so I’ve tried them all.
    I need zinc oxide in them because of my hyperpigmentation issues.

    My absolute FAVORITE are;

    1) ELTAMDUV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46. Glide onto skin like a dream. Has Niacinamide for improved skin.

    2) Paula’s Choice Resist Super Light Wrinkle Defense Lotion SPF 30. Tint may not be for everyone, but lets me skip foundation.

    3) Algenist SUBLIME DEFENSE Ultra Lightweight UV Defense Fluid SPF 50. Blends into skin well, super lightweight.

  6. Anna C says:

    I have the unfortunate combination of ghost-pale (thanks Irish heritage) and incredibly sensitive skin, so most facial sunscreens either don’t work or cause reactions because of the scents, chemical ingredients, or other additives. BareMinerals Complexion Rescue (tinted moisturizer with sunscreen) is a godsend as it doesn’t cause a rash. I’ve also had good luck with Badger Sport Broad Spectrum sunscreen cream, which isn’t specifically a facial sunscreen, but works for me despite having to spend a *long* time rubbing it in, and I think it’s available at Target. I also tend toward the baby sunscreens as they tend to be more friendly for my sensitive skin.

  7. NorCalgal says:

    I swear by Sunumbra Classic. https://www.sunumbra.com/sunumbra-classic.html. I’ve been using it for years. I’m multiethnic and this is the only spf 30 zinc oxide, non-nano and non-coated, mostly organic ingredient mineral sunscreen I’ve found that doesn’t turn my face pasty white. High UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) protection and doesn’t contain commonly used UV filters, including oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and avobenzone. that have limited or no data about chemical safety and absorption.

    And, as a runner, I can go for a 10mi run and this stuff doesn’t slide off my face by the end 🙂

  8. Amy says:

    I have liked La Roche-Posay Anthelios untainted sunscreen. It’s available at Ulta and Walgreen’s and doesn’t cause breakouts for me. It’s very light, but I do think my skin is a bit oilier/shinier when using it.

  9. Alisha says:

    I started using Japanese and Korean brands for sunscreen last year and haven’t looked back. Canmake, Biore and Purito are my favorites so far. They blend in beautifully and feel like regular moisturizer. I use Biore UV Aqua Rich in the summer and Canmake and Purito when it’s cooler/drier.

  10. JoSie says:

    Supergoop CC cream has 35 spf, mineral with a high percentage of zinc. I think it’s great and generally allows me to skip concealer or foundation

  11. c says:

    Hello All,

    Many sunscreens leave a white cast on people of color. I haven’t consistently worn it, because it turns my complexion gray.

    But.. I wanted to share some that I have found

    -dermologica prism protect
    -biossance squalene and zinc sheer sunscreen.

    The latter is my current fav!

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