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Protect Your Skin This Summer With the Best Face Sunscreen

  1. La Roche-Posay Face Sunscreen
  2. EltaMD Face Sunscreen
  3. Sun Bum Face Sunscreen
  4. Solimo Face Sunscreen
  5. COOLA Face Sunscreen
  6. Buyer's Guide

Who doesn't love summer? From beach parties, wholesome picnics, adventurous hikes, to family BBQs in the backyard, summer is a delightful season to look forward to. But what's not so great is the risk of sun damage and sunburns. Many people who are somewhat conscious about skincare like to stay inside to avoid the scorching sun on super hot days, but that's no way to live. A face sunscreen with a strong enough protective layer will allow you to enjoy complete summer freedom no matter how hot it gets!

But choosing a sunscreen can get pretty complex when you start to research the different qualities, types, SPFs, and brands. But don't worry! We've evaluated many popular products and have shortlisted some of the safest, most effective sunscreens you can find in 2022. We've also prepared an all-inclusive buying guide to guide you through every detail so that you can make an informed purchase decision. Let's get started!

Comparing the Top Face Sunscreens of 2022

La Roche-Posay Face Sunscreen - Best Overall

At the number one spot, we've got a face sunscreen from one of the most popular skincare brands, La Roche-Posay. Being oil-free, this facial sunblock is the ideal choice for those with acne-prone skin. It also doesn't have any artificial scent made of chemicals that can harm the skin, which is common among premium sunscreen brands.

  • Water-resistant up to 80 minutes
  • UVA and UVB protection
  • No artificial scent
  • Not suitable for dry skin

Using a combination of UVB and UVA filters, this face sunscreen provides a broad-spectrum sun protection factor (SPF) of 60, which is higher than all the other options on our list. Thanks to this sunscreen’s high SPF rating and water-resistant properties, we’ve chosen this face sunscreen as our best overall choice.

EltaMD Face Sunscreen - Best Mineral-Based

Next up, we've got the wildly popular EltaMD Face Sunscreen with nearly 30,000 Amazon ratings to its name. This sunscreen features a highly beneficial mineral-based zinc oxide formula that's dermatologist-recommended and is ideal for those with sensitive skin. Being oil-free, it's also great for those who are acne-prone.

  • Made with an expert-backed, powerful formula
  • Fragrance-free, paraben-free, and oil-free
  • Won’t irritate sensitive skin
  • More expensive than others

This unscented facial sunscreen soothes and calms the skin. Featuring an SPF of 46, this sunscreen covers and protects your face, providing strong sun-damage protection. Keep in mind that you’ll need to reapply this sunscreen every two hours.

Sun Bum Face Sunscreen - Best Vegan

If you only use vegan or gluten-free products on your skin, this one's for you! This face sunscreen from Sun Bum is SPF 50, offering your face ample protection from the sun. What’s more, this sunscreen formula is lightweight and oil-free. Plus, it can double as a moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated all day during the summer.

  • Reef friendly option
  • Free of oxybenzone, parabens, and gluten
  • High protection at SPF 50
  • Requires reapplication every 80 minutes

The dermatologist-tested formula also contains Vitamin E, which has various skin benefits, including softening, locking in moisture, and preventing cellular damage. As an added bonus, this face sunscreen is non-comedogenic, which means that you don't have to worry about it clogging your pores or causing acne.

Solimo Face Sunscreen - Most Affordable

Next up, the face sunscreen by Solimo is an affordable option at under $10. This face sunscreen comes with a guaranteed satisfaction; the brand will offer you a full refund within a year of purchase if you're unhappy with the product. Made of a formula tested by dermatologists, this facial sunscreen provides a broad-spectrum SPF 30. What’s more, it's water-resistant for up to 80 minutes so you'll have plenty of time to swim or get a game in before needing to stop and reapply. Plus, this sunscreen is designed to give you such a clean and light feel that you'll forget you're wearing any sunscreen at all! Overall, this well-rounded sunscreen is a great pick for the price.

  • Affordable, high-quality sunscreen
  • Octinoxate and oxybenzone-free
  • Secure purchase with a great refund policy
  • SPF is lower than others

COOLA Face Sunscreen - Best Organic

The COOLA Face Sunscreen is among the highest-rated options on our list. You can either get it completely fragrance-free or in a soothing white tea scent. Both varieties are equally priced and provide a respectable coverage of SPF 50. No matter how bright, hot, or brutal the sun gets, your skin won't burn as long as you've applied some of this face sunscreen.

  • Available in scented and unscented
  • Cruelty-free product
  • Made of 70% organic ingredients
  • A bit pricey

What’s more, the formula is rich in antioxidants with 70% of the ingredients being certified organic. Even though it's designed to feel lightweight and non-greasy, this face sunscreen will keep your skin hydrated all day. Plus, the brand has teamed up with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to ensure that this product is cruelty-free.

Buyer's Guide

Choosing the right sunscreen for your face is complicated and depends on many factors, such as the SPF rating, water resistance, ingredients, and your skin type. To help you pick the right one, we’ve put together this detailed buyer’s guide where we take a look at each of these factors in-depth so you can understand the type of sunscreen you should invest in.

Sun Protection Factor (SPF)

Unfortunately, no sunscreen provides a strong enough barrier to block out all of the damaging effects of the sun. Still, the SPF is a solid indicator of how close a sunscreen is to completely protecting your skin. The higher the SPF is, the more protection and the longer you can stay outside without significantly damaging or burning your skin.

Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to choose an SPF rating above 30. For full protection, we recommend choosing a sunscreen that has a SPF of 50 or higher.

Keep in mind that sunscreens with a higher SPF tend to be stickier, which means they’ll feel heavier and will be harder to rub in than lighter, lower SPF sunscreens. But you might need all the extra protection you can get on a sunny beach day.

The level of SPF you need depends on your lifestyle, how often you're going to be out in the sun, and how hot the summers get where you live.

Check for "Broad Spectrum" Protection

Remember to check if your sunscreen offers broad spectrum protection. This means the sunscreen will keep you safe from both UVA and UVB rays. Since all UV rays are harmful to the skin, don't overlook this rating!

Know Your Sunscreen's Key Ingredients

If you're going to be putting something on your face several times a day, it's a good idea to know what's in it. Before you make any purchasing decisions, we recommend reading the sunscreen’s main ingredients. Some ingredients to avoid include oxybenzone, parabens, octinoxate and methylisothiazolinone. If you see any of these in the ingredient list, we recommend you avoid the product. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), some of these chemicals, especially oxybenzone, can cause serious allergic reactions and might even disrupt hormones.

Consider Your Skin Type

When it comes to face sunscreens, there's no one-size-fits-all solution. Some people have dry skin and some have oily skin — along with many other variations like sensitive skin and acne-prone skin. Depending on the type of skin you have, you need to look for ingredients that suit you best.

According to certified dermatologists:

Dry-skin sufferers should look for glycerin, dimethicone (or other silicone), aloe oils, and lanolin.

Oily skin prefers gel lotions or lightweight sunscreens with ingredients like isododecane and silica.

Sensitive skin does well with fragrance-free and hypoallergenic sunscreens as well as mineral-based sunscreens made with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Preservatives and alcohols are not good for sensitive skin as they can easily cause irritation.


Water resistance is another important factor to look for in your sunscreen. We recommend looking for a sunscreen with at least 80 minutes of water resistance. If you don’t swim often or sweat much, you should be able to get away with a sunscreen that is water-resistant for up to 40 minutes. Always remember to reapply sunscreen after you've washed your face and dried it with a towel.

People Also Asked

Q. Do I have to wait for 20 minutes after applying sunscreen?

A. Yes, sunscreen needs time to dry and create a uniform film over your face. When you apply sunblock, some of it evaporates and the skin is left with a layer of UVA/UVB filters, which take roughly 20 minutes to begin working.

Q. How do I know if my sunscreen is working?

A. If you've been out in the sun for a long period and you don't feel any burning sensations, your sunblock is likely working. If you do feel like your skin is burning or getting hot, try sitting in the shade or reapplying your sunblock.

Q. Can I skip moisturizer and use sunscreen?

A. No, moisturizer is an essential part of any skincare routine and you shouldn't skip it as it helps hydrate the skin. The primary purpose of sunscreen is to keep your skin safe from the sun's harmful UV rays.

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