Best Facial Sunscreens Based on Texture, Spreadability, and Price
I never leave the house without putting on sunscreen. My face must always be protected from the sun by a nice layer of sunscreen. That’s one beauty habit that I vow never to break. But choosing the right face sunscreen can be tricky. There are a lot of options available, but the formulations, ingredients, and product claims can be confusing. Many people don’t like to wear sunscreen because of the smell and the feeling on the skin. These product picks are sure to please even the pickiest person. They don’t smell like sunscreen. In fact, you’ll forget you’re even wearing sunscreen. Keep reading to learn about my favorites and what I believe are the best facial sunscreens on the market.
How to Choose a Face Sunscreen
Before we get into the nitty-gritty product details, let’s discuss the rules for choosing a face sunscreen. There are 6 key things to keep in mind. I’ve written about these at length in another post. Let’s quickly summarize those 6 steps once more.
1. Sun Protection Factor
The SPF should be greater than 15, but preferably look for a minimum of SPF 30.
2. Broad Spectrum Coverage
The best facial sunscreens will protect against both UVA and UVB rays.
Some sunscreens have additional ingredients that can trigger sensitive skin to have bad reactions. True sunscreen allergies to the UV light blocking chemicals are rare. Additionally, the added ingredients in a sunscreen may make the sunscreen in question more moisturizing. People with dry skin should look for sunscreens with moisturizing ingredients like silicone built in.
4. Texture and Spreadability
What does the sunscreen feel like? I equate this to the mouth-feel in a wine. Some wines have a great feeling in the mouth to them. Sunscreen should be the same. If you love the feel of your sunscreen product and how it spreads on the face, you will be more likely to use it.
Face sunscreen is a product you will be using every day. It is important to keep a budget in mind when selecting a product you may have to replace several times a year.
Sunscreen can double as makeup. Instead of wearing foundation, a tinted sunscreen can help provide extra coverage and even skin tone. Think about whether you want a tinted or untinted sunscreen as the base for your makeup.
Best Facial Sunscreen: Spreadable Pick
EltaMD UV Physical Broad-Spectrum SPF 41
This is one of my everyday sunscreens. It’s what I use instead of foundation. I have the lightly tinted formula. This sunscreen feels like a light mousse. It’s got some body to it, but it’s the most spreadable sunscreen on the market.
As far as the specs go, it’s got greater than SPF 30 and broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays. EltaMD UV Physical is moderately priced at $20-29 for 3 ounces depending on where you purchase.
Best Facial Sunscreen: Texture Pick
Tizo 3 Facial Mineral Sunscreen
I also like the texture of Tizo 3 Facial Mineral Sunscreen, but it’s different from EltaMD UV Physical. They both feel like a mousse. But where EltaMD UV Physical is an airy, easy to spread mousse, the Tizo 3 Facial Mineral Sunscreen is a thicker mousse. This means it’s harder to spread but it gives you more coverage. The tinted formulation will replace a foundation for people who need full coverage.
This sunscreen has SPF 40 and broad-spectrum protection. As a bonus, it’s water resistant for up to 80 minutes. Tizo 3 Facial Mineral Sunscreen is on the top end of cost at $30-40 for 1.75 ounces.
Best Facial Sunscreen: Budget Pick
Aveeno Positively Radiant Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 30
The texture of this product is more similar to typical sunscreens than some of the others on this list. However, this sunscreen still spreads well and won’t leave you with a ghostly white sheen. My only critique for this sunscreen is the shiny, orange tint. If you’re not careful evenly spreading the product, you can end up with streaks.
At $12-15 for 2.5 ounces, Aveeno Positively Radiant Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 30 is a steal. This sunscreen won’t break the bank and can be found at any drug store. The other sunscreens on this list may be harder to find or only available for online order.
Best Facial Sunscreen: Splurge Pick
La Roche-Posay Anthelios AOX
This is one of the priciest daily facial sunscreens on the market. La Roche-Posay is known for being an expensive brand, but their products are well worth it. I like this sunscreen because it has antioxidants and silicone. I rarely use antioxidants on my face, and I like that this sunscreen has Vitamin C and Vitamin E built in. The silicone ingredients (dimethicone and cyclopentasiloxane) help fill in any fine lines. As I’ve said before about SkinMedica’s HA5 rejuvenating hydrator, the silicone works instantly.
This sunscreen boasts the highest SPF on this list. A whopping SPF 50. It’s also broad-spectrum. What sets this sunscreen apart is the fact that it’s also a serum. It’s marketed as a daily antioxidant serum with sunscreen. La Roche-Posay Anthelios AOX sells for $43 for 1 ounce.