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Article updated on June 12, 2024 at 8:00 AM PDT

The 15 Best Facial Sunscreens of 2024

Tested and chosen from the top 50 brands, here are the best facial sunscreens to keep you protected all summer long.

Our Experts

Written by 
Caroline Igo
Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement
Caroline Igo Editor, Sleep
Caroline Igo (she/her/hers) is a wellness editor and holds Sleep Science Coach and Stress Management certificates from the Spencer Institute. She received her bachelor's degree in creative writing from Miami University and continues to further her craft in her free time. Before joining CNET, Caroline wrote for past CNN anchor, Daryn Kagan.
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Our Picks

$43 at Amazon
EltaMD UV Clear Sunscreen on hand in front of flowery background.
Best overall facial sunscreen
EltaMD UV Clear
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$38 at Amazon
Hand holding Supergoop! Unseen sunscreen
Best facial sunscreen for all skin types
Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen
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$12 at Target
Hand holding Aveeno protect and hydrate sunscreen
Best drugstore facial sunscreen
Aveeno Protect and Hydrate
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$28 at Amazon
kinship-sunscreen.jpg
Best mineral facial sunscreen
Kinship Self Reflect Mineral Sunscreen
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$58 at Walmart
Handing holding Coola Classic Sunscreen
Best chemical facial sunscreen
Coola Classic Face Sunscreen
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$11 at Walmart
A hand holding Black Girl Sunscreen
Best facial sunscreen for darker tones
Black Girl Sunscreen Broad Spectrum
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$30 at Walmart
Hand holding Murad Oil and Pore Control sunscreen
Best facial sunscreen for acne-prone skin
Murad Oil and Pore Control Mattifier Broad Spectrum
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$25 at Amazon
Hand holding La Roche-Posay Sunscreen
Best facial moisturizer with SPF
La Roche-Posay Double Repair Face Moisturizer UV
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$20 at Walmart
A hand holding Badger Active Sunscreen
Best water-resistant facial sunscreen
Badger Active Mineral Sunscreen
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$59 at Walmart
Hand holding ISDIN Sunscreen
Best facial sunscreen for mature skin
Isdin Eryfotona Actinica Ultralight Emulsion
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$38 at Amazon
A hand holding Supergoop! Glow Screen sunscreen
Best facial sunscreen for under makeup
Supergoop Glow Screen
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$30 at Coola
A hand holding Coola Hydration Stick sunscreen
Best facial sunstick
Coola Refreshing Water Hydration Stick
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$36 at Sephora
A hand holding Cay Skin Isle Body Glow Sunscreen
Best tinted facial sunscreen
Cay Skin Isle Glow Face Lotion
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$46 at Amazon
A hand holding Brush On Block powder sunscreen
Best powder facial sunscreen
Brush on Block Mineral Powder Sunscreen
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$25 at Glossier
A hand holding Glossier Sunscreen
Best gel facial sunscreen
Glossier Invisible Shield
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Are you adding sunscreen to your skin care routine this summer? You should. While most of us know we're supposed to wear sunscreen for sun protection, we don't always do it. However, according to dermatologists at the American Academy of Dermatology and the Skin Cancer Foundationwearing sunscreen is the most important thing you can do to help slow down visible signs of aging and protect sensitive skin. And that doesn't mean just using whatever sunscreen is the cheapest at your local drugstore. The right sunscreen provides protection from harmful UV light. You need to form a healthy skin barrier from the sun by choosing a sunscreen that suits your activities, complexion type (particularly if you have delicate or acne-prone skin) and skin care routines for the best protection.

There are hundreds of different formulas of facial sunscreen specializing in different areas like a moisturizing feel, quick absorption, water resistance, mineral-based formulas and more. We've tested them all, and these are the best facial sunscreens out there right now. 

How we chose the best facial sunscreen

Best sunscreen for faces
Caroline Igo/CNET

I tested over 55 sunscreen products from about 50 different popular brands. I then narrowed it down to the best of the best. I looked at each products' SPF levels, ingredients, feel and price. From there, I applied each product to my face and went into the sun to see how each felt and protected.

Each facial sunscreen was tested on my naturally acne-prone skin on top of my everyday moisturizer. Not every formula on this list will work for everyone. My goal is to give you a sense of the viscosity and scent of each product and how they feel on the skin.

Best face sunscreen of 2024

$43 at Amazon

Best overall facial sunscreen

EltaMD UV Clear

Despite its name, this sunscreen isn't clear out of the pump. However, this mineral sunscreen rubs in without any white cast (a white film that titanium dioxide or zinc oxide can leave on the skin). It's designed for those with acne, rosacea and hyperpigmentation and includes niacinamide (vitamin B3), an ingredient that can soothe inflammation and reduce redness.

This formula is neither thick nor thin, and there's no smell. It takes a bit of rubbing to get the formula to sink in, but once rubbed in, it feels lightweight and moisturizing on the skin. If you're opposed to the white hue, EltaMD also makes a tinted sunscreen. 

EltaMD products are great if you have various skin concerns such as rosacea or sensitivity. All of its sun care products are paraben-free, fragrance-free, vegan, noncomedogenic, sensitivity-free and oil-free.

  • SPF level: 46
  • Mineral or chemical: Both
  • Active ingredients: Octinoxate 7.5%, zinc oxide 9%
  • Consistency: Lightweight 
  • Finish: Dewy 
$38 at Amazon

Best facial sunscreen for all skin types

Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen

Supergoop's sunscreen formulas are meant to not feel like sunscreen at all. Unseen is a thick, clear gel that dries down to a soft matte finish, creating a great base for applying makeup over. Unseen is nonirritating, noncomedogenic, dermatologist-tested, fragrance-free and vegan, making it great for all skin types. And because it's clear, it also works for any and all skin tones -- other sunscreens can leave behind a white film or have a tint that's too light for darker complexions. 

There's a hint of sunscreen smell, but it's not overpowering in the slightest. The formula didn't feel as hydrating on my skin as the EltaMD sunscreen did, so I wouldn't wear it by itself. But if you already use a face moisturizer and you wear makeup daily, Unseen will serve you well. 

  • SPF level: 40
  • Mineral or chemical: Chemical
  • Active ingredients: Avobenzone 3%, homosalate 8%, octisalate 5% and octocrylene 4%
  • Consistency: Gel
  • Finish: Matte
$12 at Target

Best drugstore facial sunscreen

Aveeno Protect and Hydrate

The smell of Aveeno's facial sunscreen is reminiscent of the typical sunscreen you'd grab when you head to the beach, albeit not as strong. However, the lotion is lightweight, sinks in nicely and leaves a soft, natural finish.

The formula is water- and sweat-resistant for up to 80 minutes and is meant to be moisturizing like Aveeno's other lotions and creams. Given its hydrating ingredients and the consistency of the formula, it's probably a better choice if you have normal or dry skin, as opposed to oily or combination.

  • SPF level: 60
  • Mineral or chemical: Chemical
  • Active ingredients: Avobenzone 3%, homosalate 13.5%, octisalate 5% and octocrylene 10%
  • Consistency: Lightweight 
  • Finish: Natural
$28 at Amazon

Best mineral facial sunscreen

Kinship Self Reflect Mineral Sunscreen

When it comes to mineral sunscreens, the active ingredient -- zinc oxide -- is sometimes hard to completely rub in and often leaves a white cast behind. Kinship’s Self Reflect probiotic moisturizing sunscreen is the complete opposite. The cream is tinted slightly pink, easy to blend and feels hydrating. It contains turmeric to help soothe the skin and jojoba esters to moisturize. Made with Kinbiome, the brand's plant-based probiotic, the cream minimizes skin irritation and supports blemish-prone skin and the skin's barrier. The formula is also vegan, cruelty-free and safe for all skin types. 

Kinship produces only clean products. This means that its sun care products never contain petrochemicals, SLS or SLES (sulfates that can irritate eyes, skin and lungs), parabens, synthetic fragrance or color, silicones or polyethylene glycol, which is harmful for the environment. Its sunscreen products are even offered on Credo, a website for only all-clean brands. 

  • SPF level: 32
  • Mineral or chemical: Mineral
  • Active ingredients: Zinc oxide 22.4 %
  • Consistency: Creamy
  • Finish: Glowing
$58 at Walmart

Best chemical facial sunscreen

Coola Classic Face Sunscreen

This sunscreen is for people who hate thick, pasty sunscreens on their skin. It has the look and feel of a facial moisturizer, blends in incredibly quickly and makes my skin feel nice. Honestly, I kept touching my face after it sank in because it felt remarkably soft.

This is completely unscented, which is good for people who are sensitive to fragrance. Coola's Classic Face Sunscreen is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, but doesn't feel heavy at all, unlike the other water-resistant options I tried. Bonus: It also contains ingredients that are reef-safe under Hawaii's sunscreen regulations.

Coola is great as a daily sunscreen, either under makeup or on its own.

  • SPF level: 50
  • Mineral or chemical: Chemical
  • Active ingredients: Avobenzone 1.84%, homosalate 5.25%, octisalate 2.15% and octocrylene 5.25%
  • Consistency: Ultra lightweight 
  • Finish: Dewy
$11 at Walmart

Best facial sunscreen for darker tones

Black Girl Sunscreen Broad Spectrum

Black Girl Sunscreen is a black-owned brand that caters specifically to women of color. 

The sunscreen is a little thicker than the others on this list, but it blends in nicely without leaving a white cast. You can use Black Girl Sunscreen on both your face and body. 

The formula is vegan, cruelty-free, fragrance-free, ultra sheer, infused with cocoa seed butter, jojoba and avocado oil, and water-resistant for 80 minutes. It feels moisturizing on my skin, and I can see it working for all skin types, especially those with dry skin. 

  • SPF level: 30
  • Mineral or chemical: Chemical
  • Active ingredients: Avobenzone 3%, homosalate 10%, octisalate 5% and octocrylene 2.75%
  • Consistency: Lotion 
  • Finish: Dewy 
$30 at Walmart

Best facial sunscreen for acne-prone skin

Murad Oil and Pore Control Mattifier Broad Spectrum

As someone with acne-prone skin, I have used and trusted Murad for years. The brand is dermatologist-developed and offers products that are friendly for acne-prone, sensitive and oily skin. If you have a similar skin type, you should consider Murad. 

Murad's Oil and Pore Control Mattifier Broad Spectrum sunscreen is oil-free and minimizes the appearance of pores on top of the SPF. It feels hydrating on my skin and is the most matte of all the sunscreens on this list. It's my top choice for those who have oily or acne-prone skin. 

  • SPF level: 45
  • Mineral or chemical: Chemical
  • Active ingredients: Avobenzone 3%, homosalate 10%, octisalate 5% and octocrylene 5%
  • Consistency: Lightweight
  • Finish: Matte
$25 at Amazon

Best facial moisturizer with SPF

La Roche-Posay Double Repair Face Moisturizer UV

As with Murad, I am loyal to the La Roche-Posay brand. In fact, I have been using its Double Repair Face Moisturizer for years. It's dermatologist-tested, safe for sensitive skin, oil-free, noncomedogenic, fragrance-free, allergy-tested, paraben-free and contains niacinamide (vitamin B3) and ceramide-3.

I put this Roche-Posay SPF moisturizer to the test with a few other moisturizers. The only one that came close was Naturium's Dew-Glow Moisturizer SPF 50. This brand offers reputable products, but I found that the sunscreen was harder to rub in compared to Roche-Posay. On top of that, the Double Repair Face Moisturizer has more fluid ounces for the same price as Naturium, and Roche-Posay feels more hydrating on my skin. 

  • SPF level: 30
  • Mineral or chemical: Chemical
  • Active ingredients: Avobenzone 3%, homosalate 5%, octisalate 5% and octocrylene 7%
  • Consistency: Lightweight
  • Finish: Natural
$20 at Walmart

Best water-resistant facial sunscreen

Badger Active Mineral Sunscreen

The Badger Active Mineral Sunscreen is the thickest sunscreen on this list, and for this reason it's the best waterproof facial sunscreen. The uncoated zinc oxide creates a solid barrier between your skin and the sun. It's water-resistant for 40 minutes. The sunscreen is unscented, hypoallergenic, cruelty-free, water-free, reef-friendly and the package is made from recycled materials. It also contains organic sunflower seed oil, beeswax, vitamin E and sea buckthorn fruit extract to help keep the skin moisturized.

While the formula is thick, it does rub into the skin pretty well. It didn't leave a white cast on my skin. However, because it's heavy on the skin, I wouldn't recommend it to those with oily or acne-prone skin.

  • SPF level: 30
  • Mineral or chemical: Mineral
  • Active ingredients: Uncoated zinc oxide 18.75%
  • Consistency: Thick, creamy
  • Finish: Matte
$59 at Walmart

Best facial sunscreen for mature skin

Isdin Eryfotona Actinica Ultralight Emulsion

Isdin Photo Eryfotona Actinica is designed for actinic damage (skin that already has been damaged or changed by the sun), such as wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and reduced elasticity. It contains antioxidants and is water-resistant for 40 minutes.

The formula is liquid and blends into the skin in seconds. It's lightweight and can be used on any skin type -- especially mature skin that has already seen a lot of sun exposure.

  • SPF level: 50+
  • Mineral or chemical: Mineral
  • Active ingredients: Zinc oxide 11%
  • Consistency: Liquid 
  • Finish: Natural
$38 at Amazon

Best facial sunscreen for under makeup

Supergoop Glow Screen

If you prefer a glowy, dewy finish instead of a matte finish for your primer, Supergoop's Glow Screen is the one for you. It's very similar to Supergoop Unseen, except for the finish and consistency. Instead of a clear gel, the Glow Screen is more of a sheer liquid that adds some moisture and a glow, but without too much shimmer or glitter. It doesn't feel heavy on the skin. 

Glow Screen comes in various shades such as dawn, golden hour and sunset. While I was worried that there wasn't an exact shade that matches my skin, I was surprised how well each shade blended in. Glow Screen is perfect for a primer before makeup or even as your only makeup.

  • SPF level: 40
  • Mineral or chemical: Chemical
  • Active ingredients: Avobenzone 3%, homosalate 4%, octisalate 5% and octocrylene 8%
  • Consistency: Lightweight 
  • Finish: Glowing
$30 at Coola

Best facial sunstick

Coola Refreshing Water Hydration Stick

When it comes to getting your kids to put on sunscreen, sometimes it's easier to give them sunscreen in a twist tube. Coola's sunstick travels well and applies to faces smoothly. It requires little to no work to rub it into your skin.

Coola's Refreshing Water Hydration Stick is also antioxidant-enriched, cruelty-free, vegan, dermatologist-tested, noncomedogenic and Hawaii Reef Compliant. It also contains hyaluronic acid, aloe and coconut water -- which gives it its signature moisturizing feeling. It quite literally feels like you're applying cool water to your skin.

  • SPF level: 50
  • Mineral or chemical: Chemical 
  • Active ingredients:Avobenzone 2.5%, homosalate 3.5%, octisalate 2.15% and octocrylene 5%
  • Consistency: Ultra lightweight 
  • Finish: Natural
$36 at Sephora

Best tinted facial sunscreen

Cay Skin Isle Glow Face Lotion

Cay Skin recently appeared on my radar. Owned by supermodel and vitiligo spokesperson Winnie Harlow, Cay Skin offers products for all skin tones that don't leave behind a white cast. Cay Skin's Isle Glow Face Lotion contains sea moss, hydrating nectar, niacinamide and panthenol (vitamin B5). It's dermatologist-tested, noncomedogenic, fragrance-free, vegan, cruelty-free, sulfate-free, paraben-free and silicone-free. 

I like that the tint to this facial sunscreen is not too dark and not too light. It blends in nicely with little effort and I can see it illuminating most skin tones.

  • SPF level: 45
  • Mineral or chemical: Chemical
  • Active ingredients: Avobenzone 3%, octisalate 3% and octocrylene 10%
  • Consistency: Lightweight
  • Finish: Glowing
$46 at Amazon

Best powder facial sunscreen

Brush on Block Mineral Powder Sunscreen

If you're tired of lotions and thick SPF, there is another option. Powder sunscreen is on the rise and Supergoop has added a powder option to its line of sun care. I also tested Supergoop's (Glow)setting Powder, but I found Brush on Block to be the superior option. The powder is not too sparkly (unlike Supergoop) and it's similar to powder foundation. 

Brush on Block's Mineral Powder is translucent, reef-friendly, cruelty-free, vegan and water-resistant for 80 minutes. I like that it can easily be reapplied and applied over makeup or a moisturizer.

  • SPF level: 50
  • Mineral or chemical: Mineral
  • Active ingredients: Titanium dioxide 6%, zinc oxide 21%
  • Consistency: Powder
  • Finish: Matte and sparkly 
$25 at Glossier

Best gel facial sunscreen

Glossier Invisible Shield

The Glossier Invisible Shield sunscreen is similar to Supergoop Unseen. Both have similar consistencies and apply on the skin clear. However, the Glossier sunscreen feels more moisturizing on the skin. It applies very dewy and then seeps into the skin, bringing the hydration within.

Glossier's gel facial sunscreen is cruelty-free and TSA-friendly, as it's under the liquid recommendations and slips right into any bag. I recommend that you apply this Glossier sunscreen after moisturizer and before makeup. 

  • SPF level: 35
  • Mineral or chemical: Chemical 
  • Active ingredients: Avobenzone 3%, homosalate 6% and octisalate 5%
  • Consistency: Gel
  • Finish: Dewy, natural

Facial sunscreens for your skin type

No matter if you have oily or acne-prone skin, sensitive skin or dry skin on your face, the best sunscreen for your particular needs exists -- and may even be on this list. Many of these formulas are from higher-end skin care brands, with a few drugstore finds as well. While I'm not saying you need to buy the more expensive options, if you do you'll usually get a better formula that caters to your skin type, feels lightweight and blends well.

Dry skin: Use sunscreens that contain moisturizing ingredients including aloe, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, coconut water, sunflower oil or various fruit extracts. The sunscreen can be added on top of moisturizer or on its own, depending on how dry your skin is.

Oily skin: Steer clear of any sunscreen that is not oil-free. You don't want to add to the overall oil. Look for sunscreens that say "noncomedogenic" on the bottle, meaning it won't clog pores.

Acne-prone skin: If you have oily skin, chances are you also have acne-prone skin. Similarly, pick sunscreens that are noncomedogenic, oil-free, fragrance-free, paraben-free and irritation-free. 

Sensitive skin: Look for sunscreens that have minimal ingredients and that are first and foremost, fragrance-free. It also helps if the sunscreen is dermatologist-tested, oil-free, paraben-free, irritation-free and noncomedogenic.

Whether you use mineral sunscreen formulations or chemical ones, be sure you use one with broad spectrum SPF and skin-nurturing hyaluronic acid to provide both the sun protection and breathable skin comfort you need. 

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Best facial sunscreen FAQs

What is the most effective sunscreen for the face?

The most effective sunscreen for you will be any facial sunscreen of at least 30 SPF. On top of that, make sure to reapply every two hours. The most effective sunscreen is also SPF that you wear daily and that fits your lifestyle (e.g., wear waterproof sunscreen if you're swimming or working out in the sun).

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What SPF sunscreen do dermatologists recommend?

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, you should be using at least SPF 30. Sunscreens with SPF 30 protect the skin from 97% of the sun's rays. Higher SPFs can protect slightly more but no SPF can protect against 100% of UVB rays.

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What is the best sunscreen for rosacea face?

The best sunscreen for rosacea is any sunscreen that is dermatology-tested, fragrance-free and safe for sensitive skin. I recommend EltaMD's UV Clear Broad-Spectrum facial sunscreen, which is specifically formulated for skin types prone to acne, rosacea and hyperpigmentation. 

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