The real estate on your top shelf (and even your makeup bag) is precious—but if there’s one product that absolutely deserves its square footage (er, inches), it’s your sunscreen. Hey, your mother was always right: It’s to be applied on gotta-wear-shades days and cool and cloudy ones alike (the risk for melanoma is real).
But, let’s face it: In the past, it’s usually tough to find facial SPFs that are clean-beauty-approved (AKA no pore-clogging, endocrine-disrupting options, please). The natural world of mineral-based sunscreens is stepping up its game, though—plus, there’s a whole world of primers and moisturizers out there that boost radiance and protect your money maker from UV rays.
But which products both work well and look good? Our editors tested dozens of options to find the best of the bunch. The winners include probiotic-infused, antioxidant-packed, and imperfection-blurring unicorns you should add to your daily routine ASAP.
Keep reading to shop the very best editor-tested moisturizing sunscreens for your face.
Leave it to this do-it-all moisturizer/primer/SPF 30 to keep your face summer- and selfie-ready. Not only is it providing broad spectrum coverage, but this multitasker boosts your skin’s dewy factor with hyaluronic acid, jojoba oil, and red algae (a nutrient-dense antioxidant).
An anti-inflammatory sunscreen-slash-moisturizer? Yes, please. This hydrating cream is instantly absorbed into your skin, and delivers reparative plant oils (like sea buckthorn and broccoli oil) and soothing herbal actives (evening primrose and calendula) that clear any redness. There’s zinc oxide in there to keep your face covered—oh, and it finishes with a matte, even complexion.
This is truly a Goldilocks option—it’s thick and creamy enough where you feel like you’re getting ample protection (and you can tell where on your face it’s actually gone) without being so thick that you really need to rub it in. (The aloe vera-lavender scent doesn’t hurt, either.) Basically, the perfect addition to your daily routine—think of it as the Neutrogena of the natural world.
If you need a primer: Kypris Heliotropic SPF 30 Treatment Primer, $68
The luxe brand’s cutely named “Pot of Shade” looks like an ultra-thick moisturizer that would make your face white, but it actually blends in really nicely. It’s infused with probiotics (that help boosts your healthy skin microbiome) and exotic botanicals like chaparral (an antioxidant), sweet iris stem cells, and tamanu, which work wonders for a plump, dewy primer pre-makeup (or sans).
The name doesn’t steer you wrong—this sunblock is actually transparent and goes right into your skin. Bonus points for breathability (via moisturizing marula oil and raspberry seed extract), as well as its assemblage of antioxidants for an added, nourished glow.
This SPF is like a face oil with superpowers—it’s ultra nourishing (and, if you’re already into oils, means you’ve got one less step in your skin care regimen). The red raspberry and macadamia nut seed oil-based blends seamlessly with your other products, whether it’s concealers or tinted moisturizers, and has an intoxicating nutty smell—almost like marzipan (yum).
With its sheer, oh-so-subtle tinted coverage, you’d never guess this product was using titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to keep those harmful rays from damaging your skin. This multitasking moisturizer also delivers radiance-enhancing nutrients like rosehip and sweet almond oil, and it has vitamin C to help brighten the complexion.
Algae-rich nutrients and vegetable-based hyaluronic acid make Juice Beauty’s multitasking moisturizer a skin-plumper (in addition to the face-protecting zinc oxide). It goes on thick but blends nicely, and smells refreshingly fruity (that would be the one-two punch of apple and cucumber). Worried about clogged pores? This one’s ultra-breathable, so you’ll be in the clear.
Extreme winter sports fans, this one’s for you. The new SPF-moisturizer goes on really thick (it’s more of a paste than a lotion)—but you can feel it’s creating a protective barrier for your skin. When you need extra SPF during an Aspen vacation or for snowboarding, it’s ideal—plus it’s super-moisturizing, with shea butter and coconut oil. Just be sure to rub it in.
Originally posted June 7, 2017, updated August 13, 2018
Now that your face is taken care of, these are the 11 best sunscreens that the rest of your body will need. And now that you’re SPF’ed up, check out these seriously cute swimsuits for every summer activity.
Loading More Posts...