The 2023 Well+Good SPF Awards
The “best” sunscreen is the one you’ll wear every day, and we’ve got 70 editor-tested, dermatologist-approved options to choose from.
A letter from Zoë Weiner, Senior Beauty Editor
Whenever I ask a dermatologist to name the one beauty product they can’t live without, they answer “sunscreen” without missing a beat (and, to be clear, I’ve asked a lot of dermatologists this question). Not only is SPF the first line of protection against skin cancer, but it’s also the easiest way to fend off visible signs of skin aging, like fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration (all of which, by the way, show up as a result of sun damage). It’s an easy, everyday preventative measure that you’ll be reaping the benefits of for years to come. And yet, a whopping 34 percent of people cop to “rarely or never” wearing the stuff at all.
Now feels like the appropriate time for me to make a bad beauty editor confession: Until three years ago, I was one of those 34 percenters. I even had a monthly membership to a tanning salon throughout high school and college. Back then, I didn’t know any better—I certainly didn’t know I could achieve the sunkissed look I sought in a tanning bed from a tube of tinted SPF, nor did I realize the effects that my sun-worshipping was having on my skin. But with melanoma rates on the rise (The American Cancer Society estimates that the number of diagnoses in the U.S. ticks up 1 percent each year) and many wisening up to the fact that sunscreen may save us boatloads on anti-aging skin care in the future, folks (myself included) are now realizing the importance of incorporating SPF into their daily routines. And that’s a damn good thing.
Now that there are so many products available for every desired sun-care need (and want), there’s really no longer any excuse for not protecting your skin and yourself. Any dermatologist will tell you that the “best” sunscreen is the one you’ll wear every day, and with the first-ever Well+Good SPF awards, we’re here to help you find your sunscreen soulmate. Over the last six months, a group of 30 Well+Good staffers with varying skin tones, complexion concerns, and formulation preferences has tested hundreds of products—including face and body sunscreens, SPF-infused skin care, and sun-protective makeup—to serve up 70 winners, at least one of which is bound to be the “best” for you (though we won’t blame you for adding multiple to your cart).
There’s never been a better time to embrace sun safety, and our skin—and health—is all the better for it.
Dhaval Bhanusali, MD
Dhaval Bhanusali, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist based in NYC. After being accepted into medical school at 17, he completed his studies at the Michigan State University Medical Scholars Program, where he was also awarded the Spartan Scholarship and Arthur L. Foley Memorial Scholarship. He went on to complete his dermatology residency at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC. In his young career, Dr. Bhanusali has built numerous digital-health companies in hopes to better the world. He also serves as an advisor at impermanent-tattoo startup in Ephemeral (a tattoo startup), Follica Bio, and other various ventures.
Sumayah Jamal, MD
Sumayah Jamal, MD, PhD, is a board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City. Dr. Jamal completed her undergraduate studies at The Johns Hopkins University. She then went on to receive a combined MD and PhD degree from New York University School of Medicine, where she also completed her dermatology residency training and, subsequently, was a member of the full time dermatology research faculty for eight years.
Marisa Garshick, MD
Marisa Garshick, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist serving patients throughout Manhattan, New York and Clifton, New Jersey. She is also an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Cornell – New York Presbyterian Medical Center. Dr. Garshick provides a wide variety of cosmetic and medical procedures and services including treatments for acne, eczema, hyperhidrosis, moles, psoriasis, rosacea, signs of aging, skin cancer, skin tags, vitiligo, and wrinkles.
Joshua Zeichner, MD
Joshua Zeichner, MD, is an Associate Professor of Dermatology and the Director of Cosmetic & Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. He is one of the country’s key opinion leaders in treating acne and rosacea, and is an expert in cosmeceuticals, skin care, and cosmetic dermatology. He is actively engaged in clinical research, and his work has been published in the top peer-reviewed dermatology journals.
Diane Madfes, MD
Diane C. Madfes, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist specializing in dermatology and dermatologic surgery, utilizing cutting-edge technology and state-of-the-art machinery. Among Dr. Madfes’s specialties are facial rejuvenation, the use of fillers (such as fat and fillers), Botulinum injections to smooth facial lines, non-ablative laser Fraxel resurfacing, Thermage, sclerotherapy, chemical peels, and general skin care. She is proficient in the early detection and treatment of skin cancers, as well as having extensive experience in lipotransfer surgeries.
Julie E. Russak, MD
Julie E. Russak, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist, fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology , and founder of Russak Dermatology Clinic. Dr. Russak has received numerous honors and recognition of her clinical excellence, including being selected as a “New York Super Doctor” by The New York Times. Dr. Russak currently serves as Assistant Clinical Professor at Mount Sinai Hospital, where she teaches dermatology residents and medical students. Her clinical interests and expertise extend to many aspects of general, cosmetic and pediatric dermatology, skin cancer, and dermatologic surgery.
Carmen Castilla, MD
Carmen Castilla, MD, is a Manhattan-based, board-certified dermatologist specializing in personalized treatment plans in both cosmetic and medical dermatology. She combines traditional and cutting-edge treatment options to produce lasting results. As voluntary faculty at Mount Sinai Hospital, Dr. Castilla remains committed to advancing the field of dermatology through the use of advanced technology and current techniques that enhance treatment outcomes. She has published numerous papers and textbook chapters, and is nationally recognized.
Amy Wechsler, MD
One of only a small handful of physicians in the country who is board-certified in both dermatology and psychiatry, Amy Wechsler, MD, adds another dimension to dermatology:. Using the latest technologies and techniques, she treats a wide range of dermatologic conditions—beginning with a careful evaluation of the patient’s psychological stressors and skin care concerns. Dr. Wechsler’s work has also earned her hospital appointments as Assistant Clinical Professor in Dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and Adjunct Assistant Clinical Professor in Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College.
Hadley King, MD
Hadley King, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist who specializes in medical and cosmetic dermatology. She is also a Clinical Instructor of Dermatology at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University. Dr. King graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College with a degree in biochemistry. She received her MD from Columbia University. She trained in medicine at Greenwich Hospital, affiliated with the Yale University School of Medicine, and completed her dermatology residency at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University.