How often do you use this type of product?
This will help us personalize your experience.

14 Amazing Sunscreens You’ll Actually Look Forward to Applying

best-sunscreen_thumbnailbest-sunscreen_header

We know, we know: Sunscreen is a skincare non-negotiable. But sometimes it can feel like a chore in our beauty routine, as it’s not quite as glamorous as kicking back with an LED face mask or as exhilarating as trying retinol for the first time. Still, sunscreen is essential (and that’s why we keep applying it)—because no matter what time of year you step outside, your skin is exposed to harmful UV rays, which can cause painful sunburns and signs of premature aging and also contribute to skin cancer. But with so many different types of sunscreen available, it can be hard to narrow down your options.

Dermatologist Arash Akhavan, MD, can help with that. For everyday use, Dr. Akhavan recommends seeking out a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher that also features zinc oxide or a combination of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as the formula's active ingredients. He says, "These ingredients are necessary to have a product that is truly broad-spectrum protection."

To help you find your next holy-grail sunscreen, we searched through thousands of reviews to compile this list of 14 best sunscreens on the market. Featuring award winners, cult classics, and plenty of formulas tried and tested by Ipsters themselves, this list is sure to have something for your skin type, lifestyle, and preferences.


About the Expert:

Arash Akhavan, MD, FAAD, is a board-certified dermatologist and the founder and director of The Dermatology & Laser Group in New York City.

1. Best K-Beauty Sunscreen:

INNISFREE Daily UV Defense Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 36

INNISFREE Daily UV Defense Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 36

Broad-spectrum sunscreen? Check. Top K-Beauty brand? Check. SPF 30 or higher? Def! When we started our search for the perfect daily sunscreen, it was clear that this award winner impressed both us and our members. One Ipster gave this product five stars, saying, “Amazing! I’ve tried quite a few different sunscreens and this is my favorite!”

This Ipster-tested and -loved sunscreen is loaded with green tea and sunflower seed oil to help protect skin against UVA and UVB rays while also creating a fresh, dewy glow.

2. Best Serum Sunscreen:

TULA SKINCARE Radiant Skin Brightening Serum Skin Tint with SPF 30

TULA SKINCARE Radiant Skin Brightening Serum Skin Tint with SPF 30

One Ipster gave this product five stars, describing it as a “‘your skin but better’ type of vibe” that we totally agree with. This serum-light formula features the brand’s Rainbow Seabright™ Elixir, which helps brighten and even the look of skin tone, provide SPF 30 protection to combat sun damage, and is clinically proven to increase skin radiance. But that’s not all—it also includes hyaluronic acid to hydrate and collagen to help improve the look of fine lines and wrinkles.

3. Best Sunscreen to Prep Skin for Makeup:

KEYS SOULCARE Protect Your Light SPF 30 Daily Facial Moisturizer

KEYS SOULCARE Protect Your Light SPF 30 Daily Moisturizer

One of our favorite beauty hacks for saving time is skipping the primer and using a facial sunscreen with a tacky finish instead. The sticky surface will help your makeup grip and last longer throughout the day. Ipster Megan B. tried this trick out for herself, commenting that “This formula feels very rich in texture. Does leave a sticky base so it’s great for putting on makeup afterwards, and making it last.” Formulated with olive-derived squalane and niacinamide to help brighten and balance skin appearance, this derm-developed face sunscreen has become a skincare must for many Ipsters.

4. Best Hybrid Sunscreen Formula:

GLOW RECIPE Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Sunscreen SPF 50

GLOW RECIPE Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Sunscreen SPF 50

This blend of chemical and physical sunscreen is so good, it leaves even physical-sunscreen skeptics shook. “I’m a person that typically sticks with mineral sunscreens only if I can, and the fact that this is a hybrid of mineral and chemical filters makes me shocked that I truly enjoyed it,” said one reviewer. The way it works is that the chemical actives absorb and protect from sunburn-causing UVB rays, while the mineral actives function as a physical barrier to protect your skin from both UVB and UVA rays. 

5. Best Scented Sunscreen:

VACATION® INC Classic Lotion SPF 30

VACATION® INC Classic Lotion SPF 30

If you grew up in the era of BANANA BOAT®, HAWAIIAN TROPIC®, and COPPERTONE® sunblocks galore, chances are, you’re going to love this sunscreen from VACATION® INC. Ipsters are obsessed with the summertime scent that features notes of coconut, banana, pool water, pool toy, and swimsuit lycra for a totally nostalgic olfactory experience. 

One Ipster said, “I LOVE the way it smells—it reminds me of growing up in California, in the 80s, on the pacific coast. It's very nostalgic for those of us over the age of 40 (maybe even those of us over 35). Honestly, I am about to see if they make this scent into a spray on perfume.” But this formula doesn’t just smell good. It’s also oxybenzone- and octinoxate-free (two ingredients that can impact coral reefs), so you can feel good using it on all your summer beach days.

6. Best Lightweight Sunscreen:

EVEREDEN SPF50 Premium Mineral Sunscreen

EVEREDEN SPF50 Premium Mineral Sunscreen

“Mineral sunscreen” and “lightweight” don’t always go hand in hand, but this magical formula manages to be both—and when we find a mineral formula we love, we never let it go! Dr. Akhavan says, "Mineral-based sunscreens that contain either zinc oxide or a combination of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide work best to protect against the full UV spectrum,” which is important because "UVA and UVB rays can both damage the DNA in skin cells and are both therefore responsible for causing skin cancer as well as signs of premature aging.” This formula is even great for sensitive skin. 

Ipster Katie C. gave it five stars, saying, “I have super sensitive combo skin and this is so good. Doesn’t feel like it sits ON my face like some sunscreens and did not cause breakouts.” That could be thanks to the brand’s SheerTech Zinc™ (for that sheer, lightweight texture with top-notch SPF 50 protection), 100% mineral non-nano UV filters (for a safe-for-skin particle size), and Safflower Oleotech™ (for all-day hydration and a vitamin E boost). With 4.5 stars and over 8,000 reviews on IPSY.com, it’s clear that Ipsters can’t get enough. 

7. Best Pore-Smoothing Sunscreen:

SAINT JANE BEAUTY Luxury Sun Ritual Pore Smoothing SPF 30 Sunscreen

SAINT JANE BEAUTY Luxury Sun Ritual Pore Smoothing SPF 30 Sunscreen

Every time we use this product, we have to do a double take—because it feels and looks just like a BB cream or lightweight foundation with its light tint and mousse-like finish. But this powerhouse is full of surprises. Not only does it help protect your skin with SPF 30, but it’s also packed full of antioxidants from hibiscus and green tea to help protect your complexion, plus jasmine and desert rose to help nourish.

One member raved, “I love that it really does minimize my pores, smells good, doesn’t turn my skin even whiter, doesn’t pill, and it works!” But they’re not the only one in love. This product has over 5,000 reviews and is rated 4.5 stars by Ipsters. 

8. Best Invisible Sunscreen:

SUPERGOOP! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40

SUPERGOOP! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40

This IPSY member review says it all: “This sunscreen is a must-have for people who just don’t want to settle for ghastly and chalky sunscreens that take a while to blend and settle. SUPERGOOP’s unseen sunscreen is extremely true to its name and even with a dime-sized amount, you can feel the product touching every corner of your skin.”

If you have a darker skin tone and often struggle with sunscreen formulas leaving a white cast on your skin, this is a totally invisible alternative. This clean chemical sunscreen is weightless, paraben-free, fragrance-free, and completely invisible when applied to the skin. No chalky finishes here! Bonus: it works great as an SPF-packed makeup primer, making it perfect for a.m. application.

9. Best Sunscreen for Acne-Prone Skin:

NEUTROGENA Clear Face Break-Out Free Liquid Lotion Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50

NEUTROGENA Clear Face Break-Out Free Liquid Lotion Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50

There's a common misconception that all sunscreen formulas will result in breakouts. But with today's skincare technology that's simply not true. Case in point: this drugstore favorite that's designed specifically for acne-prone skin. To keep your breakout-free, this non-comedogenic formula steers clear of both oil and oxybenzone, a common sunscreen ingredient known to clog pores. 

10. Best Tinted Sunscreen:

LA ROCHE-POSAY Anthelios Mineral Tinted Sunscreen for Face SPF 50

LA ROCHE-POSAY Anthelios Mineral Tinted Sunscreen for Face SPF 50

If you want just a touch of coverage (a little less than BB cream), a tinted sunscreen can be a lifesaver. With a subtle tint, it smooths and lightly evens out the skin tone while also shielding it from the sun. This tinted formula is from LA ROCHE-POSAY's Anthelios line, a collection of sunscreens that contain the brand's exclusive Cell-Ox Shield® technology: broad-spectrum protection from UVB and UVA rays, plus antioxidants to thoroughly protect skin from free radicals and premature signs of aging.

11. Best Hydrating Sunscreen:

CERAVE Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 Body Lotion

CERAVE Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 Body Lotion

Not sure where to start with your sunscreen collection? This hydration-focused drugstore buy is a great go-to for just about everyone—sensitive skin included. It features SPF 50, it's a 100% mineral formula (meaning it protects with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide), and it even includes three essential ceramides to lock in moisture and prevent dry skin. It's even been given the Skin Cancer Foundation Daily Use Seal of Approval.

12. Best Spray Sunscreen:

ELTAMD UV Active Spray Broad-Spectrum SPF 30

ELTAMD UV Active Spray Broad-Spectrum SPF 30

Sometimes, you just can't beat the convenience of spray sunscreen. However, some spray formulas do include questionable ingredients, so make sure you pay attention to the label. This particular formula offers water-resistant, 100% mineral broad-spectrum protection. It even features bisabolol to help calm skin and visibly reduce the appearance of redness, and an air-powered 360-degree spray for easy application from any angle (even upside down!).

When using a spray sunscreen, Dr. Akhavan has a couple of things he recommends keeping in mind: "I recommend only spraying these products when outdoors and keeping any mist as far away from the face and neck as possible," he says. Keeping spray products at a safe distance will help prevent any accidental inhalation of chemicals that can potentially be harmful to the lining of the lungs."

13. Best Sunscreen for Mature Skin:

JUICE BEAUTY SPF 30 Oil-Free Moisturizer

JUICE BEAUTY SPF 30 Oil-Free Moisturizer

Here's another A+ option if you're looking for a healthy daily sunscreen formula. This broad-spectrum moisturizer is a mineral sunscreen that uses zinc oxide to protect against the sun. "In general, I recommend patients choose mineral sunscreens whenever possible due to their superior broad-spectrum coverage," Dr. Akhavan says. "They also have less potential for harmful health impact."

The ultra-moisturizing formula is ideal for mature skin as it also comes with some anti-aging benefits: It's made with dark-spot-reducing vitamin C, elasticity-boosting sea algae, and antioxidant-rich organic grape and pomegranate. One Ipster noted that “A little goes a long way and my skin feels soft without being too oily! I love it!”

14 Best Probiotic Sunscreen:

KINSHIP SELF REFLECT Probiotic Moisturizing Sunscreen Zinc Oxide Broad Spectrum SPF 32

KINSHIP SELF REFLECT Probiotic Moisturizing Sunscreen Zinc Oxide Broad Spectrum SPF 32

More than 15,000 reviews and over four stars proves that Ipsters are crazy about this SPF-packed product—and they’re in good company. This cult-favorite sunscreen has picked up multiple beauty awards, cementing its place as an sunscreen fave in the industry. The gentle mineral sunscreen protects your face, neck, and chest from damaging ultraviolet rays while the formula's probiotic complex also balances the skin and promotes a healthy moisture barrier. It's a perfect daily go-to for moisturizing sun protection that also gives the skin a subtle glow. 

One Ipster writes, "This product provides great sun protection, is environmentally friendly, and also makes my skin look pretty and dewy. I feel comfortable using this instead of foundation. Perfect for no-makeup days."

Want top-rated SPF products and more essential beauty delivered every month? Take our Beauty Quiz now to get started with your own IPSY subscription. Already an IPSY member? Refer your friends to earn points, which you can use toward products. Either way, don’t forget to check us out on Instagram and TikTok @IPSY.

Like this article? Share it with your friends by clicking the icons below! 

About the author
susan-muramoto-headshot
Susan Muramoto
Susan is a senior copywriter at IPSY and a Bay Area-based freelance writer and copyeditor. She has over ten years of writing experience that spans public media, higher education, and beauty.
Share Article
Article Last Updated June 20, 2024 12:00 AM