As the sun shines brighter and the temperatures rise, it’s crucial to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. And what better way to shield your skin than with the best sunscreens of 2023?
But navigating through the multitude of choices available, picking the ideal sunscreen can be an overwhelming task.
So, to make it a bit easier, we’ve compiled a list of the best sunscreens that not only provide excellent sun protection but also cater to a variety of skin types and preferences. Let’s take a look.
A Quick Recap on Why Sunscreen Is Necessary
In 2023, finding the best sunscreen has become an increasingly important topic as awareness about the damaging effects of UV rays on the skin continues to grow. We’re sure that by now you must know about the dangers of UV radiation.
So to keep it simple, here’s a quick list of reasons why you need to keep your skin protected this summer:
- SPF shields skin from cancer-causing ultraviolet radiation.
- The sun is responsible for 90% of the visible changes we see within the skin that are often attributed to aging.
- SPF prevents the skin from these changes. It slows down premature aging – which is the primary cause of fine lines, deeper wrinkles, blotchiness, discoloration, and textural abnormalities.
- After the winter season, our skin’s natural defense against potent UV rays becomes weakened, while the UV rays grow stronger.
But since you already know this, let’s move on to finding the best sunscreen 2023 has to offer.
Image source: Freepik
What to Look for When Choosing SPF
According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, there are 3 main things to look for when choosing the best sunscreen:
- It should have a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher.
- It should be broad spectrum – meaning it protects against both UVA and UVB radiation.
- It should be water-resistant as they have better-staying power on the skin.
But other than those non-negotiables, you also need to consider your skin type and skin sensitivity. Different types of sunscreens suit certain skin types better than others.
Types of Sunscreens
There are two kinds of sunscreen: chemical (using organic filters) and mineral (using inorganic filters).
The difference between the two is in the technique they use to filter out harmful UV radiation:
- the mineral sunscreen does so by creating a direct physical block (which is also why it’s often referred to as physical sunscreen) that reflects off any UV rays,
- while chemical, as the name suggests, does so via chemical ingredients that absorb UV rays before they penetrate the skin.
But, other than this distinction, you need to pay attention to the texture and formulation of your sunscreen. This is something that is going to be on your face all day (hopefully every day) so how the sunscreen sits on the skin can make all the difference.
With that being said, keep your routine (and skin type) in mind when selecting your SPF this year.
|A better option for sensitive skin types
|Can be somewhat irritating to sensitive skin.
|Usually more occlusive and heavy (great for dry skin)
|Usually lighter and sheerer (great for oily skin)
Our Top Picks for Best Sunscreen 2023
We’ve handpicked a collection of top-rated sunscreens that combine excellent sun protection with skin-friendly ingredients.
Whether you’re looking for broad-spectrum coverage, lightweight formulas, or specific solutions for different skin types, our curated list has got you covered!
Best Sunscreen for Dry Skin: Cocokind Daily SPF
Cocokind Daily SPF is vegan and cruelty-free with a bunch of natural ingredients that provide protection from both UVA and UVB rays and it neutralizes free radical damage from pollution.
The formula is lightweight, non-irritating, and absorbs into the skin with a satiny finish. But it’s not greasy! And doesn’t leave a white cast.
Best Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin: Aveeno Positively Mineral
Formulated to be gentle and non-irritating, even on sensitive skin, Aveeno Positively Mineral Sensitive Skin Sunscreen contains gentle and nourishing ingredients like vitamin E and oat.
It’s hypoallergenic, free of fragrance, parabens, phthalates, and dyes – as well as formulated to resist sweating and water for up to 80 minutes.
Although the product initially seems thick, once it’s rubbed in it turns sheer, and is barely noticeable once blended. It doesn’t leave any white cast – it gets absorbed into the skin completely!
Best Sunscreen for Oily Skin: Eucerin Oil Control SPF
Eucerin Sun Oil Control SPF 50 has a lightweight consistency and invisible finish. The product is suitable for sensitive skin but is specialized for oily complexions.
It’s enriched with 5 anti-oxidants and oil-absorbing minerals which also help control the secretion of sebum. It provides an immediate long-lasting matte effect. The formula is hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic, so it will not clog pores and is perfect to be used even under makeup!
Best Sunscreen for Acne-Prone Skin: Elta MD UV Clear SPF
EltaMD UV Clear Face SPF 46 is probably the best overall sunscreen. It provides both chemical and physical blockers for the skin. But since it also contains active ingredients like hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and lactic acid, it’s perfect for use on acne-prone skin.
These ingredients help conserve moisture but don’t clog pores. In fact, they are great for fighting acne and even correcting hyperpigmentation from acne scars or prior sun damage!
Best Sunscreen for Dark Skin: Black Girl Sunscreen
Contrary to what many people believe, dark skin needs to use sun protection too! In addition to preventing skin cancer, sunscreen also helps prevent hyperpigmentation caused by sun damage.
Black Girl Sunscreen is a hybrid formula that goes on white but dries down clear, so it won’t leave any white cast. It also leaves behind a noticeable glow but doesn’t feel too greasy on the skin.
Best Tinted Sunscreen: bareMinerals Complexion Rescue
The BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Moisturizer SPF 30 has a formulation that allows you to achieve that healthy-looking glow, with visibly blurred texture, and a more even skin tone.
The formula glides on seamlessly, with its lightweight base that contains nourishing ingredients like hyaluronic acid that helps plump up the skin and squalane to retain moisture.
And it even has a 20-shade range!
Best Sunscreen with Multi-Purpose Formula: La Roche-Posay Anthelios AOX
La Roche-Posay Anthelios AOX not only has sun protection factor 50, but it also contains antioxidants like vitamins C and E, which help to fight free radicals.
The product is formulated as a serum so it provides skincare benefits while simultaneously protecting you from sun damage. Because of its thin texture it wears well under makeup and won’t be greasy or oily on the skin.
Best Sunscreen for Reapplying on the Go: Colorescience Brush-On Sunscreen
Now this category is something we all struggle with. Reapplying sunscreen throughout the day is much harder than remembering to put it on in the morning. Especially when you’re already wearing makeup and you need to layer something on top.
Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield SPF 50 is a powder formula sunscreen that can be used under or over makeup, so it’s perfect for reapplying throughout the day.
The formula absorbs excess oil, so not only will it not interfere with the makeup you already have on your face, but it’ll also mattify oily areas.
Best Sunscreen for Outdoor Activities: BLUE LIZARD Sport Spray Sunscreen
This reef-friendly sports sunscreen is considered to be one of the most effective sunscreens. This is a water and sweat-resistant mineral sunscreen that doesn’t contain skin-irritating chemicals, making it safe even for sensitive skin.
It’s completely free from parabens and fragrances, but it’s enriched with antioxidants and skin-nourishing botanicals to leave skin feeling smooth and not sticky. The spray allows for a very convenient application, and the formula rubs in smoothly and dries fast. However, it may leave a slight white cast.
An added bonus this brand provides is that their bottles tell you when UV rays are the most dangerous by changing the color of the packaging! How cool is that?
NOTE: Make Sure You Know How to Apply Sunscreen Properly
Even if you’ve selected the perfect sunscreen, its effectiveness can be compromised if it is not applied correctly.
Not knowing the correct amount of sunscreen you need, and not knowing the correct way of applying it is a common issue.
A lot of the time people forget to reapply their SPF, or they aren’t applying enough of it in the first place. These issues can really undermine the efficacy of sun protection.
A good guideline for sufficient coverage is about 2 finger lengths for the face (and about a shot glass amount for the body). If you’re in direct sunlight, you must reapply every two hours, or anytime you get wet or sweaty.
Incorporating sunscreen into your daily skincare routine helps create a habit of protecting and caring for your skin by maintaining its health and appearance.
So, remember – the most effective sunscreen is the one you wear every day! You can find the best of the best formulation on the market, but if you’re not applying it regularly (or correctly), it’s not going to properly protect you from UV rays.
In case you haven’t found anything you like on this list, check out our other sunscreen reviews: