The 5 Best Face Sunscreens

April 28, 2017
Jessica Khorsandi
By: Jessica Khorsandi | by L'Oréal
The 5 Best Face Sunscreens

While we’re all well aware we need to protect our skin from the harsh effects of the sun’s harmful UV rays, finding a sunscreen that works for the delicate skin on our face can be tough. If you’re looking for the best facial sunscreen, look no further! Read on for our top five picks of the best face sunscreens—from the L’Oréal portfolio of brands—that will get you through the summer and beyond. 


Think the sun’s UV rays only contribute to your bronzed summer glow? Think again. These harmful rays can cause premature skin aging—think: wrinkles, fine lines, and dark spots—as well as some skin cancers. It’s safe to assume that nobody wants to deal with either now or later in life, so sun protection from a young age is incredibly important. That’s where broad-spectrum sunscreen comes in. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends everyone—we repeat: everyone—use a water-resistant sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays, with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. Do so even when it’s cloudy or rainy. Got it?

Our 5 Favorite Face Sunscreens Right Now

There’s no shortage of sunscreens out there, and they come in many shapes and sizes. There are sunscreen creams, gels, sticks, sprays…you get the idea. While the specific sunscreen you choose to use is a matter of personal choice, we’re lending a helping hand by sharing some our favorite face sunscreens, below.  

1. La Roche-Posay Anthelios 45 Face Ultra-Light Sunscreen Fluid ($29.99 MSRP): This breakthrough, fast-absorbing formula offers advanced UVA/UVB protection and antioxidants in an ultra-light fluid texture. Since it’s fragrance- and oil-free, it is designed for most skin types including sensitive and oily.

2. Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Mineral Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ ($38 MSRP): This virtually weightless sunscreen lotion utilizes a 100% mineral sun filter to deliver effective broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection. It’s also lightly tinted with a universal shade to enhance the natural skin tone and leave skin with a matte finish.

3. SkinCeuticals Physical UV Defense SPF 30 ($34 MSRP): Formulated with very dry, sensitive skin types in mind, Physical UV Defense SPF 30 can provide the skin with hydration and broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection.

4. Vichy Idéal Capital Soleil SPF 50 ($25.50 MSRP): This lightweight formula boasts a unique combination of effective UV filters and powerful antioxidants (vitamin E and white grape extract) to help protect your skin at the cellular level to keep it looking healthy and beautiful. In addition to providing broad-spectrum protection, it absorbs quickly without leaving behind a sticky or greasy feel. 

5. Lancôme Bienfait UV SPF 50+ ($39 MSRP): This lightweight, oil-free sunscreen offers broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection. Best of all, it’s suitable for all skin types—even sensitive!


Did you know that most people only apply 25-50% of the recommended amount of sunscreen? The AAD recommends following the guideline of “1 ounce, enough to fill a shot glass” to cover all exposed areas. Adjust the amount depending on your body size.

Always apply as directed on pack instructions. Most are meant to be applied onto dry skin 15 minutes prior to sun exposure. Be sure to reapply approximately every two hours, sooner if you take a dip, sweat profusely, or towel dry.


While sunscreen is a must for everyone, it alone won’t fully protect your skin from harmful UV rays. In addition to wearing sunscreen daily, the AAD recommends taking the following precautions:

1. Seek Shade: Heading outdoors for a long period of time? Do your best to avoid peak sun hours—between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.—when the rays are the strongest. When appropriate, seek shade.

2. Wear Protective Clothing: Clothing is one of the best means of sun protection as it blocks much of the harmful rays we’re exposed to. The more skin you cover, the better. Of course, covering up from head-to-toe is not necessarily feasible when the weather is brutally warm. Do the best you can. Reach for lightweight, breathable fabrics—think: long-sleeved shirts and pants—as well as wide-brimmed sunhats and UV-blocking sunglasses.  

3. Avoid Tanning Beds: Achieving a tan through sunbathing can be harmful to your skin, but—sorry to break it to you—tanning beds are no better. Ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds can cause skin cancer and premature signs of aging. If you’re itching for a sun-kissed glow this summer, mimic one with self-tanning products. Just be sure to pair it with broad-spectrum sunscreen.

4. Book a Yearly Skin Check: The AAD encourages regular skin self-exams and checks for signs of skin cancer. See a board-certified dermatologist if you notice any changes in size, shape, or color of a mole or other skin lesion.  Pay close attention to new growths or sores that itch, bleed, or don’t heal. Be sure to book a skin check with your dermatologist at least annually, or sooner if anything seems fishy. 

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