Published on April 11, 2019

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Photography by Frederico Giampieri

Finally, that spring sun is shining upon us. While you might be tempted to soak it in and bask in its warmth, don’t forget to apply sunscreen first. SPF not only prevents sunburns—which we, of course, know very well—but it’s also one of the most important skincare tools to prevent premature aging. Yet, it’s one of the most underutilized products because of its tricky formulation, which usually makes its substance either too drying, sticky, oily, or even worse, prone to leave a white residue behind.

One size certainly doesn’t fit all when it comes to the best sunscreen for your skin type, which is why we found 13 options that fit a variety of needs. As for exactly how to use the trusty sun protector, apply a layer at least 15 minutes before heading outside, and then let the sun shine on. Don’t be shy, either. Slather it on liberally.

The Always Sold-Out One

This sunscreen has an intensive 50 broad-spectrum protection and is finally back in stock after being sold out for weeks, so act quickly. Dr. Sturm adds a boost of skincare ingredients, like purslane and vitamin E, to make it more of a premature aging serum with SPF rather than just a sunscreen.

The Keep It 100 (Percent Mineral)

For those who like their sunscreen chemical-free, this mineral formula is a must. While mineral options are preferred for clean-beauty fans, it does tend to be trickier to rub in without leaving the dreaded white residue. This one is specifically made to absorb quickly without that leftover cast of sunscreen.

The Sunscreen for Sunscreen Haters

This do-it-all daily morning moisturizer protects from literally everything—UVA, UVB, blue light, infrared radiation, and pollution—while also acting as a daily moisturizer and primer. The whipped, lightweight formula is perfect for those who accidentally (or purposefully) forget to put on sunscreen most mornings.  

The On-the-Go Option

Toss in your bag for protection while out and about. This revolutionary formula is powdered, so it absorbs midday oil yet applies perfectly sheer for flawless protection. It’s an absolute and total must-have.

The One With Packaging Goals

If your medicine cabinet is highly curated based on packaging, this beauty will fit right in with the shelfie gang. It acts as a moisturizer, calming serum, and sunscreen all in one bottle and applies matte, making it perfect for those with sensitive, dry, or oily skin.

The Express Edition

If you hardly have time to apply your SPF, try this one with a nozzle spray bottle, which was designed to apply quickly and help reach those tough spots, like the middle of your back.

The Summer in a Bottle

If the boldly lemon-shaded packaging doesn’t convince you, allow the lightweight, shine-stopping formula to win you over. It mattifies, absorbs oil, and reduces redness—all common woes come summertime. It does have a bit of a white cast, so it’s less ideal for darker skin tones.

The One That’s Basically Foundation

This BB cream is created with Shiseido’s patented WetForce Technology, which dries quickly and won’t wear off—even if you get it wet. It also acts as a medium-coverage foundation, blending in quickly for a foolproof application. What’s not to love?

The One That Kills Zits

If you’re pretty sure your sunscreen is making you break out, try this EltaMD version. It has niacinamide (which reduces blemishes and congestion), hyaluronic acid (which hydrates), and lactic acid (which gently exfoliates)—all ingredients that calm and promote healthy-looking skin.

The One Without a White Cast

Beloved for it’s calming, organic ingredients (like jojoba oil), this Austrian-made sunscreen hydrates while providing broad-spectrum protection. It’s also known for its ability to go on sheer without any white excess. *Chef’s kiss.*

The One for Dry Skin

This dreamy cream is basically a beautiful face lotion that just so happens to have sun and pollution protection too. The formula includes hyaluronic acid and a patented ingredient called Brilliant Oil, which leaves skin hydrated, gleaming, and glowing (yes, please.)

The Derm-Approved One

Practically any dermatologist you speak to will praise this French skincare brand. This popular SPF comes in at a pretty great price, absorbs quickly, and has some of the most advanced broad-spectrum coverage available. It’s milky, velvety texture is a dream to apply too.

The One for the Whole Family  

Safe for everyone in the fam, slather on this UVA-, UVB-, blue light–, and pollution-protected SPF. It leaves the slightest white residue, but, after all, the family that applies sunscreen together, stays sunburn-free together.


Get prepped for warm weather:

The Best Hammocks for the Most Relaxing Summer Ever
16 Simple Swaps to Make in Time for Summer
How to Throw the Ultimate Summer Tiki Party

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