We all know how important sunscreen is for good skin. It’s the first step a dermatologist will recommend for healthier skin and the best way to fend off not just sun spots and skin damage, but also potentially skin cancer. But when it comes to your skin and your lifestyle, which SPF is the best for you?
We spoke with the experts to learn which SPF they consider the best for tone matching, hydration and an active lifestyle. See how they stack up.
Sunscreen for Mature Skin
Elta MD UV Clear SPF 40 ($38)
A common favorite of dermatologists, Elta MD’s UV Clear is perfect for sensitive skin. Aventura, FL dermatologist Bertha Baum, MD recommends it for patients with mature skin for its gentle, non-comedogenic formula.
Lightweight and fragrance-free, this broad spectrum sunscreen leaves no white cast or residue, while the niacinamide and hyaluronic acid moisturize skin.
Dr. Baum also recommends this water-resistant serum for those with mature skin. As we age, our skin often becomes more sensitive and dry, making it all the more important for the formulas we use to be fragrance-free, appropriate for sensitive skin and moisturizing. This formula offers all three, with an oil-free, fragrance-free sunscreen powered by vitamin E.
Offering water-resistant sun protection and long-lasting moisture, this serum sinks into skin quickly for a weightless, smooth feel.
Sunscreen as Foundation
Recommended by Miami dermatologist Deborah Longwill, MD, the Avène Compact is a perfect marriage of high-quality sun protection and skin-perfecting pigment. “I like to suggest tinted sunscreen to act as a foundation or makeup,” Dr. Longwill says. “I love the Avène Compact for that.”
The 100% mineral sunscreen formula offers lightweight sun protection with an even-tone finish. The compact makes it easy to reapply on the go for continued protection, and the cream-to-powder formula leaves you with matte coverage good enough to replace a light foundation.
Recommended by Delray Beach, FL dermatologist Janet Allenby, MD for its triple-threat benefits, she calls this one “a fantastic product. Its multifunctional properties, including moisturizing, protection, and acting as a light foundation, make it a versatile choice for skin care and sun protection.”
This all-mineral formula is suggested for any skin type and provides a glowing tint, evening skin while keeping it protected. The fragrance-free formula is packed with antioxidants and provides long-lasting hydration.
Sunscreen for Acne-Prone Skin
Recommended by Dr. Baum and Dr. Longwill, this physical sunscreen does the important work of sun protection without leaving your pores clogged. The formula is designed with a sheer, matte finish that won’t weigh your skin down.
“Acne prone skin needs oil-free formulas and a physical block SPF instead of a chemical block to reduce clogging pores,” Dr. Longwill explains.
The non-irritating formula lasts up to 40 minutes.
Recommended by Dr. Baum for acne-prone skin, this 100% mineral sunscreen has a non-greasy formula that won’t leave a residue on skin. This chemical-free sunscreen is water resistant for up to 80 minutes and perfect for sensitive skin.
Cetaphil’s sunscreen also defends against dryness, irritation, roughness, tightness and a weakened skin barrier. Vitamin E and prebiotics nourish and hydrate skin while the physical sunscreen offers broad-spectrum protection.