The Best Sunscreens for Skin Over 50, According to Dermatologists

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No matter your age, sunscreen is a vital part of any skin-care routine and can be the most impactful product in terms of prevention, as sun damage equals signs of aging. However, many formulas go the extra mile for mature skin by adding hydrating, moisturizing and brightening ingredients, as well as patented complexes that actually help to reverse past sun damage as you wear it. “Anyone over 50 needs to take precautions to prevent actinic photodamage, and also understand that skin may be more dry or more sensitive with hormonal changes,” says Dallas dermatologist Elizabeth Bahar Houshmand, MD. These are 12 sunscreens recommended by leading dermatologists for people over age 50.

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EltaMD Tinted UV Elements SPF 44 ($38.50)

I prefer zinc-based sunscreens, and EltaMD is a very great brand. Of the bunch, the tinted UV Elements is my favorite because it is also hydrating, which is great for mature skin.” —Melville, NY dermatologist Kally Papantoniou, MD

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ISDIN Eryfotona Actinica Ultralight Emulsion SPF 50+ ($60)

“This sunscreen includes a phytoenzyme to reduce DNA damage, in particular the development of actinic keratosis and their progression to squamous cell carcinoma. This is very important in those who may have mature skin with decades of accumulated sun damage. It rubs in invisibly with a smooth, moisturizing texture and layers well with other anti-aging products. It’s a uniform winner among my patients, friends and family.” —Nanuet, NY dermatologist Heidi Waldorf, MD

“This ultralight zinc sunscreen absorbs so well, it is often hard to believe it contains zinc. It also contains DNA repairosomes and antioxidants to help protect against and repair DNA damage, making it especially good for those with mature skin.” —New York dermatologist Marisa K. Garshick, MD

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Neova Silc Sheer 2.0 SPF 40 ($56)

“My favorite sunscreens for people over age 50 are products that combine anti-aging ingredients like peptides and antioxidants with photo protection, including niacinamide and copper. I also recommend the copper-infused and DNA repair complex sunscreen by Neova. This is a product I recommend for men and women at risk or with a history of skin cancer to improve the health and appearance of their skin while also protecting from more sun damage.” —Monroe, LA dermatologist Janine Hopkins, MD

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Revision Skincare Intellishade SPF 45 ($80)

“This is one of my go-to sunscreens because it doubles as a tinted moisturizer and also has anti-aging peptides and antioxidants to reduce signs of aging while protecting skin from environmental free radicals.” —Dr. Hopkins

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Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Face Shield Flex ($45)

“This lightweight broad-spectrum mineral sunscreen uses 12-percent zinc oxide, iron oxide, antioxidants and a patented Enviroscreen technology to protect against UVA/UVB, blue light, pollution and infrared radiation. It is available in four different shades, making it easy to blend with your skin for natural coverage, and it uses iron oxide pigments to adapt to your specific tone, without leaving the skin feeling greasy, making it good for all skin types. It is also hydrating and contains niacinamide to help soothe the skin and aid the skin barrier.” —Dr. Garshick

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EltaMD UV Daily SPF 40 ($32.50)

“This sunscreen is mineral-based, making it less-irritating and ideal for mature skin, which becomes more sensitive with age. In addition, it is an excellent emollient, which is ideal for mature skin because it tends to appear dull and less lustrous.” —Houston dermatologist Jennifer Segal, MD  

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Alastin HydraTint Pro Mineral Sunscreen SPF 36 ($60)

“Physical sunscreens are necessary for all ages, but in the over-50 crowd, there tends to be a little more catching up to do. Only in the last 10 years have excellent cosmetically elegant products became available. And, only recently have we realized that physical sunscreens are healthier than those with a chemical active ingredients that cause the SPF to be effective. Mature skin tends to need products to be more emollient, as the skin barrier is not as good as we age. Meanwhile they also must rub in well to be elegant. My patients and myself all really like this Alastin product because it acts as not only an excellent physical sunscreen, but also doubles as a light foundation.” —Delray Beach, FL dermatologist Dr. Janet Allenby

“This sunscreen is incredibly effective with broad-spectrum UV protection, which is a must for all skin types, particularly mature skin, because it becomes less forgiving and shows more photoaging than younger skin. The combination of efficacy, tolerability and the ability to enhance cosmetically by restoring ‘dewiness’ and luster make it one of my favorite go-tos for mature skin.” —Dr. Segal

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ISDIN Eryfotona Ageless Ultralight Emulsion SPF 50 ($70)

“For mature skin, I love ISDIN Ageless, which contains photolyase enzymes that have been proven to repair the specific type of DNA damage that is caused by sun exposure. So, this advanced sunscreen repairs past damage while protecting against new damage. It also has the added bonus of peptides and antioxidants to further support protect and repair the skin.” —Dallas dermatologist Rebecca Marcus, MD

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Avène Solaire UV Mineral Multi-Defense Sunscreen SPF 50+ ($34)  

“This 100-percent mineral sunscreen helps protect against UV, pollution and blue light. I like this product for mature and sensitive skin types. It helps to calm visible redness and helps improve skin tone. It has also been approved by the National Eczema Association.” —Dr. Houshmand

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Andalou Naturals Age Defying DIY Booster SPF 30 Facial Serum ($20)

“Recommended for daily use, this facial serum offers SPF 30 broad-spectrum coverage and is rich in antioxidants, helping to fight free-radical damage. Additionally, it contains resveratrol to help improve signs of aging while protecting the skin. It is also vegan and gluten-free.” —Dr. Garshick

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SkinMedica Total Defense and Repair SPF 34 ($70)

“This sunscreen offers broad-spectrum coverage from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays and helps with the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and other signs of aging due to its ingredients niacinamide, shea butter for hydration, and antioxidants like vitamins C and E.” —Dr. Houshmand

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DRMTLGY Physical Universal Tinted Moisturizer SPF 44 ($28)

“This moisturizing sunscreen provides SPF 44 coverage and can be used by all skin tones. Not only does it contain mineral blockers, but it goes on without leaving a white cast behind, allowing it to layer easily under makeup. It is oil-free and good for all skin types.” —Dr. Garshick

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