We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

Sunscreen protects the skin from UV rays, which can cause sunburn. Overexposure to UV rays can also cause skin cancer.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Skin cancer can develop due to overexposure to UV rays from the sun. Therefore, it is important that people protect themselves from UV rays.

As well as using sunscreen, the CDC recommends that people:

  • stay in the shade
  • wear longsleeved shirts, long pants, or long skirts, if possible
  • wear a hat, ideally with a brim all the way around
  • wear sunglasses

This article discusses how face sunscreens may be useful. It also explores these products in further detail.

Quick links

Dermatologists recommend applying sunscreen to the face 15 minutes before sun exposure. It usually does not matter which order an individual applies products in their usual skincare routine.

To ensure optimum protection, a person should ensure their sunscreen has an SPF of at least 30 and be water-resistant. People may also wish to consider using sunscreen with a higher SPF if they spend extended periods outdoors.

The CDC states that people should reapply sunscreen every 2 hours when outside, especially after swimming, using a towel, or after sweating.

Individuals may also wish to consider applying facial sunscreen daily as part of their regular skincare routine for maximum protection.

Learn more about sunscreen.

Tinted sunscreen is often available in a range of shades for different skin tones. It may also protect against visible light, which can damage the skin.

A recent study suggests that all people of all skin tones may benefit from using tinted sunscreen, due to the added protection against visible light. It also found that visible light can be more harmful to those with darker skin, while UV radiation is more harmful to individuals with lighter skin.

The research also found that tinted sunscreen may be useful for those with hyperpigmentation, where patches of skin become darker than surrounding areas, or melasma, a pigmentation disorder that causes brown or gray patches to appear on the skin.

Additionally, an older study suggests visible light may be more damaging for individuals with darker skin than UV radiation. Therefore, people with darker skin may wish to consider using tinted sunscreen rather than nontinted sunscreen.

A person should ensure that the face sunscreen they choose has an SPF of at least 30. People should also check that the product is suitable for their skin type.

Individuals may wish to choose a tinted sunscreen if they think this will benefit them — they usually suit those with darker complexions.

How we choose products

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:

  • Price: Products are available for a range of budgets.
  • SPF: Products have an SPF of at least 30, as recommended by dermatologists.
  • Formula: Some products are tinted, while others are nontinted to suit individual preferences.
  • Skin type: Products are suitable for different skin types.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

SkinCeuticals Daily Brightening UV Defense Sunscreen

For a variety of skin types

This lightweight sunscreen has an SPF of 30. It is suitable for normal, oily, dry, or combination skin types.

It contains broad-spectrum UV protection and provides hydration to the skin while brightening and evening skin tones. It also protects against discoloration.

Its key ingredients include tranexamic acid, niacinamide, and glycerin.

The price is $54 for 30 milliliters (ml).

PCA Skin Weightless Protection

For a reef-safe formula

This fast-absorbing sunscreen contains caffeine to reduce UV-induced free radicals.

It also features zinc oxide and octisalate to absorb, filter, and protect against UV rays.

It has an SPF of 45 and a reef-safe formula.

The company recommends reapplying the product every 2 hours.

This sunscreen costs $44 for 50 ml.

EleVen by Venus Williams Unrivaled Sun Serum

For a vegan reef-safe formula

This lightweight mineral serum has an SPF of 35 and is suitable for all skin types.

It has a reef-safe formula containing 25% zinc oxide for protection against UV rays.

It is also suitable for vegans and is fragrance-free.

The company claims a person can apply this sunscreen over moisturizer or under makeup.

This product is available on Amazon for around $50 for 30 ml.

Versed Guards Up Daily Mineral Sunscreen

For a paraben, sulfate, and fragrance-free formula

This broad-spectrum product contains an SPF of 35 and is suitable for all skin types.

The formula does not contain oil, and the sunscreen reportedly does not leave a tint or white cast on darker skin tones.

It is nontoxic, vegan-friendly, and free from parabens, sulfate, and fragrances.

It costs $21.99 from Target for a 50 ml container.

Fenty Skin Hydra Vizor Invisible Moisturizer

For tinted moisturizer and sunscreen

With an SPF of 30, this product serves as both a moisturizer and sunscreen.

It features a slight pink tint, so a person with any skin tone can apply this without creating a chalky appearance.

The company claims this product works well with makeup, provides all-day hydration, and brightens the skin while reducing dark spots.

Its key ingredients include:

This product costs $35 for 50 ml.

Peter Thomas Roth Max Mineral Naked Broad Spectrum Lotion

For a tinted lotion with a matte finish

This broad-spectrum lotion has an SPF of 45.

The lotion is slightly tinted to suit all skin tones and provide a matte finish.

It contains vitamins A, C, and E and safflower extract to nourish the skin. It also contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

This lotion is available for $38 for 50 ml.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Tinted Ultra Light Sunscreen

For water-resistant tinted sunscreen

This mineral sunscreen features titanium oxide and has an SPF of 50. The formula offers a slight tint with iron oxides, which reportedly provides skin with a healthy glow.

It contains thermal spring water for soothing and antioxidant properties. The product is also water-resistant for up to 40 minutes.

The company also claims it does not clog pores and is fragrance, oil, and paraben-free.

It is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin.

It costs $33.50 for 50 ml.

Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Face Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion

For a high SPF

This sweat and water-resistant sunscreen has a high SPF of 70. It features antioxidant oats to nourish and soften the skin.

It is oil-free, fast-absorbing, and does not clog pores.

Aveeno also claims this product comes with recommendations from the Skin Cancer Foundation as an effective broad-spectrum sunscreen.

This lotion costs around $14.49 on Amazon for 3 ounces.

Dr. Barbara Sturm Sun Drops

For a gluten-free formula

This light-textured sunscreen serum has an SPF of 50. It protects against aging and sunburning UV rays.

The product protects primarily against lines and wrinkles, dark spots, and redness.

It features hyaluronic acid for moisture and green tea leaf extract for protection. It also contains:

  • cassia extract
  • vitamin E
  • beta-glucan

It is also gluten-free, cruelty-free, and suitable for people with sensitive skin.

This product is available for $145 for 30 ml.

Avène Solaire UV Mineral Multi-Defense Sunscreen

For eczema-friendly sunscreen

This SPF 50 product is available in either a tinted or nontinted formula. It contains minerals to protect against UV, pollution, and blue light.

Its key ingredients include:

  • zinc oxide
  • niacinamide
  • bisabolol
  • allantoin
  • thermal spring water

According to the company, the product is lightweight, quick absorbing, and leaves no white residue. It is also suitable for sensitive skin.

The company claims this product has approval from the National Eczema Association and is oncology safe.

It costs $32 for 50 ml.

Dermatologists recommend applying sunscreen to the face daily, especially if going outdoors. These facial sunscreens should have an SPF of at least 30.

People with darker skin tones also may wish to consider a tinted sunscreen to protect against visible light.