There are some important things you can forget from time to time without catastrophe striking (breakfast, deodorant, flossing)—there are others you cannot (keys, SS#, face sunscreen). And of these, sunscreen might be most important, especially since the pastime of taking a stroll with a parasol has really gone out of fashion. But with a flooded and complicated sunscreen market to navigate, it’s often difficult to choose which formula will work best with your particular skin type, while protecting it in both the short and long-term. Luckily, a helpful delegation of community members has provided the ultimate SPF honor roll where your face is concerned. Behold, and burn no more…
The best sunscreen that's safe for all skin types
EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 46
Beloved by porcelain-skinned ingénues (Emma Stone, Kendall Jenner), dermatologists, and ITG reader Megan who took the long view, saying, “EltaMD is the BEST. I will probably buy it for the rest of my life.” She’s not alone; many like-minded ITG-ers waxed poetic on its finish and texture. Elta’s a physical sunscreen containing zinc that comes in tinted and clear varieties at SPF 46, it provides ample broad-spectrum coverage. But physical sunscreen, for all its effectiveness, can lead to a common product woe: Elizabethan-style ghost face. So for those hoping to avoid this, look no further than the following…
The best sunscreen sans white cast
Lancome Bienfait UV 50+ Super Fluid Face Sunscreen
This one has you covered without the washout. Said Lena Parker-Duncan: “It feels really light, fresh and clean, and none of that weird purple sheen that sometimes happens on darker skin (no zinc oxide).”
Suntegrity 5 in 1 Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen SPF 30 because “even after two coats, no white cast," says Eastvillagesiren.
The best makeup-friendly sunscreen
Coola Mineral Face SPF 30 Matte Cucumber
The ability to pull double-duty as a primer is highly valued in a face sunscreen. Plus, if we've said it once, we've said it a thousand times: Sunscreen should smell so good you can't not use it.
Avène's Mineral Ultra-Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion
MagpieDV could not contain excitement on the subject, saying, “this is basically a magic formula and I've no clue how they're pulling it off...this has finally displaced my trusty old standby, Embryolisse, as my daily under-makeup application...” Strong words. Watch the throne.
Mecca Cosmetica To Save Face SPF 30 blends seamlessly into makeup routines.
The best sunscreen for combination skin
Shiseido Gentle Sun Protection Lotion
This one wins points for its tendency to not rock the boat where problem skin is concerned. And you can pick your problem! Sensitive, rosacea, acne, anything else...you're safe here.
Paula’s Choice Resist Youth-Extending Daily Mattifying Fluid SPF 50 because Paula is essentially a problem skin/SPF queen.
Ilia’s Sheer Vivid Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 earned praise for being both organic and an easy makeup alternative.
Aveeno’s Protect + Hydrate Lotion Sunscreen SPF 30 isn't wholly organic, but it is a good drugstore alternative to pricier formulas.
Photographed by Tom Newton. Hate the smell of sunscreen? Here are t he best sunscreens that don't smell like the classics.