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The 26 Best Sunscreens, Handpicked By Dermatologists

Just in time for summer.

pregnancy safe sunscreen
Christine Giordano

With summer approaching and the weather heating, there's a good chance that you're gearing up to spend every possible moment outside. Whether that means enjoying picnics in the park, soaking up rays on the sand, taking your sweat session into the great outdoors, or even working al fresco, there’s one thing all of those scenarios have in common: A serious need for sunscreen.

And that holds true on cloudy days, too, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association. “Daily sunscreen use is important for two main reasons: Skin cancer prevention and anti-aging,” says Gary Goldenberg, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Goldenberg Dermatology in New York City. “It's been proven beyond any doubt that UV exposure causes skin cancer and sunscreen protects against UV exposure. But it's also clear that sun exposure is one of the main reasons for skin aging—wrinkles, lines, pigmentation, dull skin, and loss of subcutaneous fat pad leading to jowling."

Meet our experts: Gary Goldenberg, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Goldenberg Dermatology in New York City, Caren Campbell, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in San Francisco, Sheila Farhang, MD, board certified dermatologist and founder of Avant Dermatology & Aesthetics, Marnie Nussbaum, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in NYC, Fatima Fahs, MD, a dermatologist in Michigan, Ranella Hirsch, MD, a dermatologist in Cambridge, MA, Corey L. Hartman, MD, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, AL, Joyce Park, MD, a dermatologist practicing in Northern California, Jing Liu, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Minneapolis, MN, Candace Spann, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Las Vegas

So let's go shopping for your SPF of the season. Ahead, WH polled dermatologists to get their favorite sunscreens on the market. Whether you have oily, dry, or combination skin, there's something on our list for you.

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1
Best Overall
Shiseido
Ultimate Sun Protector Lotion SPF 50+
2
Best Drugstore Sunscreen
CeraVe
Hydrating Sunscreen Face Sheer Tint SPF 30
ulta.com
3
Best For Beach Days
Sun Bum
Clear Zinc SPF 50
4
Best Mineral Sunscreen
EltaMD
UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40
5
Best For Sensitive Skin
SkinCeuticals
Physical Fusion UV Defense Sunscreen SPF 50
6
Best Non-Greasy Formula
La Roche-Posay
Anthelios Melt-In Sunscreen Milk SPF 60
7
Best For Water Resistance
Neutrogena
Beach Defense Sunscreen Stick SPF 50
8
Best For Evening Complexion
MDSolarSciences
Mineral Creme SPF 50 Broad Spectrum UVA-UVB
9
Best For Reversing Sun Damage
ISDIN
Eryfotona Ageless SPF 50
10
Best For Blue Light Defense
SENTE
Invisible Shield Full Physical SPF 52 Tinted
11
Best Invisible Formula
Supergoop
Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40
12
Best Tinted Sunscreen
Alastin
HydraTint Pro Mineral Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 36
13
Best Sunscreen Stick
SkinBetter Science
Sunbetter® SHEER SPF 56 Sunscreen Stick
14
Best Vegan Formula
EleVen by Venus Williams
Unrivaled Sun Serum SPF 35
15
Best For Hydration
Supergoop
Zincscreen 100% Mineral Lotion SPF 40
16
Best For Acne-Prone Skin
TiZo3
Age Defying Fusion Tinted SPF 40
17
Best For All Complexions
PCA Skin
Sheer Tint Broad Spectrum SPF 45
18
Best Defense Against Aging
La Roche-Posay
Anthelios Tinted Mineral Ultra-Light Fluid Broad Spectrum SPF 50
19
Best For Long-Wear
Epionce
Daily Shield Lotion Tinted SPF 50
20
Best Splurge
ISDIN
Eryfotona Actinica Zinc Oxide and 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50+
21
Best For Barrier Repair
PCA Skin Daily Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50+
22
Best Powder Sunscreen
Colorescience
Sunforgettable® Total Protection™ Brush-On Shield SPF 50
23
Best SPF Moisturizer
Cetaphil
Daily Oil Free Facial Moisturizer with SPF 35
24
Best For Makeup Application
COOLA
Cucumber Organic Classic Face Sunscreen SPF 30
25
Best Fragrance-Free Formula
TULA
Protect + Glow Daily Sunscreen Gel Broad Spectrum SPF 30
26
Best Budget Sunscreen
Aveeno
Protect + Hydrate Moisturizing Face Sunscreen Lotion With Broad Spectrum SPF 60
27

Is sunscreen alone enough to do the trick?

Probably not. "Sunscreen works best when paired with physical protection measures such as hats, shirts, and seeking shade, all of which work together to shield skin from the sun's harmful rays," says Goldenberg.

How do I choose the best sunscreen?

When it comes to selecting that go-to sunscreen to kick off the season, you probably know the basics, like the fact that you should opt for a sunscreen with at least SPF 30. But after that, things might get murky with all of the endless options.

There are a few key factors that can help you narrow down choosing the best sunscreens."First, you should also look for a sunscreen that is broad-spectrum," saysCampbell. "Broad spectrum means it protects against UVA and UVB. UVA are the sun rays that cause aging of your skin and UVB rays are the sun rays that cause burning of the skin."

What's the difference between chemical and mineral sunscreens?

Chemical sunscreens tend to be easier to rub in and for the skin to absorb, and are fine to use in moderation, says Farhang. But physical (also known as "mineral") sunscreens are typically more highly recommended by derms. "Physical blocking sunscreens, sunscreens that contain zinc or titanium, protect against a broader spectrum of rays," adds Campbell. Another bonus of using a physical sunscreen is that its ingredients are safer to use during pregnancy.

How do I pick the best sunscreen for my skin type?

You’ll want to keep an eye out for certain key phrases on the label. “If you have sensitive skin, look for ‘fragrance-free’ and ‘hypoallergenic’ formulas,” advises Nussbaum. “If you’re acne-prone, look for a sunscreen that’s ‘non-comedogenic’ and oil-free. For more sensitive skin types, I recommend using a physical, mineral-based sunscreen with ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as chemical sunscreens are more likely to cause skin irritation.”

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