The Best Sunscreens for Summer, According to Your Skin Concerns

Collage by Ashley Peña
We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

Sunscreen is the one of the most important skincare purchases you’ll ever make. Apart from warding off premature wrinkles and sunspots, a well-formulated sunscreen greatly reduces your chance of getting skin cancer. Practically speaking, it’s a lifesaver more than it is a wrinkle repellant.

Choosing the right sunblock for your skin type depends on a host of particulars: the time of year, the amount of time you’re spending outdoors, and even your go-to brands (earth-friendly packaging? Particular formulation and ingredients? “Clean” beauty?). The list goes on. But what doesn’t change are some basic facts you should always take into consideration with sunscreen use. Reapplying is key—you should do so every two hours, and toss any sunscreen after three years. Never let your sunscreen tube sit under the sun, and don’t forget your hat. Ever.

To help guide your sunscreen choices during the forthcoming summer months, we’ve compiled a list of the best standout sunscreens to keep your skin looking vibrant and properly protected. You deserve some moments in the sun to soak up all that vitamin D.

Best Overall Sunscreen for a Splurge

For those who take their sun protection regimen seriously and expect only the finest high-grade actives, the new Clé de Peau sunscreen will not disappoint. It feels silky upon application, delivers SPF 50 sun protection, and it’s infused with potent plant botanicals like Moroccan thyme, peppermint and ginseng extract, which soothes the skin and minimizes inflammation. This product’s patented breakthrough technology also blocks harmful UV rays while still allowing the beneficial, skin regenerating red light rays to be absorbed by your skin.

The Ideal Sunblock for Acne-Prone Skin

For several decades, Proactiv has treated acne effectively—so it’s no surprise the brand created a superb sunscreen to help keep pimples and burns at bay simultaneously. This oil-free sunscreen is lightweight, but still carries enough actives to deliver full sun protection and help clear skin. This non-greasy formula is also designed to provide less irritation, especially for those who are blemish-prone.

For the Most Sensitive Skin

Finally, an all-physical sunscreen that doesn’t irritate the skin, nor leave a pasty white cast. Blended with 5% zinc and 10% titanium oxide, applying this every two hours under the sun will keep your skin protected–and sufficiently soothed.

Best Antiaging Sunscreen to Apply Post-Cosmetic Treatment

The thin consistency of this clean, blended sunscreen is super gentle and ideal for use after peels, lasers, threading, and other procedures that could irritate the skin. Featuring zinc oxide 15% as its active ingredient, Pavise sunscreen helps skin regenerate while protecting dermal layers from further damage. The composition uses high-efficiency shuttling to protect the skin from UVA, UVB, and high-energy visible light while inhibiting ROS (reactive oxygen species) production that can cause dark spots and signs of aging. The formula prevents and visibly fades the look of dark spots, reduces wrinkles, soothes skin, and restores radiance. Niacinamide and licorice root extract work to give skin a brighter and more protected complexion.

The Perfect Primer and Sunscreen in One

We truly love this one for its silky application and powerful sun protection. Aside from prepping your skin pre-makeup, Charlotte Tilbury’s newest sunscreen product feels light and buttery—and you can wear it all on its own, too. This should be a skincare staple for you all year long.

The Most Flawless Tinted Moisturizer and Sunscreen in One

If you’re looking for pristine coverage, no other tinted moisturizer comes close; hands down, this is one of Chanel’s best products to ever launch. Hyaluronic acids help plump the skin, and Chanel’s proprietary blend of murunga plum extract soothes the skin with vitamins A, C and E to add even more radiance. The SPF 50 glow also provides an even texture for skin—but most importantly, the coverage is phenomenal without looking heavy.

The Easiest Sunscreen to Apply While On-the-Go

This product can be applied over your makeup beautifully. Formulated with zinc and titanium oxide, the fragrance-free, paraben, and talc-free concoction provides protection against blue light damage as well as protection against free-radical pollutants. It also contains mica, which reflects light away from the skin, giving you a more shimmery look.

The Most Nourishing Two-in-One Sunscreen and Moisturizer

If you’re seeking to simplify your skin routine without skimping on quality ingredients, this sunscreen is the one for you. It’s light, and has no pesky white cast or heavy residue, either. Providing SPF 40 sun protection, it’s also brimming with antioxidants such as sea buckthorn oil; rich plum oil to keep skin hydrated; fatty, acid-rich buriti oil, and vitamin B2-infused green tea extract.

Sun Protection to Withstand Swim, Sun, and Surf

This is one of our absolute favorites, because this sun lotion yields unparalleled 50 SPF+ sun protection for face and body. It utilizes Shiseido’s state-of-the-art WetForce and HeatForce technology, which enhances your sun protection when heat, sweat or water are present. An added bonus: it glides on skin smooth, without clogging your pores and with no pasty white film. It’s also reef friendly, and free of Oxybenzone and Octinoxate.

The Best Sunscreen for the Outdoor Workouts

This sunscreen provides ultimate protection for your outdoor runs, tennis matches, or parkside workouts. The broad-spectrum lotion gives 80 minutes of UVA/UVB protection that doesn’t rinse off with sweat, nor does it get in your eyes if applied on your forehead. The reef-safe zinc oxide formulation is enhanced with antioxidant vitamin E to also help keep skin hydrated and fight further signs of aging.

Clean, Sustainable (and Glowy) Sunscreen

This is an inexpensive, 100 percent mineral, non-irritating sunscreen that also yields a serious glow. Cruelty-free, oxybenzone-free, and non-comedogenic, the formulation is featherlight and contains a subtle apricot pigment that comes off very flattering for all skin tones when applied. Clean, broad spectrum skin protection and an easy pump applicator makes Hero Cosmetics’s latest a non-messy option for travel, or simply to throw into your bag before heading out for the day. The earth-friendly packaging is FSC certified, and the tube is recyclable.

For All-Day Wear

The perfect sunscreen for those looking to accomplish a lot with very few products. IS Clinical’s Eclipse product can also double as a daytime moisturizer, since it provides tons of moisture while still protecting the skin. It’s not too heavy or greasy, and best of all, it doesn’t irritate—for those with sensitive skin.