The 11 Best Sunscreens of 2020

Safeguard your skin with these standout ‘screens

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First Look

Best Overall: Isdin Eryfotona Actinica SPF 50+ at Amazon

"This ultralight formula goes above and beyond the standard sunscreen to repair sun damage while protecting your complexion."

Best Drugstore: Neutrogena Sheer Dry Touch SPF 55 at Amazon

"Of all the drugstore brands out there, Neutrogena offers arguably the widest arrays of budget-friendly and effective sunscreens."

Best for Face: First Aid Beauty SPF 30 at Sephora

"The sheer tint blends in surprisingly well on a wide array of skin tones, and is oil-free and non-comedogenic so it won't clog pores."

Best Powder: Colorescience Sunforgettable SPF 50 at Nordstrom

"Along with offering broad-spectrum SPF 50 protection, it's made with a unique ingredient that shields your skin from blue light."

Best Stick: Fresh Sugar Sport Treatment Sunscreen SPF 30 at Sephora

"It's both protective and ultra-hydrating, thanks to the addition of sugar—a natural humectant that attracts moisture to the skin."

Best for Sensitive Skin: Dermalogica Physical Defense SPF 30 at Sephora

"This mineral-based sunscreen relies only on non-irritating zinc oxide, so it's a major winner for stressed-out complexions."

Best for Acne-Prone Skin: EltaMD Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 at Dermstore

"With a lightweight, oil-free formula that won't clog pores, this is the best sunscreen for those battling breakouts."

Best for Body: Coola Classic Body Organic Sunscreen at Sephora

"This spray absorbs quickly, offers broad-spectrum SPF 70 protection, and is made with organic ingredients."

Best for Body Runner-Up: Thinksport Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+ at Amazon

"According to the Environmental Working Group, this mineral-based pick is one of the best sunscreens on the market."

Best for Sports: Australian Gold Sport Continuous Spray at Amazon

"It's water- and sweat-resistant for 80 minutes and has cooling technology that makes it feel cool and refreshing."

No product is better for keeping skin both healthy and youthful than sunscreen, and yes, that means applying it every single day, and not just during summer beach days. Ultraviolet radiation is present year-round, even on cloudy days, and UVA rays can even penetrate through the glass of your car or office window.

Incorporating SPF into your daily skincare routine is by far the easiest—and most effective—way to minimize the likelihood of skin damage and skin cancer, as well as wrinkles and spots.

When choosing your daily sunscreen, make sure it’s a broad-spectrum formula, meaning it guards against both UVA and UVB rays, and has at least an SPF 30. There are plenty of choices out there to fit all of your sunscreen needs. Ahead, 11 top picks to try.

Our Top Picks

1

Best Overall: Isdin Eryfotona Actinica Ultralight Emulsion SPF 50+

Isdin ultralight emulsion sunscreen spf 50 eryfotona actinica

 Courtesy of ISDIN

The name may be a mouthful, but we promise that even sunscreen-haters will be swayed by this featherweight formula. It relies solely on zinc oxide for mineral protection and is a good choice for those with sensitive skin. It rubs in completely without leaving behind a white or chalky cast.

This ultralight formula goes above and beyond the standard sunscreen call of duty. Special enzymes coupled with antioxidant-rich vitamin E work to repair sun damage, so you’re not only protecting your complexion but also undoing any existing damage.

2

Best Drugstore: Neutrogena Sheer Dry Touch SPF 55

Of all the drugstore brands out there, Neutrogena offers arguably the widest arrays of sunscreen options. Experts specifically like this variant because of its sheer formula. “It goes on elegantly and absorbs quickly, without leaving behind any residue,” says Dr. Michele Green, New York City cosmetic dermatologist.

Dr. Morgan Rabach, co-founder of LM Medical NYC, is a fan of this sunscreen as well and points out how non-sticky it is. It’s a chemical sunscreen, relying on a blend of four different ingredients to offer SPF 55 protection. And let’s not forget to mention the very wallet-friendly price.

3

Best for Face: First Aid Beauty Weightless Liquid Mineral SPF 30

First Aid Beauty Weightless Liquid Mineral Sunscreen

Courtesy of First Aid Beauty

True to its name, this SPF 30 formula is so lightweight that you’ll be hard-pressed to remember that you’re even wearing sunscreen. Another mineral block, it offers a sheer tint that blends in surprisingly well on a wide array of skin tones, and it's oil-free and non-comedogenic so you don’t have to stress about clogged pores.

Added antioxidants offer a second line of defense—against both sun damage and damage caused by other environmental factors, such as pollution. The formula sinks right into skin and layers beautifully under makeup.

Quick Tip

"When choosing sunscreen formulas, you can pick between mineral-based and chemical-based sunscreen. Mineral sunscreens sit on top of the skin and create a barrier to actually block UV rays, while chemical-based sunscreens penetrate into the skin and absorb the UV rays before they can damage skin cells. Mineral formulas tend to be less irritating for sensitive skin, while chemical options may feel more lightweight and cosmetically elegant."—Dr. Morgan Rabach, Co-Founder of LM Medical NYC.

4

Best Powder: Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield SPF 50

Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield SPF 50

Courtesy of Walmart 

In theory, you’re supposed to reapply sunscreen every two hours. It’s an admittedly lofty goal, though one that’s much easier to achieve with a powder sunscreen, such as this one. Swipe it on throughout the day—it comes in four different shades and won’t mess up your makeup.

Along with offering broad-spectrum SPF 50 protection against the sun, it also has a unique ingredient, iron oxide, that shields your skin from blue light (emitted by electronic screens), which has also shown to be damaging to your skin.

Pro tip: For complete coverage, make sure to spend at least one full minute brushing the powder across your entire face.

5

Best Stick: Fresh Sugar Sport Treatment Sunscreen SPF 30

fresh-sugar-sport-treatment-sunscreen-spf-30

Courtesy of Walmart

Solid sunscreen sticks are ideal for on-the-go touch-ups, as well as for using on smaller, delicate areas—such as lips, around the eyes, or on the tops of the ears—all spots that are commonly forgotten when it comes to sunscreen application.

This particular SPF 30 stick is both protective and ultra-hydrating, thanks to the addition of sugar—a natural humectant that attracts moisture to the skin—as well as natural oils. It’s water-resistant too, which is a major plus if you’re active. 

6

Best for Sensitive Skin: Dermalogica Invisible Physical Defense SPF 30

invisible physical defense SPF 30

 Courtesy of Sephora

If your skin is easily irritated and/or prone to redness, rashes, and inflammation, sticking with a mineral-based sunscreen is your best bet—according to Dr. Rabach, the minerals are less likely to cause a reaction than their chemical counterparts.

We especially like this SPF 30 newbie, which relies only on non-irritating zinc oxide. Couple that with a mushroom complex that helps soothe skin and reduce redness, plus a fragrance- and artificial color-free formula, and this is a major winner for stressed-out complexions. 

7

Best for Acne-Prone Skin: EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46

EltaMD UV clear broad-spectrum SPF 46

 Courtesy of Dermstore

If you’re battling breakouts, reach for this formula. Along with delivering essential broad-spectrum protection SPF 46, Dr. Green lauds it for containing gently-exfoliating lactic acid to keep skin smooth, plus sodium hyaluronate for lightweight hydration. Most importantly, it’s oil-free, so there’s no need to worry about it clogging pores.

8

Best for Body: Coola Classic Body Organic Sunscreen Spray SPF 70

coola suncare classic body organic sunscreen

Courtesy of Sephora 

Sunscreen sprays are particularly ideal to use on the body—they make application on larger areas and hard-to-reach spots much easier compared to cream or lotion.

This non-aerosol option delivers an even mist that absorbs quickly, offers broad-spectrum SPF 70 protection, and is made with over 70% organic ingredients to boot. It’s also water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, an important feature if you’re using it during a beach or pool day, and has a subtle peach scent that anyone who is sick of the standard coconut sunscreen smell will appreciate.

9

Best for Body Runner-Up: Thinksport Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+

According to the Environmental Working Group, this pick is one of the best sunscreens on the market. The sunscreen relies on zinc oxide for broad spectrum SPF 50+ protection, and it's water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.

The lotion is reef-friendly and free of harmful chemicals, like avobenzone, oxybenzone, paraben, phthalates, and PABA. It isn't tested on animals and is gluten-free and vegan.

The formula doesn't have an oily consistency, so it won't clog pores or leave you feeling greasy. Because it's a mineral-based sunscreen, you'll have to spend a little more time rubbing it in to avoid looking like a ghost after applying.

10

Best for Sports: Australian Gold SPF 50 Sport Continuous Spray with Ultra Chill

Applying sunscreen before an outdoor run or beach volleyball game is paramount, but so is finding a formula that isn’t going to come off as soon as you start sweating. Enter this pick.

It’s water- and sweat-resistant for 80 minutes, and has 360-degree nozzle technology so you can spray it on at every angle and hit all those difficult-to-reach spots. Even better, it touts a menthol-derived cooling technology that makes it feel instantly cool and refreshing and also helps neutralize odors—a major win for any sweaty activity.

11

Best for Kids: Blue Lizard SPF 50+ Sticks

As anyone who has ever tried to thoroughly apply sunscreen onto a squirmy child will tell you, it’s no easy feat. Enter the beauty of a stick, which is easy to quickly swipe on, even on their little faces.

Blue Lizard has a sunscreen variant for kids and one for babies (both with Sesame Street character branding, to give your kiddos a little extra incentive), touting safe, mineral-based, broad-spectrum SPF 50. They also glide on easily on delicate skin and rub in clear and non-sticky.

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Article Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Arjmandi N, Mortazavi G, Zarei S, Faraz M, Mortazavi SAR. Can light emitted from smartphone screens and taking selfies cause premature aging and wrinkles?. J Biomed Phys Eng. 2018;8(4):447-452.

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  4. Environmental Working Group. Choose a safer sunscreen.