The 10 Best Sunscreens of 2021

Safeguard your skin with these standout ‘screens

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Midsection Of Woman With Sunscreen By Swimming Pool
Natdanai Pankong / EyeEm / Getty Images

Using sunscreen in your daily—yes, we mean daily—skincare routine is necessary all year round to keep your skin healthy for years to come. But selecting the most beneficial product for your skin is not always easy. 

Carmen Castilla, M.D., a dermatologist with New York Dermatology Group, told Verywell Health that sun exposure “expedites the degradation of collagen faster than normal aging.” She recommends looking for a “broad spectrum” sunscreen with a minimum SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 30 to aid in preventing sun exposure from degrading the collagen. “Consistent use of sunscreen prevents the development of skin cancers, fights fine lines and wrinkles, helps keep your complexion even, and keeps broken blood vessels at bay,” she says. 

To get the full benefits of sunscreen, the product should be applied every two hours and after swimming, toweling off, or doing sweat-inducing exercises. 

Here are the best sunscreens on the market to use so you can keep your skin healthy and protected all year long.

Our Top Picks
Water-resistant with no greasy finish so you can stay protected, and oil-free, on lake or beach days.
Best for Acne-Prone Skin:
EltaMD Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 at Amazon
Ideal for those prone to acne, rosacea, and hyperpigmentation due to its fragrance and paraben-free formula.
Not just for infants, this sunscreen starts protecting your skin right upon application so there's no need for a waiting period.
All vegan and infused with multiple botanical ingredients to provide both hydration and sun defense.
Pick your shade and use the handy brush to mattify your complexion and shield it from rays.
Comes in stick form so you can be free of any accidental over-squeezing or messy residue.
Provides a defense not just from sunlight but the blue light emitted from our screens.
Made to feel like water upon applying to the skin.
Reef-friendly and made with a sustainable bottle so you can feel good about your decision for your skincare and the environment.
Provides enough defense without irritating your kiddo's especially sensitive skin.

Best Overall: ISDIN Eryfotona Actinica SPF 50+

Isdin Eryfotona Actinica SPF 50+

You don't need to be able to pronounce this sunscreen in order to reap its benefits. Isdin Eryfotona Actinica is a mineral-based, broad-spectrum sunscreen that boasts a lightweight formula that does not feel greasy when it's applied to the skin. 

So what does it mean that it is broad-spectrum? Dr. Castilla says that label ensures the product protects you from both UVA and UVB rays, which are both harmful to the skin. Also, Isdin Eryfotona Actinica SPF 50+ includes photolyase, for helping repair damage caused by the sun, and vitamin E to boost the skin’s natural defense.

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

Finding a non-oily face sunscreen can be a priority for people with more acne-prone skin. EltaMD Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 uses clean ingredients and is fragrance-free and oil-free to fit the needs of anyone with acne-prone or sensitive skin. 

Besides delivering broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays, the product also incorporates lactic acid for smoothing, hyaluronic acid for hydration, and vitamin E to boost the skin's barrier, all without clogging your skin's pores. What more could you want? 

Best Drugstore: Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Mineral Sunscreen Lotion

Neutrogena Pure & Free

One of the best tricks in the books when buying beauty products is to look in the baby aisle, as they tend to use ingredients that won’t irritate your skin. Neutrogena’s Pure & Free Baby Mineral Sunscreen lotion is not only affordable, but it’s formulated with zinc oxide–an ingredient Dr. Castilla says sits right on the skin and protects the barrier from sun rays immediately upon application. 

Another bonus of the sunscreen is that it's fragrance-free and has been awarded the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance. One customer with sensitive skin says they’ve been using the sunscreen for years after finding it doesn’t irritate the skin's barrier or leave a white residue upon application. 

Best for Face: Coola Organic Classic Face Sunscreen SPF 50

Coola Organic Classic Face Sunscreen SPF 50 is the perfect product to grab because it works as both a sunscreen and lotion all in one. The formula hydrates skin while working as an invisible shield against harmful rays. Plus, it’s easy to apply prior to putting on makeup. 

Ingredients include antioxidant-rich nutrients like red raspberry seed oil, buriti oil, meadowfoam seed oil, and prickly pear extract—all of which protect the skin from free radicals while providing nourishment, says Dr. Castilla. Avobenzone is another key ingredient, meaning the chemical sunscreen should be applied at least 15 to 20 minutes before sun exposure, Dr. Castilla says.  

Best Powder: Eminence Organic Skin Care Sun Defense Minerals

Sunscreen powders are beneficial because they can work two-fold: providing protection from sun rays and absorbing oils that build-up on the face throughout the day. Eminence Organic Skin Care Sun Defense Minerals comes in multiple shades, so it can act as your makeup powder upon application. The powder also makes it easy to reapply every two hours, which is recommended by dermatologists to best protect the skin from the sun. 

Ingredients include zinc oxide to protect the skin from harmful rays, mixed with vitamin A and E to combat harmful free radicals. Customers say the product is perfect for a quick SPF touch-up and mattifies the skin’s complexion. 

Best Stick: Aveeno Positively Mineral Sensitive Skin Daily Sunscreen Stick

Beach and pool products can take up a ton of room in your bag. That’s where Aveeno’s travel-sized sunscreen stick comes in. With just a few swipes of the broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection, your skin is ready for sun exposure. 

The mineral sunscreen, with an active ingredient of zinc oxide, is fragrance-free and developed for the most sensitive of skin types—so it should not cause any irritation. Customers find the product is gentle enough for their skin and easy to swipe across the face and body. 

Best for Sensitive Skin: Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 is certified clean for its use of ingredients that are vegan, cruelty-free, reef-safe, and gluten-free. Not only does the antioxidant-rich sunscreen boast that it provides broad-spectrum SPF 40 against sun rays, but it also protects against blue light and light emitted from phone and computer screens. 

Besides using avobenzone as a protective ingredient against the sun, the formula also includes a complex derived from meadowfoam seed to provide hydration, and frankincense to create a soothing effect. The best part is that the oil-free sunscreen is lightweight and layers easily underneath makeup. 

Best for Body: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Cooling Water Lotion Sunscreen

Upon applying to the skin, La Roche Posay’s sunscreen provides a cooling effect to the skin's barrier as it penetrates deep to offer protection from UVA and UVB rays. The sunscreen is formulated with Cell-Ox Shield antioxidant technology to defend against free radicals that would be harmful to the skin and accelerate the aging process. 

Besides providing protection, the sunscreen is also paraben and fragrance-free, so it should work for all skin types. Customers say the product is worth every penny and rubs on like a moisturizer. 

Best for Body Runner-Up: COOLA Organic Mineral Sunscreen & Sunblock Body Lotion Mineral Sunscreen & Sunblock Body Lotion

This chemical-free, mineral sunscreen boasts clean ingredients that cultivate the perfect formula for protecting your skin against sun rays. If you’re looking to be environmentally friendly, this product is for you because it's reef-safe and comes in a 100% recyclable bottle. 

After you apply the sunscreen, it works to hydrate and nourish the skin while offering protection. The best part? It is non-greasy and doesn’t show a white cast across the skin. 

Best for Kids: Coppertone Pure & Simple Baby SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion

Pure & Simple Baby SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion

Protecting your child’s skin from the sun is a top priority, especially because their skin can be very sensitive. Coppertone’s Pure & Simple baby sunscreen is gentle and hypoallergenic so it doesn't irritate the skin. 

The formula is also free of dyes, fragrances, and oils while providing a broad spectrum of coverage to protect against UVA and UVB rays. Customers say the sunscreen is a go-to for their children and rubs in easily while protecting them from getting sunburns. 

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for an all-around protective sunscreen that works for multiple areas of your body, we recommend Isdin Eryfotona Actinica SPF 50+. If you want something specifically formulated for the face that will sit well under makeup, we recommend Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40.

What to Look for in a Sunscreen

Ingredients: The main ingredients Dr. Castilla recommends for people to avoid in sunscreens are insect repellents like DEET. If you have sensitive skin, she says using sunscreens made with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide will not be irritating.

SPF Count: “Look for a sunscreen that says ‘broad spectrum’ with a minimum SPF of 30,” Dr. Castilla says. The “broad spectrum” label means the sunscreen will protect against both UVA and UVB rays from the sun. For the SPF to work as it should, Dr. Castilla says applying frequently is a must.

Area of the body: The sunscreen you use on your body will not always work well for your face, as that area can be more sensitive or prone to acne. Dr. Castilla recommends being aware of your own skin type–whether it be dry, sensitive, acne-prone, etc—when selecting what sunscreen to use on your face. 

Why Trust Verywell Health

As a seasoned health writer, Danielle Zoellner knows the importance of finding just the right product to fit your medical needs. Throughout her career, Danielle has interviewed a variety of experts in the medical and health fields while reviewing dozens of products. Her experience and knowledge in the field work together to help readers like yourself find the best products for your daily life.

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