The best thing you can do for your skin is wear sunscreen every day, even if you’re not leaving the house. UVA rays cause damage like wrinkles and sunspots, UVB cause burning, and both can lead to cancer. That said, it’s tricky to find a sunscreen that feels pleasant, won’t irritate skin, and smells good. Add in the question of environmental damage and, of course, appearance—whether it vanishes into skin or leaves a white tint (a problem with most mineral sunscreens)—and it’s no wonder people are flummoxed.
Luckily, we’ve done the research. Here, eight sunscreens that tick all boxes.
Ava Isa Sun-é-Serum Drops SPF 35
This is a rare thing: an all-mineral sunscreen that’s really invisible on skin, thanks to the way Canadian brand Ava Isa creates zinc-oxide-based formulations. Mineral sunscreens are typically the best choice for very sensitive skins, and the sun serum drops contain antioxidants to protect against pollution and blue light. Give it a shake and stir before application as it tends to separate in the bottle, but that won’t affect its protective properties at all.
Coola Sun Silk Drops SPF 30
The serum-like texture of this SPF 30 sunscreen means it’s light and quickly absorbed. It protects from UVA and UVB rays with broad-spectrum chemical sunscreens that are reef safe. There are also antioxidants that shield against blue light. It comes with a dropper dispenser so you can add it to your moisturizer or foundation if you want to boost their sunscreen properties, though that will dilute the sun protection, so you won’t get a full SPF 30. Chemical sunscreens need to be fully absorbed into skin before they offer protection, so wait around 15 minutes after application before you head out.
Clarins Dry Touch Facial Sunscreen SPF 50+
Floral-scented, this cream is invisible on all skin tones, quickly absorbs, and dries matte. Its chemical sunscreens protect against UVA and UVB rays, and an antioxidant plant complex counteracts the effects of free radicals.
Institut Esthederm Sun Expert SPF 50
As well as invisibly protecting from UVA and UVB with chemical sunscreens and shielding from infrared damage and blue light, this light-textured cream is said to brighten dark spots and even out the complexion.
La Roche Posay Anthelios Ultra Fluid Face Lotion SPF 50+
When you apply this water-resistant chemical sunscreen, it stays put. You can even apply it around the eyes without it stinging, a common problem for people who work out and find that their sweat carries the sunscreen into their eyes.
Rodan + Fields UNBLEMISH Invisible Matte Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 30
Shiseido Future Solution LX Universal Defence SPF 50+
There are high sun protection and anti-pollution ingredients in this broad-spectrum chemical sunscreen, which also claims wrinkle-reducing, dark-spot-fighting benefits.
Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40
U.S. brand Supergoop specializes in sunscreens for everything from your eyelids to the parting in your hair. This bestseller was previously hard to find in Canada but is now at Sephora. It’s invisible, vegan, fragrance-free, reef-safe, with hydrating, soothing, and anti-blue-light ingredients.
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