The 10 Best Sunscreens for Every Skin Type

Whether you have sensitive skin, are planning a pool day, or want instant brightening, these SPF formulas are best in class.

While applying sunscreen should be a daily habit, warmer weather may be the prompt you need to upgrade your skin care. “The goal of a comprehensive sun protection strategy is to reduce the risk of skin cancer development and to prevent or decelerate signs of premature aging—namely fine lines, uneven skin tone and dull skin,” says Dr. Monica Li, a dermatologist at Vancouver Skin MD clinic and a clinical assistant professor in the department of dermatology and skin science at the University of British Columbia.

The basic requirement for any winning sunscreen includes a sun protection factor of 25 or higher and broad-spectrum protection, meaning it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. The former ages skin, while the latter is responsible for burns. “Keep in mind that skin care is not one size fits all, so there’s really no ‘best’ sunscreen for everyone,” Dr. Li says. “It’s important to find a product that you like, and that you actually use, since a consistent and proper application of sunscreen will then be able to deliver benefits.”


Always Measure Up

“I cannot emphasize enough that sunscreens must be used consistently, at least once daily, and with proper amounts,” Li says. “These measures often are missed, and SPF products often end up not being able to perform to their full potential as a result.” She recommends a dollop of about 1 teaspoon’s worth for the face alone. For the body, the Canadian Dermatology Association suggests a palm-full of sunscreen for each arm and leg. The bottom line: be generous in your application.


Know Your Skin’s Needs

To reap maximum rewards, choose sunscreen based on your skin type or concern. “Individuals who have benign pigmentary concerns, such as melasma, would benefit more from tinted mineral formulations to not only achieve UV protection but camouflage,” Li says. Because they don’t contain potentially irritating chemical filters, pure mineral formulas are also ideal for people who are prone to redness or have sensitive skin or rosacea. If you have oily skin or an acne-prone complexion, look for an oil-free and/or a non-comedogenic formula. And a formula with additional skin-care ingredients can be helpful for those with dry skin or who are affected by eczema. “Ceramides and hyaluronic acid added to a SPF product support skin barrier structure and function, help to improve hydration, and soothe possible skin inflammation,” Li says.


Take a 360o Strategy

“Don’t forget SPF application on and behind the ears, on the lips, and on the backs of hands and tops of feet. These sites are less top of mind until we get a sunburn on them,” Li says. It’s also important to reapply to maintain adequate sun protection in the heat—water and sweat affect efficacy. Sunscreens should be applied 15 to 20 minutes before direct sun exposure, especially with water-resistant formulations. If there is towelling off from aquatic activities or sweating, reapply at least every two hours or as needed.

To connect you with a sun protectant you’ll want to apply every day, we’ve rounded up a few top-performing formulas that satisfy a wide variety of needs.



Best for Sensitive Skin: Koa Mineral Sunscreen SPF 45

Designed and tested in Hawaii, this mineral sunscreen blends broad-spectrum protection with anti-inflammatory vitamin B and soothing wild chamomile that helps calm, moisturize, and restore skin. Available in three tints, it has a creamy texture that quickly dries to a silky finish.





Best for Oily or Acne-Prone Skin: AlumierMD Clear Shield SPF 42

This lightweight, non-comedogenic sun protectant blends physical UV filters (zinc oxide and titanium oxide) with niacinamide that helps soothe inflammation, plus a derivative of hyaluronic acid for a dose of hydration.





Best for Protecting Lips: Clé de Peau Protective Lip Treatment SPF 25

Designed to protect an often-neglected facial feature, this creamy balm shields lips from the damaging effects of the sun and environmental aggressors while plumping and smoothing them with long-lasting moisture. It’s also sustainably packaged: the gold-capped tube is refillable.





Best Tinted Mineral: Nudestix Nudescreen Daily Mineral Veil SPF 30

Available in five shades with notable depth, this oil-free mineral formula is packed with additional perks. The light, tinted lotion melts into skin to unify the complexion while imparting a dewy glow, and it’s loaded with skin-friendly extracts, including the antioxidant powers of purple tea and passionflower, plus moisturizing green algae.





Best for a Workout or Day by the Pool: Vichy Capital Soleil UV Sport Ultra-Light Refreshing Lotion SPF 60

If sweaty or wet skin is on your agenda, using a sunscreen that can keep up is essential. Made for active fun in the sun, this light cream is water- and sweat-resistant for up to 80 minutes and formulated to blend easily on wet skin.





Best for Mature Skin: Clinique Smart SPF 30 Wrinkle Correcting Cream

You deserve daily sun care that can do more for your complexion. A true multitasker, this nongreasy cream not only protects skin with SPF 30 but also prevents future free radical damage with provitamin D and brings in peptides to boost skin’s strength. The clever anti-aging mix is also hydrating and fragrance-free.





Best for Hands: Ultra Violette Extreme Screen Hydrating Body + Hand Skinscreen SPF 50+

As a hydrating lotion that spreads like a dream and disappears into skin without a hint of stickiness or white cast, there’s plenty to love here. From an Aussie-based brand that recently launched in Canada, it has a luxe texture that provides high protection against UVA and UVB, and it is water-resistant, alcohol-free, and most notably, delightfully scented with notes of soft, not cloying, coconut.





Best Under Makeup: Lancôme UV Expert Aquagel Defense Moisturizer With SPF 50

Its weightless texture that absorbs quickly and leaves an invisible finish helps make this all-in-one sunscreen an ideal base for makeup. Designed to hydrate, prime, and protect, the water-like gel also contains vitamin E, moringa seed, and edelweiss extracts for an antioxidant boost against free radical damage to support healthy skin.





Best for Dry Skin: Clarins Dry Touch Facial Sunscreen SPF 30

Infused with aloe vera-leaf juice, this broad-spectrum sunscreen helps keep dry skin soothed, softened, and hydrated. The antioxidant-rich botanical blend also contains extracts from pea, olive, and baobab (a slow-growing succulent native to Africa that is packed with nourishing vitamins and omega-3s), which counteract premature aging and dehydration. Bonus: It’s water-resistant too.





Best Radiance Boost: Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30

Formulated for instant payoff as well as long-term benefits, this light SPF lotion is enhanced with brightening mineral pigments to deliver a dash of luminosity on contact. Meanwhile, potent skin-care ingredients (such as vitamin C and niacinamide) work behind the scenes to correct the appearance of dark spots and bring forth a healthy glow day after day.