With the warmer temperatures arriving, now’s the time to prep for a season of sun safety. Those sunbeams might feel great on your face after an endless winter—and we’re all suckers for a “healthy glow”—but harsh UV rays can damage unprotected skin, leading to wrinkles, dark spots and even skin cancer.
Regardless of the weather, geographical location or your skin colour, UVA and UVB rays can cause damage to your skin at a cellular level year-round, which makes sunscreen an essential part of your morning skincare routine. But SPF’s biggest obstacle has always been compliance.
People often neglect their SPF responsibility when they haven’t found their perfect formula. Complaints run the gamut, from being too greasy to leaving behind a white cast to causing stinging eyes. In short, sunscreen isn’t one-size-fits-all. Read on to discover how to choose the best sunscreen for face, sun safety tricks and dermatologist-approved application tips.
Every Day Facial Sunscreens for Each Skin Type
Any dermatologist will say the best sunscreen for face is the one you’ll use every day. Slathering on SPF seems doable, but compliance is one of the biggest roadblocks to consistently wearing SPF. In addition, some formulas can be thick and goopy and leave behind white streaks, especially if you’ve got a darker skin tone. That said, with innovations in filters and formulations, there’s a sunscreen out there perfect for your skin type. Whether you’ve got acne-prone skin or dry skin, here’s the right match.
- The Best Sunscreen for Oily Skin
If you’re stumped on how to choose sunscreen for oily skin, you have likely tested several formulas and been frustrated with the results. But there’s a formula out there for you. What’s comedogenic for one person might be just fine for another, but some sun filters are inherently moisturizing and rich, blocking pores and leaving skin shiny. If traditional options are too heavy, look for magnifying ones like Soleil Anti-Shine Dry Touch Lotion SPF 60. It forms a film on the skin to hold the sunscreen filters, yet it’s capable of absorbing sebum—handy when humidity causes oily skin to crank out even more sebum than usual.
- The Best Sunscreen for Dry Skin
Dry skin is a common skin type, but some SPF options out there can help keep your skin hydrated and protected from the sun. If you’re wondering how to choose sunscreen for dry skin, the best place to start is with one that has a slightly thicker formula. Vichy Capital Soleil SPF 30 offers high protection for the face and body while leaving skin moisturized, making it a perfect match. It uses Mexoryl, the most recommended filter by dermatologists, along with other powerful sun filters to protect the skin from UVA and UVB rays.
- The Best Sunscreen for Combination Skin
If your skin is dry or normal in some areas and oily in others, such as the T-zone, you likely have combination skin. If you want to know how to choose sunscreen for combination skin, a great place to start is with an oil-free, non-comedogenic and lightweight formula. Enter Vichy Capital Soleil Ultra Light Lotion SPF 30. It offers lightweight protection that’s absorbed in an instant—and works well under makeup. It uses organic and mineral sun filters like Mexoryl XL and titanium dioxide.
- The Best Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin
For people with reactive skin, mineral (also known as physical) sunscreens tend to be better tolerated. Look for words like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide on the label, and stay away from products with fragrance or a lot of alcohol (both of which can upset sensitive skin types). One of the best physical sunscreens for dry sensitive skin is Vichy Capital Soleil Ultra-Light UV Lotion Tinted SPF 60 because it goes on silky smooth with no white cast thanks to an added tint. What makes this the best-tinted sunscreen is its tint-matching technology, which matches most skin tones for a uniform and radiant complexion.
How to Layer Sunscreen with Makeup
If you’ve had trouble finding a facial sunscreen that goes on with zero white streaks, then you should consider switching to a tinted SPF.
- What is tinted sunscreen? A little bit of tint (added pigment) helps counteract any chalky residue; this is especially important for mineral formulas. Many mineral sunscreens are notorious for leaving behind a white cast on the skin, and adding a tint helps counteract this so that the formula blends in better. Not to mention that tinted formulas are ideal for daily use; they protect from UV rays while evening out your skin tone and camouflaging blemishes in one fell swoop.
- How to use tinted sunscreen
Your tinted sunscreen should be applied like any other SPF. Slather on a dime-size amount or two finger lengths (pointer and middle finger) to your face, neck and ears as the last step in your skincare routine. Don’t apply with a makeup wedge or makeup brush; instead, rub the formula evenly using your fingertips. If you choose to wear makeup, consider it your first step in that regimen. Tinted sunscreens act as a practical cosmetics primer because they are complexion boosters—this makes them the best sunscreen to wear under makeup.
- The best tinted sunscreen
The most effective SPF is one that fits into your lifestyle because it’s the best way to ensure it will make its way into your routine. This is where tinted sunscreen comes in handy, since it offers some coverage while providing SPF protection. But don’t get fooled by a tinted moisturizer with SPF because makeup with sun protection usually doesn’t offer a high enough SPF and usually only shields against UVB rays, not UVA rays. So, when you’re choosing your tinted sunscreen (like Vichy Capital Soleil Ultra-Light UV Lotion Tinted SPF 60, look for a lightweight formula that has broad-spectrum protection and an SPF 30 or higher.