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What Is The Best SPF For Your Skin?

The skincare decisions you make now have lasting, possibly drastic impacts on your overall health. Like life insurance for the face, wearing the best SPF for your face is the most responsible decision you could make for your future self’s skin. Fortunately, sunscreen has come a long way and it is now easier than ever to protect your skin from the sun.

"The key to wearing sunscreen is finding the best SPF for your skin type," Julie Proszynski, a licensed esthetician, tells Lively. "There are now a multitude of options catering to unique tones, types, and textures."

Long gone are the days of a one-size-fits-all product that leave behind a chalky cast or thick, oily residue! Below are a handful of great options for sensitive, oily, dry, and full-spectrum skin types. But let's be honest, the best sunscreen is the one that is actually worn. Explore Proszynski's recommendations to find out which one may suit your skin best.


Best SPF for Sensitive Skin

Avene Mineral Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+, $28

Many ingredients can trigger unwanted reactions, however Avene as a brand is a favorite amongst sensitive skin sufferers. This product is hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, fragrance-free, and especially formulated for sensitive skin.

"They are renowned for incorporating French thermal water, full of mineral rich healing properties, to soothe and hydrate skin," says Proszynski. "Vitamin E has powerful antioxidant properties while zinc and titanium dioxide provide the amazing SPF+ protection."

Because the texture is so light and hydrating, this product absorbs well into the skin with no greasy residue. It compliments all skin tones, and works well under makeup due to its sheer (not white) coverage.

best spf for face

Best SPF for Oily and Breakout Prone Skin

SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50, $34

Proszynski recommends this SPF for its gentle, broad-spectrum formula made with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. For SkinCeuticals, this is a surprisingly affordable daytime moisturizer with an impressive SPF content. This formula is also fragrance free, which makes it an option for those with reactionary skin and rosacea. 

There is a soft tint to eliminate the dreaded white cast that most mineral-based sunscreens have. The fluid itself feels great and leaves skin refreshed and hydrated. The result is a breathable satin matte finish which oily skin types will find appealing. Given the amazing primer-like quality of this product, it works well alone or under makeup — almost as a primer.

Best SPF for Dry Skin

Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense SPF 30, $36

The moisturizing properties of Drunk Elephant's original Umbra Sheer Physical Defense SPF 30 make it a standout mineral formula. This new tinted addition has the great qualities of the original, without the slight white cast.

Featuring broad spectrum zinc oxide, this cream is best for those with dry to normal skin. Its moisturizing properties can be attributed to several non-fragrant plant oils that leave a hydrated, non-greasy feel. This sunscreen includes a mix of antioxidants and comes packaged in an opaque tube to protect the efficacy of these sensitive ingredients.

"The tint is sheer enough that it can work on a wide variety of skin tones," says Proszynski. "However, I do recommend the original formula for those with very fair skin. The tint in this version may be slightly too dark, whereas the white cast won't be nearly as objectionable on very fair skin."

Best SPF for All Skin

As a general guideline, it is recommended to apply sunscreen early and often. However, as we all know, time is not always on our side. Below are two options that are suitable for everyone, and can be easily reapplied throughout the day!

PETER THOMAS ROTH Instant Mineral SPF 45, $30

Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral SPF 45 is a brush on powder-type product with a translucent, matte finish. Ingredients like titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, salicylic acid, and vitamins A, C, & E in this product combine sun protection, oil absorption, and antioxidants. The convenience of application is far superior to a cream or lotion: you can grab and go! Chemical free protection can be applied instantly with the retractable brush that fits conveniently in your pocket or makeup case allowing multiple touch ups throughout the day!

Supergoop! Defense Refresh SPF 50 Rosemary Setting Mist, $8-$28

By mid-afternoon, we could all use a pick-me-up! This rosemary setting mist has an amazing uplifting aroma of rosemary and peppermint, in addition to a touch-up of SPF. It works well as a makeup setting spray (just be sure to pull any loose hair back). This mist has mattifying properties, so this a great option for those with more oily skin types. "I recommend this be used as an “addition to” a regular SPF to ensure proper coverage," says Proszynski. "It is definitely something to keep in your bag for a quick on the go pick-me-up."

Enjoy the summertime sun safely!  Your skin depends on you to keep it healthy.

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