The Holy Grail of SPFs to keep your skin protected and your complexion 👌
by Jessica Toscano Aug 1, 2022
Hey, you! Before you dive in, we want you to know that all products featured in Intrigue are independently selected by our editorial team just for you. Yes, you're *that* special. ;) But also know that when you shop, we may earn commission from links on this page.
You’ve probably been lectured on the importance of sunscreen more than once in your life. That’s because slathering the white stuff on your skin before sun exposure can decrease your odds of developing skin cancers and precancers by nearly 50 percent, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Not to mention, the right amount of sunblock can help prevent brown spots, wrinkles, and sunburn—all of which the sun can cause sans protection. But you want to make sure that you’re not picking up just any ol’ bottle of SPF to do the job.
“Dermatologists generally recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, which correlates to protection against 97 percent of the sun’s UVB rays,” Priyanka C. Vedak, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and assistant professor at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, tells Intrigue. Anything less than that can make you more prone to sunburn, especially if you’re fair-skinned.
You’ll also want to invest in broad-spectrum sunscreen because it blocks UVA and UVB rays from penetrating the deeper layers of skin and causing sun-related aging and skin cancer, adds Dr. Vedak. Beyond that, you’ll want to look for a sunscreen that fits your needs, so you’re more likely to use it. “I recommend trying a few different brands and types to find what texture, tint, and ingredients work well for you,” she says. Once you have that nailed down, just be sure to apply the right amount (one ounce or about a shot glass full for the entire body) every two hours after swimming or sweating.
Alas, thanks to rigorous testing and dermatologist input, our top sunscreens of 2022 are here to grace your screen.
1. Best Overall Sunscreen for Face: Thrive Natural Care Daily Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin, $26.95
A true staple in your everyday skincare routine, this face sunscreen for sensitive skin protects and repairs with an ultra-hydrating yet lightweight, antioxidant-rich formula that never leaves a white cast or greasy residue. Plus, it delivers broad-spectrum SPF 30 via a mess-free pump that locks when you twist it.
2. Best Overall Sunscreen for Body: WearSPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen, $16
After a scare with melanoma, pro golfer Justin Thomas set out on a mission to encourage the use of sun protection and thus, created this super affordable suncare line of sprays, creams, and face sticks. This face and body bb relies on moisturizing dimethicone for a glide-on application that blends easily into all skin types and tones for anytime, anywhere use.
3. Best Sunscreen for Everyday: Taos AER SPF 30 Broad Spectrum Mineral Sunscreen, $38
This natural sunscreen is 20 percent non-nano zinc oxide, which means its sun ray-blocking particles won’t penetrate the skin. High-performance ingredients (like sunflower and pomegranate seed oils) make up the remainder of its formula, which is vegan, cruelty-free, and up to 40 minutes water-resistant.
4. Best Tinted Sunscreen: Peter Thomas Roth Max Mineral Tinted Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 45, $38
Never again worry about the messiness of tinted sunscreen with this mineral formula designed to neutralize redness, say, from sunburn. Safflower extract and vitamins C and E nourish and hydrate skin, while diamond powder delivers a luminous finish in one universally-flattering shade.
5. Best Sunscreen for Acne-Prone Skin: Banish The Defender SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen, $59
If you’re acne prone, your biggest concerns with sunscreen are heavy formulas, pore-clogging ingredients, and greasy residues. Worry no more with this scent-free, multi-benefit option made specifically for sensitive, oily, and acne-prone skin types. Soothing aloe vera, avocado seed, and jojoba oils gently moisturize; palmitoyl peptides fade dark spots and reduce fine lines and wrinkles; and cucumber fruit extract minimizes pores and inflammation. Bonus: Each batch is made fresh to order!
6. Best Moisturizing Sunscreen: Biossance Squalene and Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen, $30
Star ingredient squalane makes it easy to replace your daily moisturizer with this ultra-hydrating sunscreen that keeps skin replenished throughout the day. Its formula is non-greasy, blends easily into all skin types and tones, and includes water lily to keep UV-related inflammation at bay. Plus, its EWG certification ensures it is one of the cleanest SPF options available.
7. Best Eco-Friendly Sunscreen: Project Reef Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30, $24
Protect your skin and the ocean with this safe-for-all-ages SPF. For every (ocean-bound plastic!) bottle sold, the company removes one pound of plastic (equivalent to 22 plastic bottles) from our oceans. Additionally, its all-natural formula is reef-friendly, cruelty-free, and vegan. (Tip: Pair with ATTITUDE Lip Balm SPF 15 for an FSC-certified, biodegradable design and ultra-nourished lips.)
8. Best Sunscreen for Lips: WearSPF 30 Sunscreen Lip Balm, $3
While most sunscreen chapsticks are SPF 15, this minty balm offers broad-spectrum SPF 30. Up to 80 minutes water-resistant means you can enjoy a swim or sweat sesh without ever having to worry about UV rays or chapped lips.
9. Best Sunscreen for Hair and Scalp: Supergoop Poof 100% Mineral Part Powder SPF 35, $34
Between creamy SPFs that definitely don’t mix with hair and a decent-size surface area to cover, we totally understand why you might neglect to protect your mane and scalp during your sun care routine. Forget no more with this mineral SPF powder that works like dry shampoo (it soaks up grease like it, too). Style your locks per usual, then follow with a few dabs that you can blend in with fingertips or a brush.