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22 Best Sunscreens of 2022, Tested by Experts

These are the most effective SPFs for face and body.

best sunscreens
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We updated this article in June 2022 to ensure all products tested and selected by the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab were in stock and reflect current pricing.


One thing is for sure when it comes to SPF: It's extremely important to wear it regularly, both for your skin's health and look. But not all sunscreen is created equal. That's why the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab is constantly testing to find the best SPFs you can buy and regularly consulting top dermatologists to find the best sunscreen to keep your skin protected, healthy and youthful all year long.

After reviewing 4,883 data points from over 250 testers, our experts narrowed in on the top-performing picks. Whether you're looking for formulas suited for sensitive skin, sunscreens for kids and babies, zinc oxide formulas, sunscreen for oily skin or even natural sunscreen, GH Beauty Lab experts have the perfect SPF pick for you:

Our top picks:

      Note: In 2021, Coppertone and Johnson & Johnson recalled a number of sunscreens after tests identified low levels of benzene, a cancer-causing chemical compound. None of GH's recommended sunscreens were a part of those sunscreen recalls.

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      1
      Best Overall Sunscreen for Body
      Essentials Face + Body Sunscreen SPF 50
      Rodan + Fields
      Rodan + Fields

      • Spreads and absorbs easily
      • No white cast
      • Not oily or sticky

      This Rodan + Fields SPF for both body and face was the winner of the GH Beauty Lab's most recent body sunscreens test. In Lab evaluations, 100% of testers agreed it was easy to apply, absorbed well, didn't leave white residue on skin, didn't feel greasy or tacky and didn't stain fabrics.

      "I honestly loved everything about this sunscreen," a tester raved. "I found myself picking it up daily." Another remarked that "it felt similar to applying a moisturizing lotion."

      SPF 50
      Active type:
      Chemical
      Active ingredients: Avobenzone (2.8%), Homosalate (9.6%), Octisalate (4.8%), Octocrylene (9.6%)
      Water resistance: 80 minutes
      Price per ounce: ~$6.80

      2
      Best Value Sunscreen for Body
      AntiOxidant+ Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50
      Hawaiian Tropic
      Hawaiian Tropic

      • Not drying or irritating
      • Soaks in quickly
      • Non-greasy
      • Affordably-priced

      The Hawaiian Tropic drugstore bargain excelled across the board in GH Beauty Lab evaluations, earning perfect scores for not drying or irritating skin. It rated highly for easy absorption, not feeling tacky or oily, having a pleasant aroma and rinsing off easily. The formula also ranked near the top for sun protection and not leaving white residue on skin.

      In addition, its "beachy" scent was total crowd-pleaser, even with testers who tend to be especially critical about scent. "It worked perfectly," a tester marveled.

      SPF 50
      Active type: Chemical
      Active ingredients: Avobenzone (2.7%), Homosalate (9%), Octisalate (4%), Octocrylene (5%)
      Water resistance: 80 minutes
      Price per ounce: ~$1.49

      3
      Best Overall Sunscreen for Face
      LiftActiv Peptide-C Sunscreen SPF 30
      vichy
      Vichy

      • SPF 30
      • Won't leave a white film on skin
      • Doesn't cause breakouts or irritation
      • Strong sun protection

      • Expensive
      • Not water-resistant

      The winner of the GH Beauty Lab’s most recent face sunscreen test, Vichy came out on top in almost every category. It earned the best score for being easy to apply, making skin feel hydrated, and not leaving a white cast, being sticky, causing breakouts or irritation or interfering with makeup.

      An impressive 100% of testers agreed it had an appealing texture. The formula ranked highest at effectively protected skin from sunburn. Users disagreed on its scent: some adored it while others were put off by it. "It blended in easily and didn't leave a white film and was also very moisturizing without being greasy," a tester noted. Another reported: "My skin looks/feels more healthy and vibrant after using this."

      SPF 30
      Active type: Chemical
      Active ingredients: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (5%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (7%)
      Water resistance: None
      Price per ounce: ~$23.07

      4
      Best Value Sunscreen for Face
      Matte Effect Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50
      Hawaiian Tropic
      Hawaiian Tropic

      • Gentle on skin
      • No white cast
      • Non-greasy matte finish

      For a lightweight, more affordable option, this GH Beauty Lab top-tested Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen rated well for not inflaming skin and gives an grease-free matte finish. The fast-absorbing liquid ranked well among testers at not leaving a visible white film on skin or running into eyes. Users also found it has a pleasant, mild aroma.

      Two testers' takes: "It went on smooth, soaked in quickly and had a nice 'vacation-y' coconut scent with no sticky oily feel," and "works much better than anything I have used."

      SPF 50
      Active type: Chemical and mineral
      Active ingredients: Homosalate (8%), Octisalate (4.5%), Octocrylene (5.7%), Zinc Oxide (7.3%)
      Water resistance: 80 minutes
      Price per ounce: ~$1.66

      5
      Best Sunscreen for Combination Skin
      SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen Lotion
      Ulta
      Ulta

      • Not drying or greasy on skin
      • Great texture and scent

      • May leave a residue on skin or fabrics

      A top performer in the GH Beauty Lab's most recent body sunscreen test, Ulta's mineral formula didn't make skin feel oily or dry, making it great for combination skin types. It scored high for its pleasant texture,"light, clean" scent, and not feeling tacky or greasy or drying out skin. Note that some users found it left a white residue on skin, wasn't as easy to rinse off, and could stain or rub off on fabrics.

      "I really liked how it absorbed into my skin," a tester noted. "It felt more like a lotion than a typical sunscreen." Two users described the formulas as "smooth and silky".

      SPF 50
      Active type: Mineral
      Active ingredients: Titanium Dioxide (4%), Zinc Oxide (4%)
      Water resistance: 80 minutes
      Price per ounce: ~$3.00

      6
      Best Sunscreen for Everyday Use
      Light Moisture UV Defense
      SkinCeuticals
      SkinCeuticals

      • Soaks in quickly
      • Not oily, drying or tacky
      • No white residue

      • Expensive
      • Not water-resistant

      A top performer in GH Beauty Lab sunscreen testing, this versatile fragrance-free SkinCeuticals SPF works for both face and body, making it great for everyday use. It scored well for its appealing texture, absorbing quickly, and not feeling sticky or greasy or making skin feel dry. In Lab evaluations, 93% of testers also agreed it doesn't leave a white residue on skin.

      "It was easy to rub thoroughly into my skin and invisible," a tester remarked. "When using it I did not burn and I felt protected from the 100 degree sun rays and heat."

      • SPF 50
      Active type: Chemical
      Active ingredients: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (10%), Octisalate (7%), Octocrylene (7%)
      Water resistance: None
      Price per ounce: ~$5.70

      7
      Best Sunscreen for Dry Skin
      Ultimate Sun Protector Lotion SPF 50+ Sunscreen
      Shiseido
      Shiseido

      • Non-drying formula
      • Won't leave a white film on skin
      • Appealing scent

      • May be runny
      • Pricey

      Shiseido's luxe SPF earned the highest score in GH Beauty Lab testing for not making skin feel dehydrated, making it a perfect match for those with dry skin types. It also ranked highly for rinsing off easily, not leaving a white film on skin, and having a pleasant fragrance. Note that some users found it felt runny and slippery on skin.

      One tester loved "the silky feel when the product was applied — felt luxurious and more like a moisturizer than a sunscreen!" Another user's take: "Quite light and fresh; this is actually one of the best lotion sunscreens I think I have ever used."

      SPF 50
      Active type: Chemical
      Active ingredients: Avobenzone (2.3%), Homosalate (10%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (5%)
      Water resistance: 80 minutes
      Price per ounce: ~$9.80

      8
      Best Sunscreen for Acne-Prone Skin
      No Excuses Invisible Facial Sunscreen Gel SPF 40
      Julep
      Julep

      • Clear non-greasy gel
      • Won't cause blemishes
      • No white cast

      • Expensive

      A GH Beauty Lab test winner, this innovative clear gel Julep sunscreen is lightweight and super-easy to apply with no greasy feeling or white cast left behind. It excelled in Lab tests, earning perfect scores for not causing breakouts or running into or stinging eyes. A true universal product, we found it performed well on all skin types, including oily and acne-prone and all skin tones from fair to dark.

      "It didn't feel oily, sticky, or leave a white or gray cast on my skin," a tester commented. "This is extremely important to me because I already have oily skin, so I'm always looking for products that work well to combat my skin's natural oil and this did that." Another reported that "it didn't break me out."

      SPF 40
      Active type: Chemical
      Active ingredients: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (8%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (2.6%)
      Water resistance: None
      Price per ounce: ~$20

      9
      Best Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin
      Oh My Bod! SPF50 Body Sunscreen
      Everday Humans
      Everyday Humans
      Now 11% off

      • Won't irritate skin
      • Great texture

      • Small size

      A great choice for those with sensitive skin, the Everyday Humans lotion received the highest score for not stinging or irritating skin in the GH Beauty Lab's most recent body sunscreen test. An impressive 100% of testers who also used it on their face reported no irritation to eyes or the surrounding skin. The gentle formula infused with skincare ingredients also performed well for its pleasant texture and rinsing off easily. Note that the package is smaller than other body sunscreens.

      "I liked how well it absorbed into my skin, leaving it feeling moisturized but not greasy, that there was no noticeable scent and that it didn't cause any allergic reaction!" a tester raved.

      SPF 50
      Active type:
      Chemical
      Active ingredients: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (10%), Octyl Salicylate (5%), Octocrylene (8%)
      Water resistance: 80 minutes
      Price per ounce: ~$5.30

      10
      Best Sunscreen for Oily Skin
      Mineral Sunscreen Gel Lotion SPF 30
      Bare Republic
      Bare Republic

      • Non-greasy matte finish
      • Doesn't run

      • Could be chalky or dry feeling

      Several GH Beauty Lab testers found this Bare Republic gel-lotion sunscreen left a matte finish or helped control their oily skin throughout the day, earning it the highest score in this category. Testers also gave it top marks for not leaving shine after use and staying put even during workouts. With that, it's important to note that some users found it chalky and not as moisturizing as desired, so you may need to layer it with your favorite moisturizer.

      Consumer testers noted that it was a "reallly great sunscreen for my oily skin" and "not greasy at all, almost seemed to blur my pores and give a matte finish".

      SPF 30
      Active type:
      Mineral
      Active ingredients: Zinc oxide (18.2%)
      Water resistance: 40 minutes
      Price per ounce: ~$10.00

      11
      Best Sunscreen for Dark Skin
      Anthelios Melt-in Milk Body & Face Sunscreen Lotion SPF 100
      La Roche-Posay
      La Roche-Posay

      • No white residue on deep skin tones
      • Not greasy or sticky
      • Works on face and body

      GH Beauty Lab testers who described themselves as Mexican American, Black or African American, and Asian origin rated this La Roche-Posay sunscreen the highest score for not leaving a white film on the skin in a recent test. The formula for both face and body also rated high for not feeling oily or tacky, though some testers reported seeing seeing a slight sheen after use. Note that one tester did report tearing up from the scent.

      "It did not leave a white cast on my face and absorbed very well into the skin," a tester reported. "It was weightless and even on the go I forgot that I was wearing a SPF 100 sunscreen.

      SPF 100
      Active type: Chemical
      Active ingredients: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (15%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (10%)
      Water resistance: 80 minutes
      Price per ounce: ~$8.30

      12
      Best Mineral Physical Body Sunscreen
      Mineral Sun Milk Body Lotion SPF 50
      Hawaiian Tropic
      Hawaiian Tropic
      Now 17% off

      • Easy to apply
      • Won't dry out skin
      • Great scent

      • Small size

      A unique milk formula, Hawaiian Tropic was the best mineral sunscreen in the GH Beauty Lab's most recent body sunscreen test, made with the active ingredients zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. It was the most-liked among consumer testers of all the mineral sunscreen lotions evaluated, least likely to stain fabrics and earned the highest score for its pleasant "tropical" scent.

      Users found the SPF easy to apply and rinse off, non-drying on skin and praised the pump packaging. Note that the bottle is smaller than the average size of a body sunscreen and it ranked average for absorption and a greasy feel on skin. "I looked forward to putting on this product," a tester remarked. Another noted: "It has wonderful staying power; even through sweat, the sunscreen stayed in place staining, no running."

      SPF 50
      Active type: Mineral
      Active ingredients: Titanium Dioxide (4.9%), Zinc Oxide (6.7%)
      Water resistance: 80 minutes
      Price per ounce: ~$3.50

      13
      Best Mineral Physical Face Sunscreen
      Mineral SPF 30 Sunscreen Face Lotion
      sunbum
      Sun Bum

      • Gentle on skin
      • Smooth texture

      • May leave a visible cast on skin

      The "silky texture" of this Sun Bum sunscreen was a hit among GH Beauty Lab testers. It had a "velvet feel" and didn't make skin shiny or oily. The sunscreen earned a near-perfect score for not causing irritation or redness, and many testers found that it worked under makeup. However, some noted a white cast or slight grayish tone after application.

      "Very easy to apply and non-sticky," a tester commented. "This product feels silky on my skin and looks so natural."

      SPF 30
      Active type:
      Mineral
      Active ingredients: Titanium Dioxide (5.3%), Zinc Oxide (2.4%)
      Water resistance: 40 minutes
      Price per ounce: ~$10.60

      14
      Best Natural Sunscreen
      Sheer Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50
      Babo Botanicals
      Babo Botanicals
      Now 17% off

      • Made with natural ingredients
      • Not drying or oily on skin
      • Easy to apply and rinse

      • Thickness and scent can be polarizing

      Made with 20% zinc oxide mineral suncreen and organic, naturally-derived ingredients like chamomile and cocoa butter, bargain-priced Babo Botanicals was a top performer in the GH Beauty Lab's sunscreen test. Lab evaluations found it was easy to apply and rinse off, didn't stain or rub off on fabrics and doesn't leave skin feeling oily or dry. Note that testers commented on its thick texture and the aroma of its fragrance-free formula was polarizing.

      "It felt great on my skin and didn't look white. I loved it!," a user commented. Two more added: "Goes on easier than other zinc products," and "I forgot I had it on".

      SPF 50
      Active type:
      Mineral
      Active ingredients: Zinc Oxide (20%)
      Water resistance: 80 minutes
      Price per ounce: ~$3.50

      15
      Best Spray Sunscreen
      SPF 50 Continuous Mist Sunscreen
      Hampton Sun
      Hampton Sun

      • Easy to use
      • No white residue
      • Non-drying

      • May make skin slick or sticky

      For those who prefer to spritz on their sun protection, Hampton Sun was the winning spray in the GH Beauty Lab's most recent body sunscreen test. Evaluations found it was the easiest spray to apply, doesn't leave a white film on skin or rub off on fabrics, won't dry out skin and rinses off easily. Note that it may leave skin feeling tacky or slippery and some testers commented on the strong scent.

      "The application was great — covered a wide angle without spraying all over the place," a tester said. Another reported that "it held up in the sun; I spent time at the pool and no issues."

      SPF 50
      Active type:
      Chemical
      Active ingredients: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (15%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (10%)
      Water resistance: 80 minutes
      Price per ounce: ~$5.70

      16
      Best Value Spray Sunscreen
      Original Sunscreen Spray SPF 50
      Sun Bum
      Sun Bum

      • Easy to apply
      • No white film on skin
      • Strong sun protection

      • May be greasy

      This tropical-scented Sun Bum mist ranked highly in past GH Beauty Lab sunscreen testing, applying easily and leaving no chalky cast on skin. The formula came out on top for not creating a white residue and provided effective sunburn protection.

      The “continuous and even” spray “covered my skin quickly,” two testers said. “I would definitely buy this,” another added. Good to know: Some users found that it left an oily finish on skin that took time to disappear.

      SPF 50
      Active type:
      Chemical
      Active ingredients: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (15%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (7%)
      Water resistance: 80 minutes
      Price per ounce: ~$2.66

      17
      Best Dermatologist-Recommended Sunscreen
      Anthelios Mineral Light Fluid Sunscreen SPF 50
      La Roche-Posay
      La Roche-Posay

      • Lightweight feel
      • Gentle on skin

      • Expensive

      Dr. Chen personally recommends (and uses!) this mineral SPF from La-Roche Posay. "It's ultra light, has zinc and titanium dioxide and was made for sensitive skin," she says. The fragrance-free formula has a matte finish and dries invisibly on the skin. It also provides UVA and UVB protection and contains antioxidants that add an additional layer of skin shielding.

      SPF 50
      Active type: Mineral
      Active ingredients: Titanium Dioxide (6%), Zinc Oxide (5%)
      Water resistance: 40 minutes
      Price per ounce: ~$19.70

      18
      Best Scented Sunscreen
      Light As Air Reef Friendly Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50 (Pack of 2)
      banana boat
      Banana Boat

      • Most appealing fragrance
      • Won't leave a film on skin
      • Not sticky

      This Banana Boat drugstore sunscreen earned the best score among GH Beauty Lab testers for its "piña colada" scent, with one tester reporting it put her in a good mood whenever she put it on. It also ranked highest for not leaving a residue on skin, being tacky or running into eyes and causing them to tear.

      Plus, the sunscreen is very affordable, almost three times cheaper than the average price of the entire roundup of tested products! "Feels so light on the skin, dries fast and is not sticky or oily," a tester reported.

      SPF 50
      Active type: Chemical
      Active ingredients: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (9%), Octisalate (4%), Octocrylene (5%)
      Water resistance: 80 minutes
      Price per ounce: ~$2.05

      19
      Best Sunscreen for Sports
      Sport Ultra Broad Spectrum Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50
      Banana Boat
      Banana Boat
      Now 11% off

      • Soaks in quickly
      • No white residue
      • Smooth texture
      • Strong sun protection

      A bargain buy, Banana Boat’s lotion sunscreen created for sports and outdoor activities had the most appealing texture in past GH Beauty Lab testing, soaking in fast and not leaving any visible film on skin. An impressive 100% of users reported that it was absorbed quickly and left zero white cast. It received the top score for its “smooth, creamy” texture and performed well at shielding skin from the sun.

      Testers especially liked that the bottle’s slightly curved shape made it super-easy to dispense sunscreen even with slippery hands. Many commented on how “amazingly well” it absorbed. “I forgot I even had sunscreen on,” a fan said. Another commented: “Protected against sunburns and lasted a long time outdoors before needing to reapply.”

      SPF 50
      Active type: Chemical
      Active ingredients: Avobenzone (2.7%), Homosalate (9%), Octisalate (4.5%), Octocrylene (6.7%)
      Water resistance: 80 minutes
      Price per ounce: ~$2.05

      20
      Best Lightweight Sunscreen
      Classic Body Sunscreen Guava Mango SPF 50
      Coola
      Coola

      • Light texture
      • Not irritating

      • Strong scent

      Coola’s fruity sunscreen feels so light on skin that many GH Beauty Lab testers said they forgot they were even wearing it. One compared its texture and feeling to a lightweight moisturizer, rather than a traditional thick sunscreen. Great for people with sensitive skin, it earned perfect scores for being gentle on skin (face and body). Note that tropical scent is pretty strong at first. Some testers loved it, while others thought it was too much, though it dissipates after about 15 minutes.

      "I love how much it feels like a light skin lotion (and not like a sunscreen at all!)!" a user marveled. "It goes on so easily and smoothly and disappears into the skin; after I rubbed it in very lightly, it was like it wasn't there at all and I wouldn't have known I was wearing it."

      SPF 50
      Active type:
      Chemical
      Active ingredients: Avobenzone (1.75%), Homosalate (5%), Octisalate (2%), Octocrylene (5%)
      Water resistance: 80 minutes
      Price per ounce: ~$5.60

      21
      Best Zinc Oxide Sunscreen
      Sunforgettable Total Protection Body Shield SPF 50
      Colorescience
      Colorescience

      • Non-irritating
      • Applies smoothly

      • May be difficult to rinse off
      • Pricey

      GH Beauty Lab consumer testers say this Colorescience zinc oxide formula goes on smooth and leaves a powdery, silky finish. One tester described it as “melting into” her skin. Evaluations also found it was gentle on skin, causing no irritation or stinging even when applied around testers’ eyes. Note that some users reported it was hard to remove.

      Several testers commented that it "spready on easily" and produced minimal visible residue on skin. "Not sticky, absorbed quickly and seemed to protect well from burns," one said.

      • SPF 50
      Active type: Mineral
      Active ingredients: Zinc Oxide (12%)
      Water resistance: 80 minutes
      Price per ounce: ~ $11.50

      22
      Best Value Zinc Oxide Sunscreen
      Pure & Simple SPF 50 Lotion
      Coppertone
      Coppertone
      Now 10% off

      • Not irritating or drying on skin
      • Easy to spread and rinse off
      • Strong sun protection

      • May leave a white residue

      A budget-friendly zinc oxide mineral sunscreen, Coppertone’s fragrance-free lotion was among the most gentle in GH Beauty Lab testing. In evaluations, 94% of testers reported that it didn’t sting or irritate. Unlike other mineral sunscreens, users found it easy to apply and moisturizing; it also rinsed off well and didn’t stain clothing. The formula earned near-perfect marks for effectively protecting skin from the sun.

      A caveat: Some said it left a white coating that had to be rubbed in. “My new favorite mineral SPF,” a fan reported. Another noted, "I liked that it left my skin feeling 'matte'; it wasn't greasy or tacky."

      SPF 50
      Active type:
      Mineral
      Active ingredients: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (15%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (7%)
      Water resistance: 80 minutes
      Price per ounce: ~ $1.49

      How we test sunscreens
      linebreak

      The GH Beauty Lab regularly tests the lastest body and face sunscreen formulas on the market. In the most recent sunscreen test, Beauty Lab scientists analyzed 62 new body sunscreens and polled 1,139 people on their sunscreen habits to inform the testing. After narrowing the field to the top 29 sunscreens, GH Beauty Lab Director Birnur Aral, Ph.D. and chemists Sabina Wizemann and Danusia Wnek enlisted the help of consumer testers across demographics and races to evaluate the products. Each tester used a label-masked product at least twice over the course of one week, then reported their feedback on factors such as ease of use, scent, texture, look and feel on skin and sun protection ability.

      a collection of sunscreens with labels blinded in separate bins in the gh beauty lab
      Sabina Wizemann / Good Housekeeping
      How do I choose the best sunscreen for my skin?
      linebreak

      Here are some factors to consider when choosing the right sunscreen and SPF for you:

      ✔️ Broad-spectrum protection "to protect against both harmful UVA/UVB rays," says Lucy Chen, M.D, F.A.A.D., board-certified dermatologist at Riverchase Dermatology in Florida. Exposure to these wavelengths can lead to dangerous sunburns (a.k.a. skin damage and potentially skin cancers), dark spots and disrupted collaged production — UV exposure is responsible for 80% of visible skin aging.

      ✔️ SPF 30 or higher: And SPF 30 or greater is best, says David Lortscher, M.D., board-certified dermatologist in San Diego, California and CEO of Curology. “Most people don’t apply their sunscreen perfectly, so it’s best to have at least a number 30 to ensure proper coverage," adds Dr. Chen. For added insurance, the GH Beauty Lab recommends going with an SPF 50 or higher.

      ✔️ Active ingredients: Most often, you'll have to choose between chemical and mineral sunscreens as your main SPF agents:

      • Chemical formulas absorb UV rays and converting them into heat, according to Michael Somenek, M.D., a plastic surgeon in Washington, D.C. "This process allows the body to release the UV rays, which ultimately prevents the skin from burning," he says. Chemical sunscreens tend to be better for swimming due to their water-resistant nature but while these lotions and sprays are easier to apply with no white residue, you will need to reapply sunscreen more often than you would with a physical or mineral option.
      • Mineral sunscreens (also called physical sunscreens) form a barrier on your skin that reflects or filters UVA and UVB rays. The dispersed zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide formulas can be more difficult to spread on your skin and leave behind white cast, but they usually last longer than chemical formulas.

      ✔️ Formula type: GH Beauty Lab scientists tend to prefer lotions and creams over sprays since "they last on skin longer than sprays [and] are more likely to form a uniform protective coating over skin than sprays," Wizemann says. "If your skin is prone to dryness, a cream may be better for you," adds Dr. Chen. As for kids, "Sprays are easy, but they might require a second coating, so spray generously," she says.

      ✔️ Water-resistance to stand up against sweaty days or time spent swimming. Heads up: There’s no such thing as waterproof or sweatproof sunscreen. Under current FDA guidelines, there are only “water-resistant for 40 minutes” or “water-resistant for 80 minutes” options. "Sweat- and water-resistant" labeling means the formula maintained its SPF level on testers’ skin in a water bath for the indicated time, says Steven Q. Wang, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. Beyond that timeframe, it should be reapplied.

      ✔️ Your skin type: If you have dry skin, "Look for ingredients like dimethicone, glycerin, aloe and oils and avoid spray or gel sunscreens with alcohol," advises Dr. Chen. She adds that those with oily skin should opt for a lightweight sunscreen that contains ingredients like silica or isododecane.

      Do I need a separate sunscreen for my face?
      ghi line

      According to GH Beauty Lab experts, sunscreen is sunscreen, so from a protection perspective, one product can do it all. But sunscreen for your body may feel too greasy or heavy on the face or can contain fragrance that could irritate those with sensitivity, so if you have oily, combination or sensitive skin, you might want to consider products that are specially formulated for your face. These formulas are less likely to clog pores or cause irritation and more likely to be free of fragrance.

      What's the best way to apply sunscreen?
      ghi line

      For the best protection, apply sunscreen liberally on all exposed areas 30 minutes before going outdoors. "Liberally" means one ounce, two tablespoons or one small shot glass-full of sunscreen for the body and a nickel-size dollop for the face, Aral says. For sprays, she suggests spray the sunscreen all over skin, then rubbing it in. Follow it with a second coat “to help cover spots you missed the first time,” Dr. Wang suggests. Another trick: Slather SPF all over before you get dressed to ensure full coverage.

      “And remember, sunscreen isn't a complete block — no matter what the SPF is,” Dr. Lortscher says. To cut down on sun damage, dermatologists recommend layering on sun-protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses, and seeking shade between peak UV exposure hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Your best bet is tripling up with the three "S's" any time of the day, Aral says: “Apply sunscreen, stay in the shade, and wear sun-protective clothing and sunglasses.”

      Why trust Good Housekeeping?
      linebreak

      April Franzino has over 15 years of experience researching, writing and editing skincare-related content, utilizing the expertise of the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab scientists and top industry professionals such as dermatologists and aestheticians. She is an expert in all face and body skincare product categories, from sunscreens to cleansers to toners, serums, moisturizers, sunscreens, exfoliators, masks, professional treatments and more. April works closely with the GH Beauty Lab to coordinate skincare product testing and translate test results into best-in-class compelling, factually accurate science-backed content for Good Housekeeping.

      This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io
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