The Best Sunscreens of 2020 -- Coola, Colorscience, Neutrogena, Olay and More
By Megan McIntyre
Each product has been selected and reviewed by our editorial team; however, we may receive affiliate commissions from some links to the products on this page. Prices listed are subject to change by the retailer. Promotions in this article are subject to availability, expiration and other terms as determined by partner.
If the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “sunscreen” is a greasy, heavy, chalky cream, then you are due for a serious upgrade.
Sun protection is hands-down the most important step in your skin care routine. It protects you from the sun damage of UVA rays and UVB rays, which ranges from dark spots, skin damage and premature aging to melanoma to skin cancer. Sunscreen SPF is something that you need to wear every single day for UVA and UVB protection -- yes, even when it’s cloudy or if you're only going to be outside for a short period of time, you should wear a physical sunscreen sunblock or chemical sunscreen to protect from the sun's damaging rays as you get your dose of vitamin D.
Beauty brands have realized that the best way to get us to wear sunscreen consistently is by creating sunscreen product options that we actually want to wear -- and as a result, the past few years have seen some pretty incredible innovations in formulas. The SPF of today is lightweight, blends easily and provides other skin care benefits, like protection from antioxidants or a hydration boost.
Below, our recommendations for the best sunscreen for your face and body that you can buy online right now.
If you’re the type of person who thinks sunscreen is a pain, then let the weightless wonder that is Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen change your mind and protect you against harmful UV rays. It’s invisible (no white cast!), scent-free and so lightweight that you won’t be able to tell the difference between this and your regular face moisturizer. Bonus: It also has makeup-gripping properties, which makes this sun protection work fabulously as a primer.
We love this multitasking Ursa Major mineral sunscreen lotion for its ability to hydrate skin and protect it from the sun’s rays. It contains sunscreen ingredients like Swiss apple and alpine rose extracts, plus a host of other vitamins and minerals to keep you moisturized and help minimize the appearance of fine lines and dark spots. Not to mention the fact that it absorbs quickly and delivers a velvety matte finish.
This genius product protects you from not just sun damage but also the increasing threat of high-energy visible light (HEV). Yes, that’s right: There’s more than just UV rays that’s trying to hurt your visage. Scientists have found that we expose ourselves to damaging blue-violet and invisible light that our digital devices emit. This full-spectrum SPF fluid contains a specific HEV filter alongside the UVA and UVB protection. It has a clean formula infused with organic botanical extracts and is an absolute joy to apply -- this sun protection product will make your skin feel silky and soft to the touch almost immediately.
Walk into any dermatologist’s office and you’ll see a bottle of this unassuming sun protector on their shelves. That’s because this broad spectrum sunscreen formula is safe for sensitive skin and made for those who suffer from acne, rosacea and other sensitivity issues -- some dermatologists even use it on patients post-laser or chemical peel (yes, it’s that non-irritating). If SPF lotions in the past have left your face red and stinging or caused you to break out, this face sunscreen is definitely one to try to protect you from sun exposure.
If you’re the type of person who forgets to reapply or worries about ruining your makeup, then you need to check out this powder product. This facial sunscreen comes in a self-contained brush that you simply dust on top of your skin whenever you need a re-up on SPF. We wouldn’t recommend using this as your primary means of sun safety (it can be tricky to ensure you've covered everywhere adequately), but it’s a convenient way to keep your skin protected against UV rays -- keep it in your bag so you can dust it on wherever, whenever. Bonus: It’s tinted, so you get the added benefit of a setting powder.
An SPF and makeup primer in one, this drugstore buy has a unique serum formula that’s oil-free and infused with skin-strengthening antioxidants. It provides broad-spectrum protection without feeling heavy and can help your makeup last longer when you apply it as the last step of your skin care routine.
From moisturizer to makeup to sunscreen, Clinique has long been a trustworthy beauty brand. This 30 SPF mineral sunscreen is oil- and fragrance-free -- perfect for those with sensitive skin and/or noses.
A spray sunscreen is a great option for large and hard-to-reach areas like your back. This one is water-resistant and features a fast-absorbing, lightweight and oil-free formula that gets the thumbs up from dermatologists -- and us.
Just a few reasons we're into Alba Botanical's Hawaiian sunscreen: It contains nourishing emollients like coconut extract, shea butter and avocado oil, it's water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, and it's recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation.
Paraben-, aluminum and dye-free, this SPF 15 sunscreen doubles as an instant bronzer. With just a few spritzes, you can get the illusion of a sun-kissed tan, even if you have no beach trips on your radar.
Another Skin Cancer Foundation–approved sunscreen, Sun Bum's SPF 50 will shield you from UVA/UVB rays while enriching your skin with vitamin E and offering a pleasant smell. If you're looking for a hardworking daily go-to, try this one.
Somewhat of a sunscreen splurge, Shiseido's award-winning Ultimate Sun Protector Lotion uses technology to become even stronger when it's exposed to heat, water and sweat. In addition to withstanding your active lifestyle, it goes on clear and is suitable for all skin types.
Each product has been selected, and each product’s style has been reviewed, by our editorial team; however, we may receive affiliate commissions from some links to products on this page. Prices listed are subject to change by the retailer.