These Are Hands Down the Best Face-Sunscreen Formulas Out There

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If there's one piece of advice dermatologists always give their friends, their family, and of course their patients, it's to wear sunscreen every single day. Yep, even indoors and on cloudy days. Wearing sunscreen protects against UVA and UVB rays, which prevents skin cancer and ageing, as well as minimising other skin concerns — like hyperpigmentation, rosacea, sun spots, and fine lines. Put simply: "sunscreen is the most effective anti-ageing product you can invest your money in," Dr Catherine Borysiewicz, consultant dermatologist at London's Cadogan Clinic, told POPSUGAR.

We expect a lot from the sunscreen we put on our face: a minimum of SPF 30, UVA and UVB protection, one that doesn't break us out, and one that must feel good on our skin and work nicely under makeup if you wear it. If we're going to wear it all day every day, then it's important that our sunscreen is just as nice to use as our favourite serum or moisturiser. Luckily, the choice of sunscreen is now vast and formulations have improved immensely over the last few years. No longer are we putting up with sticky or greasy formulas that have the distinct sunscreen scent and leave a white cast — even with mineral sunscreens.

Whether you're looking for a chemical or mineral sunscreen formula, a solid or spray format, or one that won't leave a trace of a white or blueish cast, we've found the perfect sunscreen for you. Shop our ultimate dermatologist- and editor-recommended list of sunscreen formulas for your face ahead.

Chemical Sunscreen For the Face: Bioderma Photoderm Spot SPF 50+
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Chemical Sunscreen For the Face: Bioderma Photoderm Spot SPF 50+

If you find that sunscreens often clog your pores, Dr Justine Kluk, consultant dermatologist, suggests the Bioderma Photoderm Spot SPF 50+ (£17). "It's even more important to protect your skin in the sun if you're concerned about scarring and pigmentation," she said.

Chemical Sunscreen for the Face: Ultra Violette Supreme Screen Hydrating Facial Skinscreen SPF 50+
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Chemical Sunscreen for the Face: Ultra Violette Supreme Screen Hydrating Facial Skinscreen SPF 50+

We are obsessed with the Ultra Violette Supreme Screen Hydrating Facial Skinscreen SPF 50+ (£34), which just arrived in the UK from Australia. With a goal of making sunscreens that are actually a pleasure to use, we can emphatically say that the brand has achieved that goal with this product. Even with a broad spectrum SPF 50+, the formula is silky, lightweight, and moisturising — meaning it actually leaves your skin feeling soft and comfortable, not greasy and impossible to put makeup on. It's basically your face cream, sunscreen, and makeup primer in one. (Just remember, if you're spending all day in the sun, you will need to reapply, as you would with any SPF.)

Chemical Sunscreen For the Face: Elizabeth Arden Prevage City Smart SPF 50 Hydrating Shield
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Chemical Sunscreen For the Face: Elizabeth Arden Prevage City Smart SPF 50 Hydrating Shield

A favourite sunscreen of board-certified dermatologist Dr Shari Marchbein is the Elizabeth Arden Prevage City Smart SPF 50 Hydrating Shield (£55), "which contains antioxidants, perfect for day-to-day wear underneath makeup."

Chemical Sunscreen For the Face: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Light Invisible Fluid SPF 50
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Chemical Sunscreen For the Face: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Light Invisible Fluid SPF 50

The La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra-Light Invisible Fluid Sun Cream SPF50 (£17.50) is loved by many dermatologists, including London-based dermatologist Dr Cristina Psomadakis, who said, "It has excellent UV protection, has a very light texture, and suits many skin types," and consultant dermatologist Dr Mary Sommerlad, who said it "was game changing when it first launched because it has no white cast and leaves a very elegant finish."

Chemical Sunscreen For the Face: Decree Day Shield SPF 30
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Chemical Sunscreen For the Face: Decree Day Shield SPF 30

The Decree Day Shield SPF 30 (£75) is definitely on the pricier side. However, if you're looking for a truly outstanding spray SPF that works well over the top of makeup, this is the one. The aerosol spray gives an even coverage of sunscreen, which is really important when it comes to spray SPFs, plus this makes it incredibly lightweight.

Facial Sunscreen For Darker Skin Tones: Ecooking Sunscreen SPF 30
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Facial Sunscreen For Darker Skin Tones: Ecooking Sunscreen SPF 30

Dija Ayodele, aesthetician and founder of West Room Aesthetics and the Black Skin Directory, likes the Ecooking Sunscreen SPF 30 (£16.50). "It's a broad-spectrum chemical sunscreen that absorbs well into the skin with no greasiness or ashiness that can be off-putting for Black skin tones," she said. "The texture is great, too. It's creamy but lightweight, and you can get away with not using a moisturiser as it's also hydrating — not to mention the inclusion of natural and organic ingredients, which ticks many eco-conscious boxes."

Facial Sunscreen For Darker Skin Tones: Black Girl Sunscreen SPF 30
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Facial Sunscreen For Darker Skin Tones: Black Girl Sunscreen SPF 30

The Black Girl Sunscreen SPF 30 (£20) is designed specifically for darker skin tones to be ultrasheer and leave no white cast. It's fragrance-, oxybenzone-, and octinoxate-free if you're keen to avoid those ingredients in your sun care, and it works on both the body and face. It is also nongreasy and works brilliantly under makeup, making it an everyday staple.

Facial Sunscreen For Darker Skin Tones: Epionce Ultra Shield SPF 50
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Facial Sunscreen For Darker Skin Tones: Epionce Ultra Shield SPF 50

"Epionce Ultra Shield SPF 50 (£31) is the perfect companion for all dark skin types, including the compromised or 'stressed out' skin we commonly see in our clinic," said Dr Saira Vasdev, medical director at Skin & Sanctuary. "Its highly protective formula is rich in natural antioxidants and fatty acids such as meadowfoam and flax extract, which are key to calming inflammation, restoring a healthy skin barrier, and minimising transepidermal water loss (which is the leading cause of dehydrated skin)," she explained. "It has a super-sheer texture that blends beautifully on dark skin, and it's for this reason that I use it at the end of all my facial treatments as it doesn't dampen down that gorgeous glow."

Facial Sunscreen For Darker Skin Tones: Glossier Invisible Shield
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Facial Sunscreen For Darker Skin Tones: Glossier Invisible Shield

The Glossier Invisible Shield (£20) comes very highly recommended by many a beauty editor both in the US and the UK. There's really so much to love about the clear gel SPF, especially the velvety, clear finish that won't mess up your glow. Plus, it leaves absolutely no cast.

Facial Sunscreen For Darker Skin Tones: Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen
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Facial Sunscreen For Darker Skin Tones: Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen

"Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen (£30) is probably one of the most versatile sunscreens I've used," said Dr Ewoma Ukeleghe, medical and cosmetic doctor and founder of Skndoctor. "It has a makeup-primer consistency, and it's super hydrating with no white cast whatsoever as it's basically translucent. It's also very versatile across skin types and seasons."

Facial Sunscreen For Darker Skin Tones: Heliocare 360 Water Gel
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Facial Sunscreen For Darker Skin Tones: Heliocare 360 Water Gel

Juliet Thomas, head aesthetician at Dermoi!, highly recommended the Heliocare 360 Water Gel SPF 50 (£28) as being "a particularly great sunscreen for Black and Brown skin as it doesn't leave a white residue like many of the other sunscreens on the market." She also noted it layers on the skin extremely well, making it a perfect part of a daily skin-care routine and as a base for under makeup. "It's great for even the most sensitive skin, has a vegan formula, and is oil-free," she added.

Mineral Sunscreen For the Face: Avène Very High Protection Mineral Fluid SPF50+
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Mineral Sunscreen For the Face: Avène Very High Protection Mineral Fluid SPF50+

Dr Joyce Imahiyerobo-Ip, CEO of Vibrant Dermatology and Skin Bar MD in Greater Boston, MA, described the Avène Very High Protection Mineral Fluid SPF50+ (£18.50) as being "cosmetically elegant for skin of colour." She noted that it goes on completely sheer, even on darker skin tones.

Mineral Sunscreen For the Face: Skinceuticals Mineral Eye UV Defence SPF 30
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Mineral Sunscreen For the Face: Skinceuticals Mineral Eye UV Defence SPF 30

The Skinceuticals Mineral Eye UV Defence SPF 30 (£28) is a top product for Dr Sophie Shotter — cosmetic doctor and founder of Illuminate Skin Clinic in Kent. "It's an elegant product dedicated for the eye area. We should all be applying SPF to the eye area, but many people skip it because their face sunscreen formulation doesn't suit this area — this solves that problem," she said.

Mineral Sunscreen For the Face: Bioderma Photoderm Mineral Spray SPF50+
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Mineral Sunscreen For the Face: Bioderma Photoderm Mineral Spray SPF50+

"The Bioderma Photoderm Mineral Spray SPF50+ (£17) is my recommendation for a fragrance-free mineral sunscreen for clients with very sensitive skin," Dr Catherine Borysiewicz, consultant dermatologist at London's Cadogan Clinic, told POPSUGAR. The formula comes in a handy spray bottle (but be sure to still use enough!) and is water-resistant. It's on the slightly more affordable end of the mineral-sunscreen market.

Glowy Sunscreen For the Face: Dermalogica Prisma Protect SPF 30
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Glowy Sunscreen For the Face: Dermalogica Prisma Protect SPF 30

Again, Dermalogica Prisma Protect SPF 30 (£58) is on the pricy side but gives a really nice, subtle glow. It's broad spectrum and specifically designed to help protect the skin from fine lines and against pollution. It's also a great option for drier skin types since it's got a thicker, creamy consistency.

Glowy Sunscreen For the Face: Supergoop! Glow Screen SPF 30
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Glowy Sunscreen For the Face: Supergoop! Glow Screen SPF 30

If you want that fresh "just got back from a sunny holiday" vibe minus the sun damage, you'll love the Supergoop! Glow Screen SPF 30 (£15, landing in the UK on 18 April). It's got a peachy, pearlescent tint that gives the skin an incredible glow. Not only that, but it's also super easy to blend and acts as a "makeup-gripping" primer, meaning it makes a great base for makeup; no primer needed. If you have oily skin, though, the shine might be a little too much, and in that case, we recommend sticking to Supergoop's Unseen formula.

Solid Sunscreen For the Face: Shiseido Clear Stick UV Protector
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Solid Sunscreen For the Face: Shiseido Clear Stick UV Protector

If you prefer a solid formula, the Shiseido Clear Stick UV Protector (£28) is an ideal candidate for leaving zero residue or cast. Although it's a stick formula, it is lightweight and also water- and sweat-resistant.

Mineral Sunscreen For the Face: Heliocare 360° Mineral Tolerance Fluid
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Mineral Sunscreen For the Face: Heliocare 360° Mineral Tolerance Fluid

The Heliocare 360° Mineral Tolerance Fluid (£31) is a great option for rosacea-prone skin. The light, fluid formula works incredibly well underneath makeup and spreads easily, and although it has a slight white hue to begin with, it dries down sheer. Bonus points because it's water-resistant.

Solid Sunscreen For the Face: Tropic Skincare Sun Stick
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Solid Sunscreen For the Face: Tropic Skincare Sun Stick

The Tropic Skincare Sun Stick (£20) is another great solid SPF option, however, it is definitely on the thicker side and does leave a slightly greenish/white cast, and it does have a classic sunscreen scent. It's ultrahandy to keep in your bag for days out and acts brilliantly for those areas extra prone to UVB rays.