Skin Care

Best Suncreens 2021-2022: The Top Formulas For Face, Anti-aging & More

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As September draws to a close, sunscreen may be the furthest thing from your mind. In fact, you might shove all of your best sunscreens to the back shelf until Spring Break. However, unlearning the fallacy that sunscreen is a summer product could be the best thing you ever do for your skin.

That’s because sun damage isn’t seasonally-exclusive, and sunscreen prevents skin cancer and up to 80 percent of the visible signs of aging. Full stop. Equating SPF with summer signals that for eight months of the year, you’re OK with accumulating skin damage (such as wrinkles, age spots, and laxity) and risking cancer. “Sun exposure happens every single day–even during cloudy days! Just because we are not in bathing suits doesn’t mean we throw away our SPF,” says reconstructive surgeon and dermatologist Dr. Sheila Farhang. “I apply SPF on my face every single morning, even when I don’t go outside, because UVA rays penetrate through windows.”

There’s no excuse for not protecting your skin 365 days a year (366 on leap years), especially when the latest spate of sunscreens do much more than just the bare minimum. Some function as glow-inducing primers and smell like mental vacations, others can impart a glamorous shimmer—and many disappear entirely. The STYLECASTER team, including guest judge Dr. Farhang, tested tons of formulas during the dog days of summer to bring you the definitive list of over-achievers. Each of the below screen stars, deemed winners of the STYLECASTER Beauty Awards: Suncare Edition, deserves your year-round application devotion.

Below, savvy sunscreens that will help you look your absolute best not just the entire year-long–but your entire lifetime long.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-In Sunscreen Milk Body & Face Sunscreen

Courtesy of: La Roche-Posay.

La Roche Posay Face and Body Anthelios Melt-In Milk Sunscreen

“I love this affordable drugstore sunscreen, especially the non-irritating formulation that comes brimming with thermal spring water and antioxidant Senna Alata.” – Dr. Sheila Farhang

Supergoop! Glowscreen Sunscreen SPF 40

Courtesy of: Supergoop!

Supergoop Glowscreen

“For a mineral face sunscreen, this is pretty great. The super-thin liquid smooths on easily and sinks in more than most mineral formulas, and doesn’t leave a white cast. It imparts a slightly dewy feel post-application that acts as a great base/primer for makeup.” – Cristina Velocci

 COOLA Organic Scalp Spray & Hair Sunscreen Mist

Courtesy of: COOLA.

Coola Scalp & Hair Mist Organic Sunscreen SPF 30

“As a skin cancer surgeon, I have performed several skin cancer surgeries on the scalp, especially the part. I usually recommend a hat but love seeing this mist! Bonus—UV protection also helps prevent hair color fade. Love that this also formulated with Gotu Kola and Monoi oil, which are great for hair health.” – Dr. Sheila Farhang

Bask SPF 30 Non-Aerosol Spray

Courtesy of: Bask.

Bask SPF 30 Non-Aerosol Spray

“The body sunscreen has an extremely nice cloud mist that makes applying it a breeze. Bonus points for the super-aesthetic packaging!” – Bella Gerard

Kiehl's Butterstick Lip Treatment SPF 30

Courtesy of: Kiehl’s.

Kiehl’s Butterstick Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 30

“Imbued with coconut oil, this nourishing stick comes in five shades that make protecting your lips feel glamorous.” – Alana Peden

Cetaphil Sheer Mineral Sunscreen Stick Broad Spectrum SPF 50

Courtesy of: Cetaphil.

Cetaphil Sheer Mineral Stick SPF 50

“It’s a breeze to apply, especially for kiddos and people who don’t like rubbing in lotions or for hard to apply areas such as lips, around the eyes, etc. The 100 percent mineral formulation which is preferable—both because it is non-irritating, generally safer and environmentally-friendly. Plus, it feels really nice on the skin and you buy it at the drugstore.” – Dr. Sheila Farhang

Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer™ Physical Daily Defense SPF 30

Courtesy of: Drunk Elephant.

Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense

“Loaded with antioxidants astaxanthin, grape juice, and sunflower shoot extract (which work great with SPF), this sheer formulation leaves minimal to no white cast. It harnesses zinc oxide (a mineral sunscreen)!” – Dr. Sheila Farhang

Luna Bronze Good Night Serum

Courtesy of: Luna Bronze.

Luna Bronze Good Night Face Bronzing Serum

“I’ve a longstanding habit of cocktailing my nightly moisturizer with a few self-tanning drops, in order to disguise my commitment to daily sunscreen. Some days I woke up a little streaky, others pasty, and I always went to bed smelling faintly of hot dogs (thanks DHA). Then I met this sophisticated organic serum, which completes my complexion deception with glowing precision and doesn’t smell like anything at all.”  – Alana Peden

STYLECASTER SPECIAL: Use code STYLECASTER20 for 20 percent off at checkout.

Bare Republic Sunscreen Baby Lotion - SPF 50

Courtesy of: Baby Bare.

Baby Bare Republic Mineral Non-Nano Zinc

“This sunscreen takes mineral sunscreens to the next level as it’s formulated without nanoparticles of zinc, in other words, the particles are slightly bigger and therefore can be less irritating and safer. It’s a great formulation for those who want a safe, gentle and non-irritating experience.” – Dr. Sheila Farhang

Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30

Courtesy of: Black Girl Sunscreen.

Black Girl Sunscreen Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30

“Of all the sunscreens that I’ve tried over the years, Black Girl Sunscreen is one that I continuously run back to grab. For starters, I love that the sunscreen goes on completely sheer (white cast who?). Also, the moisturizing formula keeps my skin hydrated but not greasy, which is perfect for my combo-to-oily skin type.” – Mika Robinson

Coppertone Glow Shimmering Sunscreen Spray SPF 30 ounces

Courtesy of: Coppertone.

Coppertone Glow Lightweight Spray With Shimmer 

“This sunscreen smells like vacation, and the glitter provides a good shimmer, which is fun for a trip or an event.” – Jason Pham

Block Star Invisible Daily Sunscreen

Courtesy of: Bliss.

Bliss Block Star Invisible SPF 30

“I love that the formulation is 100 percent mineral. It’s lightweight and sheer, with no to minimal white cast, so it’s great for darker skin types. Antioxidants like blueberry, acai and green tea extracts protect from free radical damage, while Rosa Canina Fruit Oil helps control excess oil while minimizing the appearance of pores.” – Dr. Sheila Farhang

Sun Bum Original Scent SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion

Courtesy of: Sun Bum.

Sun Bum Original SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion

“My top product tested: It has the perfect lightweight consistency, sinks into skin immediately so you don’t notice it’s there and feels more like a moisturizer than a sunscreen. It also has just a touch of banana-coconut scent so it’s a pleasant mental vacation and not cloying. This makes it so easy to work face SPF into my daily routine.” – Cristina Velocci

Oars + Alps After Sun Cooling Spray

Courtesy of: Oars + Alps.

Oars + Alps After Sun Cooling Spray

“I definitely understand why one of the bragging points is that it feels like a “glass of water.” The spray bottle makes it easy to apply to the whole body after a long day in the sun, which is convenient for someone who is sunburn-prone but is too lazy to slather themselves in aloe vera.” – Jason Pham

Sunday Riley Light Hearted Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen

Courtesy of: Sunday Riley.

Sunday Riley Light Hearted Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Daily Face Sunscreen

“I was pleasantly surprised by this sunscreen: It goes on a little thick (and pink!) but actually blends down to a natural, glowy finish without a white cast. I don’t usually reach for hybrid formulas because my sensitive skin tends to get irritated by chemical filters, but that also didn’t happen with this one—so, extra points for being gentle!” – Jenzia Burgos

Australian Gold Plant Based Face Lotion SPF 50

Courtesy of: Australian Gold.

Australian Gold Plant Based SPF 50 Lotion

“For a vegan, cruelty-free, plant-based sunscreen, this price is a steal. The gentle, plant-based formula won’t cause breakouts or irritation, and it feels virtually undetectable on skin.” – Alana Peden

IMAGE Skincare PREVENTION Daily Matte Moisturizer Oil-Free SPF 32

Courtesy of: IMAGE Skincare.

Image Skincare Prevention + Daily Matte Moisturizer SPF 32+

“Many people with oily skin types will use shine as their excuse to skip sunscreen, but this formula course corrects. It works to keep skin matte and shine-free for the long haul, while providing adequate, oil-free protection.” – Alana Peden

Bondi Sands Fragrance Free Daily Sunscreen Face Lotion SPF 50

Courtesy of: Bondi Sands.

Bondi Sands SPF 50 Fragrance Free Sunscreen Lotion

“My favorite thing about this SPF is how fast it absorbs into the skin without leaving a trace of residue. It’s also nice that it’s a hydrating formula containing vitamin E. My skin for sure feels noticeable supple after using as if I put on my favorite body cream.” – Mika Robinson

iS Clinical PerfecTint Powder SPF 40

Courtesy of: iS Clinical.

iS Clinical PerfecTint Powder SPF 40

“Powder sunscreens are excellent for touch-ups over makeup, covering your part and on-the-go reapplication. Historically, they’ve had one big problem: a uber-limited shade range. This sophisticated formula comes in seven shades that actually disappear into skin instead of sitting oddly (and obviously) on top.” – Alana Peden

Aquaphor Lip Protectant Sunscreen

Courtesy of: Aquaphor.

Aquaphor Lip Protectant and Sunscreen Ointment – Broad Spectrum SPF 30

“Panacea for dry and/or sensitive lips, this salve protects the delicate skin from cracking and helps lock in moisture.” – Alana Peden

 

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