How Do I Choose the Best Face Sunscreen?

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  • Written By: Lainie Petersen
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 11 August 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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When choosing a face sunscreen, you should consider your skin type, whether you have any skin sensitivities, and the efficacy of the ingredients used in the sunscreens available to you. If you normally wear foundation, you may wish to select a foundation formula that includes standard facial sunscreen with other skin care and cosmetic products that likewise provide sun protection. Look for a sunscreen that is not too heavy, that does not trigger breakouts, and that does not leave a white cast on your skin. If possible, obtain a sample of any face sunscreen that interests you so you can test it before spending money on a full-size product.

A good facial sunscreen should provide "full spectrum" protection against both ultraviolet-A (UVA) and ultraviolet-B (UVB) radiation. Check product labels to see if this type of protection is offered by the facial sunscreen. If you are aware that you have an allergy or sensitivity to certain sunscreens or skin care ingredients, take the time to review all of the ingredients listed on the label of each sunscreen that you consider. When in doubt, ask for a sample or buy a small size. You can also test the sunscreen on your arm to see if irritation results. Another option is to ask the store from which you buy your face sunscreen whether it accepts returns on cosmetics or personal-care products and simply return a face sunscreen that is incompatible with your skin.


Many moisturizers now include a sunscreen, so you may wish to look for a moisturizer that can do double duty as a face sunscreen. In addition, some foundations and powders also contain sunscreen, which can provide additional protection. One advantage to using a powder that contains sunscreen is that it is easy to reapply during the day. If you prefer a very light foundation, look into tinted moisturizers that also contain a sunscreen. You may be able to use only one product on your skin each day instead of three, which can save you both time and money.

If you are prone to breakouts, you may wish to use the same precautions as you would if you had skin allergies or sensitivities. Try out the sunscreen first, and if you find that it triggers a breakout, discontinue using it. You may wish to look for sunscreen that is oil free in order to reduce the appearance of shine and the chance of breakouts. Talk to your dermatologist about his or her recommendations for a face sunscreen that won't aggravate your acne.



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Post 1

Make sure to read the labels to see what ingredient it contains! A lot of facial moisturizers have zinc oxide, which is good stuff. It physically blocks both UVA and UVB rays, so it provides really good protection. I like to use both a moisturizer and makeup with zinc oxide so that I'm getting a double layer - the more you use (up to a point), the better it works, and most people do not apply enough sunscreen.

Avobenzone is another ingredient that has pretty good UVB protection. And the latest thing is ecamsule, which is sold under the brand name Mexoryl and comes in certain very expensive L'Oreal products. In the US, it has only been available since 2006. Before that, it was a sort of high-end black market item that some ladies of means would manage to get from Europe, where it's been around much longer.

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