The sun’s UVA and UVB rays are damaging to the skin and can even lead to skin cancer. That’s why it’s vital to protect your skin with sunscreen when spending time in the sun. However, some products that provide excellent protection can also make skin look pale and unnatural. That’s where a facial sunscreen that doesn’t leave behind residue comes in.
The best ones for your skin offer excellent SPF without a white cast. They aren’t heavy, greasy or sticky, allowing your natural skin tone to shine through.
There are two types of sunscreens: chemical and physical. According to the Mayo Clinic, chemical sunscreens work by absorbing the sun’s ultraviolet rays so they won’t damage the skin. Physical sunscreens, or mineral-based sunscreens, form a barrier that prevents the sun from reaching the skin. Chemical formulas don’t leave a white residue. It’s minerals in physical sunscreens such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that create the protective barrier that can also be seen on the skin. The result is often a visible white residue.
While some people are concerned about the chemicals used in chemical-based sunscreens, these products are effective at protecting skin from ultraviolet rays. However, mineral-based sunscreens are best for babies, young children, people with sensitive skin, eco-conscious consumers and those who prefer chemical-free products.
If you’ve ever applied a thick, mineral-based sunscreen and realized your face looked pale, you’re not alone. Fortunately, many modern mineral sunscreens have been formulated to prevent a white cast. In addition, there are several chemical-based sunscreens that don’t leave behind this type of residue.
Here are some other features to look for to ensure that the sunscreen you purchase will protect your skin without producing a white cast:
When you are in the sun, your face is prone to excessive exposure. Additionally, delicate facial skin is likely to burn. That’s why it’s best to choose a facial sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher for optimal protection. Additionally, look for broad-spectrum formulas that protect against both UVA and UVB rays from the sun.
Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40
Unseen Sunscreen by Supergoop! has become a fan favorite for its matte finish. You can also use it as a makeup primer. Fans love that it absorbs quickly and doesn’t feel greasy on the face. Sold by Ulta, Kohl’s, Sephora and Amazon
Colorscience Sunforgettable Brush-On Sunscreen SPF 50
Because it’s in powder form, this mineral sunscreen is easy to apply and doesn’t feel heavy or oily. The reef-safe formula comes in several colors to match different skin tones. It’s suitable for wearers with sensitive skin and isn’t likely to cause breakouts. Sold by Amazon
Shiseido Clear Sunscreen Stick SPF 50
This lightweight, clear sunscreen features a proprietary formula that delivers enhanced performance when exposed to heat and moisture. The handy stick form makes it easy to stash in a bag and go. Sold by Kohl’s, Macy’s, Sephora and Ulta
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Tinted Sunscreen SPF 50
This creamy sunscreen is rich in antioxidants that are good for the skin. It absorbs quickly and has a light tint that enhances skin tones and prevents a white cast. Sold by Amazon and Ulta
Coola Organic Classic Face Sunscreen SPF 50
A fragrance-free reef-safe formula makes this facial sunscreen a great choice. It absorbs quickly and feels lightweight on the skin. What’s more, it’s made with quality organic ingredients that are ideal for most consumers with sensitive skin. Sold by Ulta, Macy’s and Amazon
Black Girl Sunscreen Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30
With avocado and jojoba extracts, this sunscreen features a highly moisturizing formula that pampers your skin. The sheer formula absorbs fast and is also fragrance free. Sold by Ulta and Macy’s
EltaMD Skincare UV Clear Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 46
Those with skin that’s prone to breakouts will love this dermatologist-tested sunscreen’s oil-free formula. Although mineral-based, it’s sheer and has a lightweight feel on the skin. Sold by Amazon
Dermalogica Prisma Protect SPF 30
Formulated with moisturizing ingredients and antioxidants, this sunscreen is ideal for anyone prone to dry skin. The smooth, creamy consistency doesn’t feel greasy and absorbs quickly for all-day protection and hydration. Sold by Sephora, Ulta and Amazon
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 70
There’s no greasy feel to this sunscreen that produces an attractive matte finish once it has absorbed into the skin. It offers an impressive SPF 70 that’s ideal for hours of fun in the sun. Additionally, it’s made by a trusted drugstore brand and is available at a reasonable price point.
Clinique Sunscreen Fluid for the Face SPF 50
If you are looking for an extremely lightweight sunscreen, this is the one to get. The mineral-based formula is made with the brand’s Invisible Shield Technology, which makes it undetectable on the skin. The lightweight consistency feels nice on the face. Sold by Macy’s, Ulta, Sephora and Amazon
Sun Bum Sunscreen Face Stick SPF 30
When it comes to ease of use, a stick sunscreen is a good choice. This formula feels lightweight and absorbs in minutes. It’s made with vitamin E that protects and nourishes your skin. Sold by Ulta and Amazon
Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Weightless Sunscreen Face Lotion SPF 30
It’s the lightweight feel of this facial sunscreen lotion that has earned it many happy customers. It’s also an affordable option that boasts a delightful coconut scent that’s perfect to wear in the summertime. Sold by Amazon
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Jennifer Manfrin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.