BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details
Expert Shopper Beauty & Personal Care

10 most popular face sunscreens at Sephora

What are the 10 most popular face sunscreens at Sephora?

One of the best investments you can make in skin care is quality face sunscreen. It protects delicate skin from UV damage, including on cloudy days where you see little to no sunshine.

No matter what type of face sunscreen you're looking for, there’s a good chance you’ll find it at Sephora. In fact, the beauty retailer offers nearly 150 formulas from top brands, such as Supergoop, Paula’s Choice, Sunday Riley and Shiseido. To boot, many of the face sunscreens now offered by Sephora are clean, cruelty-free or eco-friendly. 

What you need to know about face sunscreen

Face vs. body sunscreen

Although face and body sunscreen both protect skin, they’re different products that shouldn’t be used interchangeably. Body sunscreens may be gentle on your arms and legs, but when they’re applied to the face, they may clog pores or trigger breakouts. Face sunscreens, on the other hand, are uniquely formulated to be less acnegenic, irritating and drying. 

Face sunscreen varieties

There are hundreds, if not thousands of face sunscreens on the market. It may seem overwhelming, even when you narrow your options to 150 formulas at Sephora. To simplify your decision, it’s helpful to educate yourself on the different varieties.

  • Liquid formulas: Liquid face sunscreens have watery or milky consistencies that spread easily across skin. They’re thinner than most formulas, and they absorb more quickly into skin. 
  • Cream formulas: Cream formulas have luxurious textures that can be massaged into skin. They often have nourishing ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid or niacinamide, that soothe and soften dry or sensitive skin.
  • Mousse formulas: Mousse formulas have cloudlike consistencies that are relatively mess-free. They absorb into skin almost as quickly as liquid formulas, and they rarely leave residue. 
  • Oil formulas: Oil formulas, a newer face sunscreen category, have thicker consistencies than liquid formulas. They glide across skin and give it a glossy shine, plus they’re effective at locking in moisture. 
  • Spray formulas: Spray formulas only require a couple pumps to cover the entire face and neck. They’re lightweight like mousse formulas, and they fairly dry quickly. 
  • Stick formulas: Stick formulas are swiped on the face and then distributed with fingertips. They’re compact and relatively mess-free compared to other formulas, making them popular travel options. 

Chemical vs. physical face sunscreen

Face sunscreen falls into two categories: chemical and physical sunscreens. Chemical sunscreens protect skin by absorbing UV rays, whereas physical sunscreens reflect UV rays. 

Chemical sunscreen

Chemical face sunscreens are smooth, lightweight formulas that absorb into skin quickly. They usually contain avobenzone, oxybenzone, octisalate or octinoxate. Chemical sunscreens are often worn beneath makeup because they dry clear and residue-free, and sometimes, they have grippy textures that make them double as face primers. 

Physical sunscreen

Physical or mineral face sunscreen shields skin with a layer of reflective ingredients, such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These formulas are somewhat gentler than chemical sunscreens, making them popular for sensitive and acne-prone skin. However, because physical sunscreens leave a noticeable white residue, and they’re not ideal to wear under makeup. 

How much is face sunscreen at Sephora?

Travel-size face sunscreens at Sephora start at $15, whereas full-size varieties cost between $20 and $80. There are a few specialty formulas by luxury brands, such as Hourglass and Dr. Barbara Sturm, that fall in the $100-$300 range. 

Top 10 face sunscreens you can get at Sephora

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen

The cult-favorite gel face sunscreen is virtually undetectable beneath makeup and tinted moisturizers. It’s formulated with soothing frankincense to calm sun- and wind-burned skin, making it a suitable option for those prone to redness. 

Sold by Sephora

Shiseido Clear Sunscreen Stick

The award-winning formula is free of harsh chemicals, including oxybenzone and sulfates, making it suitable for sensitive skin. The SPF 50 sunscreen offers a lightweight veil that offers long-lasting UV protection, including when you dive in and out of water.

Sold by Sephora

Paula’s Choice Resist Youth-Extending Daily Hydrating Fluid

If you’re looking for a plant-based formula, this Paula’s Choice face sunscreen is worth a look. It’s chock-full of potent antioxidants, including pomegranate and elderberry extracts, to protect skin from long-term sun damage. 

Sold by Sephora

Dermalogica Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF 50 Moisturizer

A popular everyday formula, the Dermalogica sunscreen is infused with algae extract to soften and hydrate skin. The medium-thick consistency has a luxurious texture that provides a flawless canvas for makeup. 

Sold by Sephora

Sunday Riley Light Heated Broad Spectrum Face Sunscreen

Lauded as a top physical face sunscreen, this Sunday Riley formula is well received for its lightweight, creamy finish. Besides being a clean formula that is sensitive skin-friendly, it’s cruelty-free and reef-safe. 

Sold by Sephora

Supergoop! Shimmershade Illuminating Cream Eyeshadow SPF 30

A unique product by any measure, this SPF eye shadow protects delicate eyelid skin from UV damage. It’s a physical sunscreen with zinc oxide, and it’s available in four neutral shimmery shades.

Sold by Sephora

Fenty Skin Hydra Vizor Invisible Moisturizer Sunscreen

The eco-friendly 2-in-1 sunscreen moisturizer comes in a refillable container that fits easily in any handbag or beach bag. The antioxidant-rich sunscreen is infused with hyaluronic acid to hydrate skin and niacinamide to minimize the appearance of dark spots. 

Sold by Sephora

Coola Refreshing Water Cream Face Sunscreen 

The vegan Coola face sunscreen is ideal for dry skin, thanks to its high concentration of hyaluronic acid and coconut water. It’s a Clean at Sephora product, which means it’s also free of oxybenzone and octinoxate.

Sold by Sephora

Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 Foundation

Although it’s not officially a face sunscreen, this Ilia serum skin tint is a balanced formula that offers UV protection, hydration and dewy coverage. It also contains squalene, a powerful anti-inflammatory that also boosts your skin’s elasticity.

Sold by Sephora

Murad City Skin Age Defense Broad Spectrum Face Sunscreen

Murad’s physical face sunscreen offers SPF 50 protection in a nondrying formula. The sunscreen is infused with vitamin C, which gives skin a subtle glow and protects it from free radical damage. 

Sold by Sephora


Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Share this post: