Facial Sunscreens to Try This Summer

I know you don’t need me to tell you that you should wear sunscreen every day, especially on your face, regardless of the seasons. But since summer is here, we could all use the reminder. 

  • UVA and UVB rays are present even when it’s cloudy
  • UVA and UVB rays can still penetrate through glass, even if you’re inside
  • Sunscreen prevents premature aging
  • Sunscreen prevents dark spots and hyperpigmentation

Whether you’re staying in your backyard, going on a walk, or hitting the beach, here is a list of a handful of facial sunscreens to try this summer.

Best Facial Sunscreens to Try This Summer | Charmed by Camille


Facial Sunscreens To Try This Summer

Before I get into the details of these facial sunscreens below, let’s get a little nerdy. Did you know that there are two types of sunscreens on the market? Sunscreens can be either physical or chemical.

Even though both types of sunscreens work a little differently, the good news is that both protect your skin equally. Regardless of your preference in formula, you’ll enjoy sun protection either way. 

There are also two types of UV rays: UVA and UVB. Most sunscreens today are broad spectrum, meaning that they protect from both of these rays. UVA rays are most typically responsible for causing fine lines and wrinkles. UVB rays can also lead to premature aging, but these are also the rays that can cause burning. Both UVA and UVB rays can potentially cause skin cancer.

I’m not a dermatologist, therefore this is not medical advice. If you have questions about skincare or specific skin concerns, be sure to visit your dermatologist.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHEMICAL AND PHYSICAL FACIAL SUNSCREENS?

Chemical sunscreens contain ingredients that absorb into the skin and therefore also absorb harmful UV rays. Without totally geeking out on you, chemical sunscreens take the UV rays and turn them into non-damaging wavelengths of light or heat. Since the chemical ingredients absorb into the skin, they need some time to do so to become effective. This is why you might see a sunscreen label that advises you to wait a certain amount of time before your sun exposure. Chemical sunscreens are usually lighter weight formulas than physical SPFs, and usually more comfortable for daily wear or on your face.

Physical sunscreens, also known as mineral sunscreens, reflect UV rays rather than absorbing them. This is because, much like the name, there is a physical barrier that blocks harmful UVA and UVB rays in order to provide sun protection. Physical sunscreens are effective immediately, but these tend to have thicker, more traditional formulas like the body sunscreen you use at the beach. These *usually* leave a white cast on the skin due to the minerals – but some of the facial sunscreens below help to combat this.


REN CLEAN SCREEN MINERAL SPF 30

REN CLEAN SCREEN MINERAL SPF 30

Chemical or Physical: Physical

SPF Level: 30

Broad Spectrum? Yes

Reef Safe? Yes

This facial sunscreen by REN is a clean formula with rice starch to help absorb oil for a mattifying and poreless effect. This is a great option for oily skin.

This sunscreen almost has a whipped feel to the formula as to blend quickly onto the skin. It’s not too creamy or overly goopy feeling. This is good to use this right before a run or laying out, since the physical ingredients mean immediate effectiveness.

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SUPERGOOP! UNSEEN SUNSCREEN Best Facial Sunscreens

SUPERGOOP! UNSEEN SUNSCREEN SPF 40

Chemical or Physical: Chemical

SPF Level: 40

Broad Spectrum? Yes

Reef Safe? Yes

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen is another clean facial sunscreen, but it’s a chemical formula rather than a physical one. This is one of those sunscreens that works on all skin types, and it’s a best-selling facial sunscreen for good reason.

This is an antioxidant rich, oil free formula that feels virtually weightless after applying it. It’s a clear gel that absorbs extremely quickly into the skin. Although the clear formula looks like Vaseline or Carmex, it is not greasy at all, and actually leaves somewhat of a velvety finish.

This sunscreen also protects against blue light, harmful rays that are emitted through everyday electronic devices like your phone and computer screen.

Finally, not only does Unseen Sunscreen provide sun protection, it also it doubles as a makeup primer. This is one of my favorite everyday facial sunscreens.

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ELTAMD TINTED UV CLEAR BROAD-SPECTRUM | Best Facial Sunscreens

ELTAMD TINTED UV CLEAR BROAD-SPECTRUM SPF 46

Chemical or Physical: Both

SPF Level: 46

Broad Spectrum? Yes

Reef Safe? No

For days when I want to go makeup-free (but don’t want to look like I am), I reach for EltaMD’s UV Clear Tinted facial sunscreen.  The universally flattering tint blends to match skin tones to provide an even complexion while offering sun protection. I’ve tried a couple oof tinted sunscreens, but this is my favorite.

Along with active UV-blocking ingredients (it’s a chemical and physical SPF) this dermatologist-recommended SPF contains skin care ingredients like hyaluronic acid for hydration and niacinamide to prevent breakouts. If you have sensitive skin, I highly recommend giving EltaMD’s UV Clear Tinted sunscreen a try.

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BLISS BLOCK STAR INVISIBLE SUNSCREEN

BLISS BLOCK STAR INVISIBLE SUNSCREEN

Chemical or Physical: Physical

SPF Level: 30

Broad Spectrum? Yes

Reef Safe? Yes

If you’re looking for a slightly more wallet-friendly but still effective facial sunscreen, try Bliss Block Star Invisible Sunscreen. I have used Bliss on and off for years, and always recommend them as one of my favorite affordable skin care brands.

This SPF from Bliss is also tinted, making it another great choice for an even complexion on makeup-free days.

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DERMALOGICA INVISIBLE PHYSICAL DEFENSE

DERMALOGICA INVISIBLE PHYSICAL DEFENSE

Chemical or Physical: Physical

SPF Level: 30

Broad Spectrum? Yes

Reef Safe? Yes

Dermalogica is another professional favorite, and this physical sunscreen particularly helps to calm irritated skin and reduces redness caused by UV rays. The zinc oxide is super sheer, leaving almost no residue.

It has a nice creamy texture, and although it dispenses relatively thick, once rubbed in it’s very lightweight. As far as smell, there is a very subtle scent (I’m thinking it’s the green tea in there to help calm and soothe the skin), but it’s so discrete if your nose isn’t super sensitive you may not even pick it up at all. 

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SUNDAY RILEY LIGHT HEARTED SUNSCREEN

SUNDAY RILEY LIGHT HEARTED SUNSCREEN

Chemical or Physical: Both

SPF Level: 30

Broad Spectrum? Yes

Reef Safe? Yes

If you’re looking for a solid, everyday sunscreen, try Sunday Riley Light Hearted Sunscreen.

This facial sunscreen has a very nice finish to it, and despite a light pink hue, blends seamlessly into skin.

Since Sunday Riley is a skin care brand, this SPF contains some skin care benefits along with UV protection. Turmeric, one its main ingredients, helps improve the appearance of surface redness and it’s also packed with antioxidants. Like the Supergoop sunscreen, this SPF from Sunday Riley also protects from blue light rays from electronics.

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Camille

Nice to Meet You

Hi, I'm Camille! I'm a bi-coastal blogger splitting my time between LA and NYC. I left the corporate world of fashion and beauty to share all of my favorite things on the Internet. When I have nothing to wear my go-to outfit is jeans, a t-shirt, and a leather jacket. My hair is usually a little messy but I love it best like that.

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