KIRA WRITES

Kira's Facial Sunscreen Hall of Fame

picture of all the sunscreen products I am about to review

Sun protection is the single most important and effective step to prevent skin cancer and delay skin aging. Dermatologists have reached the consensus that we should be wearing sunscreens every day, rain or shine, indoors and outdoors, because UV rays are omnipresent. As much as we understand the value of consistently putting on sunscreen, a lot of us do not do it because many sunscreens are unpleasant to wear, especially on the face. I have accumulated a list of the best sunscreens that I have personally tried and enjoyed to put on my face, and I hope sharing this experience can help you to find your perfect sunscreen!



glossier invisible shield

Glossier Invisible Shield | SPF 35

1 fl oz / 30 ml | $25 => $25 per fl oz

Known for their no-makeup makeup philosophy, Glossier produced the Invisible Shield sunscreen with the same mindset as how they produced Boy Brow and Cloud Paint — no-fuss application and minimal interference with other makeup products.

Pros:

  • Sits great under makeup
  • Smells unlike sunscreen and quite pleasant, though I’ve read reviews where people did not like the smell
  • Sheer, light, no white pasty residue
  • Serum texture feels great and smears easily
  • Pump design is convenient
  • SPF 35 meets the SPF 30 bottom threshold

Cons:

  • At \$25 for 1 fl oz, I thought the price was steep compared to other sunscreens
  • If you have oily skin like me and/or prefer a matte look on your face, this sunscreen leaves a shine instead
  • Relatively low SPF and not water proof means not suitable for a beach day



UV Clear Broad-Spectrum sunscreen from Elta MD

Elta MD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum | SPF 46

1.7 fl oz / 48 g | $28.8 => $16.94 per fl oz

#1 best sellers on Amazon in the facial sunscreen category and I get why. A powerful mineral sunscreen that is fragrance-free, oil-free, paraben-free, sensitivity-free and noncomedogenic. It also includes 5% high purity niacinamide that could help reduce the appearance of blemishes and photo-damages. This is the sunscreen I am using at the moment, and I am in love for its skin feel, price, strong protection.

Pros:

  • Looks great under makeup
  • Allergen free, packed with active ingredients, as well as the extra dose of niacinamide to improve skin apperances
  • Looks and feels great even on oily skin
  • Doesn’t smell like sunscreen and doesn’t have a fragrance
  • This untinted lotion is white in color and mineral in nature, but doesn’t leave any white paste on my face
  • It doesn’t irritate the eyes if you sweat a lot and sunscreen tends to run into your eyes
  • Pump design is convenient
  • SPF 46 is one notch above the SPF 30 bottom threshold
  • Price is sooo good ($28.8 is the on sale price currently on Amazon. Regular price is $36, which still beats Glossier’s Invisible Shield when you calculate price per fluid ounce)

Cons:

  • Not water-resistant



supergoop unseen sunscreen

SuperGoop! Unseen Sunscreen | SPF 40

1.7 fl oz / 50 ml | $34 => $20 per fl oz

Cult favorite suncare brand Supergoop! has dedicated 10+ years working on developing SPF lotions that is effective, clean, and feels good. Super goop pledges it will not use ingredients in their following No List.

Pros:

  • Looks great under makeup
  • This mattifying lotion looks and feels great on oily skin
  • Doesn’t smell like sunscreen, scentless
  • Price is compatible with Elta MD and cheaper than Glossier
  • Oil free, mineral based formula
  • Water resistant
  • Good SPF for everyday

Cons:

  • Some reviewers said they experienced breakouts after using this sunscreen
  • A bit on the pricier side for everyday use



neutrogena ultra sheer dry-touch sunscreen

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen | SPF 70

3 fl oz / 88 ml | $8.97 => $2.99 per fl oz

This is probably one f the cheapest and best sunscreens you can get almost anywhere from Walgreens to Costco. This broad-spectrum sunscreen provides defense against UVA/UVB with a mattifying lotion that is not greasy at an unbelievable price.

Pros:

  • Looks great under makeup
  • Mattifying yet not drying, so feels great for all skin types
  • Extremely reasonable price that makes you want to put extra on your face and your body
  • Smells good for a strong sunscreen
  • Water resistant
  • Very high SPF and broad-spectrum protection makes this suitable for heavy outdoor activities
  • Easily accessible: you can purchase this from almost any store

Cons:

  • Does contain Oxybenzone (an extremely effective chemical to combat UVA damage, yet in dispute for its potential to disrupt human endocrine systems as well as ability to harm coral reef when residues are washed off the human bodies into the ocean)
  • Does leave white streaks and residue on the skin



Tarte Tarteguard 30 mineral powder sunscreen

Tarte Tarteguard 30 mineral powder sunscreen Broad Spectrum | SPF 30

0.28 oz / 8g | $ 28 => $100 per oz

I did not know sunscreen can exist in powder + brush form until I watched Allure’s video with Dr. Idriss on her entire skincare routine as a dermatologist. To be fair this sunscreen should be talked about aside from the other sunscreens mentioned here. I would use it in addition to any of the sunscreen above, as a supplement when I’ve outside for a while and sweaty. This mattifying powder is so good for sweat absorbance and gives me the extra protection I need super fast.

Pros:

  • Looks great on top of makeup, gives you a mattifying finish (kind of like setting powder)
  • Works great to absorb oil on the skin
  • Smells wonderful (like baby powder) and the brush is soft so the product feels great on the skin
  • Mineral sunscreen which offers great protection of your skin against UVA/UVB
  • Pump + brush is such an easy and innovative solution to sunscreen application! Love it!

Cons: