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Reddit’s 7 Best Sunscreens Worth Checking Out Today

Woman applying one of Reddit's 7 best sunscreens

Reddit’s 7 Best Sunscreens Worth Checking Out Today

Key Points

  • Reddit’s choice for the #1 Best Overall Sunscreen is the La Roche-Posay Anthelios Sunscreen.
  • SPF, broad-spectrum protection, and water resistance are the most important criteria to consider when selecting a sunscreen.
  • Sunscreen loses its protective abilities over time, so reapplying may be necessary.
  • If you plan to wear sunscreen in the ocean, avoid the ingredients listed on SavetheReef.org as they can harm marine life and coral reefs.

Finding a sunscreen that you like enough to wear daily can be challenging. If they’re not sticky and greasy, they’re often too drying or create textural problems when used with cosmetics.

Faced with these dilemmas, many people turn to Reddit for recommendations and tips. While it’s important to do your own research, Reddit can provide valuable insights due to the diversity of users on the site.

Let’s explore some of the top (thoroughly vetted) sunscreen recommendations from the r/SkincareAddiction community.

#1 Best Overall: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Sunscreen

Best Overall Sunscreen
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Ultra-Light Face Sunscreen SPF 50
$36.99 ($21.76 / Fl Oz)
  • Zinc Oxide 100% Mineral Sunscreen
  • Ultra-light formula
  • SPF 50
  • Oil-free
  • Great for sensitive skin
  • Use daily
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01/29/2024 08:03 pm GMT

The La Roche-Posay Anthelios Sunscreen is Reddit’s top pick for the best overall sunscreen.

Within the r/SkincareAddiction community, one Redditor liked it so much that they purchased it in bulk, with another praising it for not irritating their sensitive eyes. While we can appreciate the anecdotal evidence of its quality, La Roche-Posay is also supported by legitimate, science-backed research.

Its proprietary technology, UVMUNE 400, was developed over the last ten years, officially launching in March 2022. This innovative UV filter absorbs longer UVA wavelengths than most other sunscreens, protecting the skin from cellular damage which leads to premature aging across all skin types and tones.

Furthermore, the Anethlios sunscreen was designed to work well will cosmetics. In tests, 91% of La Roche-Posay’s subjects said it layered easily under makeup, unlike other sunscreens that can leave an oily residue and affect makeup texture. Redditors also supported these claims, with one commenting that it has a skin-like finish and blends nicely with makeup. Moreover, the Anthelios sunscreen is highly water-resistant, making it an excellent choice for daily wear regardless of your plans.

ProsCons
It provides best-in-class sun protection.You may wish it came in a larger bottle.
It’s unlikely to cause skin irritation or burn your eyes.
You can blend makeup smoothly over this sunscreen.

Best Budget-Friendly: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen

Best Budget-Friendly
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen
$8.23 ($2.74 / Fl Oz)
  • Broad spectrum SPF 70
  • #1 Dermatologist-recommended
  • Oil-free formula leaves a shine-free finish
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Water-resistant for up to 80 minutes
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01/29/2024 01:42 pm GMT

The Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen is a popular choice within the Reddit community, not only for its affordability but also for its exceptional quality.

In one thread, a user commented that their skin felt softer after just one use, with another commenting that it was their favorite sunscreen because its lightweight formula absorbs immediately and feels like a moisturizer.

Despite its reasonable price, it offers superior UVA/UVB protection using a proprietary technology called Helioplex which increases its shelf-life, enhances effectiveness, and ensures long-lasting protection. Additionally, it’s PABA-free and non-comedogenic, making it suitable for sensitive and acne-prone skin.

While we think this is an excellent choice for sun protection, the inclusion of octocrylene makes it inappropriate for use in the ocean as this active ingredient is linked to environmental damage.

ProsCons
Helioplex enhances shelf life and effectiveness.Due to the inclusion of oxybenzone, it is detrimental to marine life if used in the ocean.
It has a lightweight and non-greasy feel.
It will not inflame sensitive or acne-prone skin.

Best for Acne-Prone Skin: Hero Cosmetics Force Shield Superlight Sunscreen

Best for Acne-Prone Skin
Hero Cosmetics Force Shield Superlight Sunscreen
$19.99 ($11.83 / Fl Oz)
  • Broad-spectrum SPF 30
  • Gel-cream formula absorbs quickly
  • Dermatologist-approved
  • Non-comedogenic and non-irritating
  • Reef-safe
  • Vegan-friendly
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01/28/2024 08:03 pm GMT

Hero Cosmetics Force Shield Superlight Sunscreen is an excellent option for individuals with acne-prone skin, according to one Reddit thread.

This dermatologist-approved mineral sunscreen is carefully formulated to be non-comedogenic, so it’s no surprise that another user commented that they “love love LOVE this sunscreen,” because it calms inflammation and leaves skin glowy with no breakouts. This user goes on to say that its subtle green tint also helps balance redness in the skin, with the only downside being that it’s not water-resistant.

These claims are supported by renowned dermatologist, Dr. Dray, who recommends this sunscreen for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin. However, she cautions that it may appear ashy on medium to darker skin tones. This is due to its zinc oxide formula which provides sun protection and prevents that greasy feeling often associated with other sunscreens. While many zinc-oxide formulas can be overly drying, this one is remarkably moisturizing.

ProsCons
Sensitive and acne-prone skin can benefit from it.It’s not water-resistant.
It’s non-greasy and won’t clog your pores while still imparting hydration.It may not be suitable for all skin tones.
Its subtle green tint tones down redness.

Best Under Makeup: Unsun Mineral Tinted Face Sunscreen

Best Under Makeup
Unsun Mineral Tinted Face Sunscreen
$21.75 ($12.79 / Fl Oz)
  • Broad-spectrum SPF 30
  • Minimizes the look of pores
  • Water-resistant for up to 80 minutes
  • Cruelty-free
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/28/2024 08:03 pm GMT

Unsun’s Mineral Tinted Face Sunscreen is a great choice if you plan to wear it under makeup.

According to multiple users on Reddit, this tinted face sunscreen blends well and provides light coverage while maintaining your skin’s natural appearance. It’s formulated to act as a primer, so concealer and foundation blend smoothly without pilling.

We love that this formula utilizes clean, cruelty-free ingredients. To promote a healthy glow, it incorporates antioxidant-rich green tea leaf extract, shea butter, and Vitamin E. While the brand offers Light/Medium and Medium/Dark tints, some users indicated that the Medium/Dark tint appears ashy on medium skin tones but the Light/Medium tint works well for fair to olive tones.

ProsCons
It can protect and even skin tone while maintaining a natural look.It may not be suitable for all skin tones.
It acts as a primer, allowing makeup to blend smoothly.
High-quality, cruelty-free ingredients promote healthy skin.

Most Moisturizing: Skin1004 Facial Sunscreen

Most Moisturizing
Skin1004 Facial Sunscreen
$23.95 ($7.09 / Fl Oz)
  • Broad-spectrum SPF 50+
  • Hyaluronic acid helps skin retain moisture
  • 100% Centella Asiatica soothes skin
  • Baby greens complex revitalizes skin
  • Cruelty-free
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01/28/2024 08:08 pm GMT

The Skin1004 Facial Sunscreen is a popular moisturizing sunscreen in the r/AsianBeauty Reddit community.

The most upvoted comment on this thread noted that SKIN1004’s sunscreen is even better than Skin Aqua’s Super Moisture Milk, a Japanese sunscreen that has an almost cult-like following due to its moisturizing properties.

Earning the nickname “sun serum,” this innovative product goes beyond its primary function of shielding the skin from harmful UV rays and acts as a potent moisturizer. It utilizes 100% Centella Asiatica extract which is a known antioxidant with anti-inflammatory compounds. It also includes hyaluronic acid, an ingredient that attracts and retains up to 1,000x its weight in water, effectively locking moisture into the skin.

While it’s not water-resistant, we are confident that you’ll love Skin1004 so much that you’ll want to squeeze out every last drop. Its non-greasy, lightweight formula is comfortable to wear, plus the added benefits of hydration and sun protection will make it a must-have in your skincare routine.

ProsCons
It is hydrating but non-greasy.It’s not water-resistant.
High-quality ingredients promote skin health.

Best for Lip Care: Aquaphor Lip Repair Stick + Sunscreen

Best for Lip Care
Aquaphor Lip Repair Stick + Sunscreen
$16.15 ($47.50 / Ounce)
  • Broad-spectrum SPF 30
  • Relieves dryness
  • Enriched with jojoba oil and shea butter
  • Free from parabens, dyes, and fragrances
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01/28/2024 08:08 pm GMT

The Aquaphor Lip Repair Stick + Sunscreen is not only Reddit’s top choice for the best lip sunscreen but also the top dermatologist-recommended lip sunscreen.

One user commented that it’s “a holy grail for my chapped lips,” with another saying, it’s “a glorious gift to mankind.”

When it comes to applying sunscreen, the lips are one of the most neglected territories. Facial sunscreens don’t stay on particularly well in this area and they often get inside the mouth, tasting awful. This sunscreen adheres well to the lips and includes moisturizing ingredients like castor seed oil, jojoba seed oil, and shea butter. Because the product is designed to stay put, its consistency is stiff, so you have to press firmly in order to spread it effectively.

ProsCons
It effectively moisturizes and protects.Because the stick is somewhat hard, you have to press firmly to apply it.
The formula stays put.

Best for the Beach: Blue Lizard Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen

Best for the Beach
Blue Lizard Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen
$14.98 ($3.00 / Fl Oz)
  • Broad-spectrum SPF 50
  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Reef-friendly
  • Free from parabens, fragrances, and dyes
  • Chemical-free


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01/29/2024 12:23 am GMT

Blue Lizard’s Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen is Reddit’s top choice for use on the beach.

In response to a thread asking for a reef-safe sunscreen recommendation, the most upvoted comment responded that Blue Lizard was their “favorite sunscreen ever,” with another commenting that they were amazed the bottle changes colors when exposed to UV light.

Since markers like “reef-friendly” and “reef-safe” aren’t regulated, it’s important to do your own research into the ingredients. According to SavetheReef.org, there are no marine-damaging ingredients in this formula.

In terms of its protective abilities, it provides broad-spectrum protection for up to 80 minutes in the water. It’s suitable for sensitive skin since it’s chemical-free and does not contain any parabens, fragrances, or dyes. While this sunscreen performs well, opinions on its texture are mixed, with some saying it’s very comfortable and others saying it “feels like glue.”

ProsCons
It’s reef-safe and water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.The texture may not be appealing to everyone.
The color-change bottle reminds you to apply sunscreen when exposed to UV light.
It’s suitable for sensitive skin.
woman applying sunscreen spf
Sunscreen is extremely important for preventing skin cancer and boosting your skin’s overall health.

How to Pick the Best Sunscreen: Step-by-Step

When choosing a sunscreen, these are the main criteria to consider:

  • SPF
  • Broad-spectrum protection
  • Water-resistance

Let’s review this in more detail.

SPF

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and indicates the level of protection a sunscreen provides against UVB rays. While opinions on the ideal level can vary based on skin type, The American Academy of Dermatology generally recommends using SPF 30, at minimum. However, higher SPF levels can provide significantly more protection.

Broad-Spectrum Protection

Broad-spectrum protection refers to a sunscreen’s ability to shield skin from both UVA and UVB rays, offering comprehensive defense against the sun’s harmful radiation. While many people use sunscreen to protect against sun-burning UVB rays, it’s also important to shield yourself from the aging effects of UVA rays. Look for labels that clearly state “broad-spectrum” to ensure you’re protected from both.

Water-Resistance

The water resistance of your sunscreen is crucial if you plan to participate in activities that may wash it off. Water-resistant sunscreens are specially formulated to adhere better to the skin, offering enhanced protection during sweaty workouts or swimming.

What to Know Before Buying Sunscreen

Proper Application

It’s important to reapply sunscreen regularly to ensure continuous sun protection. While many brands make their own recommendations about how often to reapply, you may need to adjust this. Swimming, sweating, or towel drying can wipe it away, and, in any case, all sunscreens lose their effectiveness over a period of time, so it’s best to reapply often.

Environmental Impact

Some sunscreens use aerosol propellants which can contribute to air pollution and the formation of ground-level ozone. In addition to damaging plant life, ground-level ozone can have detrimental effects on human health.

Additionally, commonly-used chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate can damage marine life, causing coral bleaching and death. If these chemicals continue to find their way into our oceans, they will impact the delicate balance of underwater ecosystems.

As a result of growing environmental awareness, the demand for “reef-friendly” and “ocean-friendly” products has surged. While these markers are becoming more common, they’re not regulated, so checking ingredients using the Reef Safe Guide is a more reliable method of confirming a product is eco-friendly. By actively choosing products with eco-friendly ingredients, you can play a role in preserving the integrity of our oceans.

Up Next…

Summary Table

RankSunscreenKey Benefits
#1La Roche-Posay Anthelios SunscreenBest-in-class sun protection, unlikely to cause skin irritation, blends smoothly with makeup
#2Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch SunscreenEnhanced shelf life and effectiveness, lightweight and non-greasy, suitable for sensitive and acne-prone skin
#3Hero Cosmetics Force Shield Superlight SunscreenBeneficial for sensitive and acne-prone skin, non-greasy, tones down redness
#4Unsun Mineral Tinted Face SunscreenProtects and evens skin tone, acts as a primer, promotes healthy skin
#5Skin1004 Facial SunscreenHydrating but non-greasy, promotes skin health
#6Aquaphor Lip Repair Stick + SunscreenEffectively moisturizes and protects, stays put
#7Blue Lizard Sensitive Mineral SunscreenReef-safe, water-resistant, suitable for sensitive skin

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between mineral and chemical sunscreen?

Mineral sunscreens use physical blockers to create a barrier on the skin’s surface. Chemical sunscreens contain chemicals that need time to absorb into the skin before becoming effective.

When should I wear sunscreen?

As the sun emits UVA and UVB rays throughout the year, it is essential to wear sunscreen whenever you are exposed to sunlight.

When is the best time to apply sunscreen?

Before chemical sunscreen becomes effective, it requires some time to bond with your skin. This is why we suggest applying chemical sunscreen 15-30 minutes prior to sun exposure. Mineral sunscreen, on the other hand, provides effective sun protection immediately after you apply it. 

Is it okay to cut off the top of the bottle and scoop out the remaining product once I use up the sunscreen?

You can cut the top off and scoop out the remaining sunscreen for your last use, but we do not recommend storing it this way. Leaving the bottle open could lead to ingredient destabilization, causing the product to lose effectiveness.

Isabelle Caskey, Author for History-Computer

Isabelle is a professional writer based in South Carolina. She covers all technology-related subjects and is particularly interested in virtual and augmented reality products. Her articles offer readers a deep understanding of innovative products and their impact on various industries. Whether it's reviewing the newest VR headsets, analyzing AR applications in education, or discussing the potential of mixed reality in gaming, Isabelle's expertise shines through, making her a go-to source for tech enthusiasts and industry professionals alike.

Read articles by Isabelle Caskey

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