Top 5 Recommended Sunscreens
Patients always ask me what I recommend for sunscreen. Over the years, I’ve realized that I tend to suggest the same five sunscreens over and over again.
Patients always ask me what I recommend for sunscreen. Over the years, I’ve realized that I tend to suggest the same five sunscreens over and over again. And almost every time, patients will come back and say they love my recommendation and can actually stand using it on a daily basis.
To me, there are three main things that make a sunscreen great, and the five sunscreens I recommend have score high in all three categories:
- Tolerability: In order to continue to use a product, it must be well-tolerated. With so many different skin types, it can sometimes be difficult to find a sunscreen that can be used by a wide range of people.
- Stability: Just because it has a high SPF and covers UVA rays, doesn’t mean that the product is stable enough to use for long periods of time. It may provide great protection for 30 minutes before the key ingredients start to break down and render the sunscreen useless.
- Ease of application: If it takes you two minutes to rub in your sunscreen so you no longer see that white paste, you’re not going to want to use it all the time. Similarly, with everyone on the go these days, no one wants to waste 10 minutes applying sunscreen when spraying or brushing options are available.
So here are my 5 most recommended sunscreens:
BEST DAILY for Normal, Dry or Combo Skin
Anthelios SX Daily Moisturizer
This product is a great everyday sunscreen that doubles as a moisturizer. It leaves a clean finish while also hydrating the skin. Keep in mind that the SPF is 15, so this is only for people who are not spending hours in the sun. The fact that it is fragrance-free and PABA-free also makes it appealing. It’s an ideal sunscreen for people that spend most of their daytime hours indoors.
BEST DAILY for Oily or Acneic Skin
Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Fluid
This is the sunscreen I use myself. I tend to break out from everything and anything. Admittedly, even the Anthelios SX Daily mentioned above caused some acne, even though it says it is non-comedogenic and non-acnegenic. The sunscreen is very liquidy and looks a lot like milk when you pour it into the palm of your hand. However, it absorbs so quickly that you barely feel the product after you apply it. Also great for people who are outdoors a lot because it is SPF 60.
BEST DRUGSTORE BRAND
Neutrogena Helioplex® Ultra Sheer Line
Neutrogena’s Helioplex® technology is known for its great stabilization. This translates into longer and better protection for the consumer. I especially like the Ultra Sheer line because it’s not as oily and sticky as their Age Shield and Ultimate Sport lines. I buy the sprays for beach and extended outdoor use. (Note: although La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios is also found in CVS, Neutrogena’s Helioplex® is in a wider range of drugstores and is therefore my pick for drugstore brand.)
Anthelios 50 Mineral
For people who prefer a physical sunscreen over chemical, this is your best option. It contains an optimized blend of 11% titanium dioxide for excellent broad-spectrum protection. It also leaves a matte finish, so you’re not left with the chalky residue everyone always talks about. Also great for sensitive or post-laser/chemical peel skin.
BEST POWDER BRUSH
Colorescience Sunforgettable Mineral Powder Brush
This is by far the easiest and fastest way to reapply sunscreen. It’s a small cylinder about 4.5 inches in length that you can slip into your pocket or handbag. Every two hours, whip it out and quickly sweep the brush over your exposed skin. Retract the brush back into the base, and it goes right back into your pocket or purse! This tool is also fantastic for mattifying an oily face. (I still recommend putting on a non-powder sunscreen first – Sunforgettable should be used for touch-ups and maintenance purposes.)
It’s not a coincidence that three of the five sunscreens I talked about are from the same brand. I truly believe La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios line has the best technology when it comes to sun protection. There are literally thousands of sunscreens to choose from, and many will say that theirs “doesn’t leave a white residue” or “isn’t oily to touch” and is “broad spectrum protection”. But no one can also say it is the most effective FDA-approved filter against UVA rays or that it has dual protection technology against UV rays. So although I am not sponsored by La Roche-Posay, I certainly support their products and recommend them highly.
Have you tried these sunscreens before? Let me know what you think!