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With summer right around the corner, many people are starting to plan their days with outdoor activities. However, prolonged sun exposure and ultraviolet rays can cause premature aging, sunburn and even skin cancer, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Using sunscreen is one of the best ways to protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun. You’ll want sunscreen that’s powerful enough to protect your skin for hours and that can withstand water if you swim at the beach or in your pool. On top of protecting from skin cancer, sunscreen also helps keep your skin youthful and prevents skin issues such as wrinkles, sagging and hyperpigmentation.
I live in sunny (and humid) Puerto Rico, so sunscreen has been an essential part of my daily skincare routine over the years. After testing over 30 products, these are my top 14 sunscreens for 2023.
How we tested the best sunscreen
To determine this roundup of best sunscreens, I considered factors like SPF levels, ingredients, consistency and price. I also tested these sunscreens hands-on to better understand how these products perform in real-time during different activities. Through this process, I identified the top sunscreens that offer the best sun protection and have quality ingredients.
All of these sunscreens were tested for a full, normal workday. My day consisted of a morning outdoor workout, working indoors (next to a window) for eight hours and an afternoon walk in the park. I reapplied each sunscreen every two hours, as recommended by experts.
I tested over 30 products and narrowed it down to my top 14 sunscreens on the market for every skin type and lifestyle.
Read more: What Is the Best SPF for Sunscreen?
Best sunscreen for 2023
How to choose a sunscreen
With all of the options available, choosing the best sunscreen for you can be overwhelming. Most sunscreens will offer adequate sun protection, so you just need to keep a few things in mind when buying sunscreen.
- Choose a sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection. This means it protects against UVA and UVB rays.
- Look for a sunscreen that offers SPF 30 or higher. Anything under that may not give you enough protection.
- Consider your skin type and any allergies or sensitivities. If you have acne-prone skin, it’s best to choose a sunscreen that’s labeled non-comedogenic.
- Take a look at your lifestyle. If you plan to spend a lot of time in the water, choose a product that’s water-resistant. If you play an outdoor sport, consider one that’s formulated for physical activities.
Mineral sunscreen vs. chemical sunscreen
Mineral and chemical sunscreens work in different ways to protect your skin. Mineral sunscreens use active ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium oxide that create a physical barrier on the skin that reflect and scatter UV rays. These sunscreens tend to be less irritating to the skin and may be a better option for those with sensitive skin.
Chemical sunscreens typically use active ingredients like oxybenzone and octinoxate that absorb UV rays. Chemical sunscreens generally provide a more even coverage but may not be suitable for people with skin sensitivities.