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These Are The Best Sunscreens According To Your Skin Type

Make sun protection great again.

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Image: Wiseshe.com

If moisturizer was the It-girl of our skincare routine, sunscreen would be the incognito bodyguard who only gets noticed if the starlet leaves her significant other for him. We may be aware of its role in protecting our skin, but we often neglect it for various reasons. No, we don’t want to get skin cancer – but we also don’t want our acne aggravated by extra chemicals, an oily sheen on our faces or a ghostly-white cast over our skin.
 
However, just like other contentious items (cargo pants, anyone?) not all sunscreens are made equal. Find the right formula for your skin type, and you might actually enjoy slathering on that extra layer of protection. After all, sunscreen is the ultimate secret weapon in our beauty (not to mention health) arsenal: regular use of sunscreen can prevent sunburn, reduce the risk of skin cancer and protect against discoloration, wrinkles and other premature signs of aging.
 
First of all, remember the ground rules: 15-20 minutes before going outside (and not just in the summer, the sun emits harmful UV rays all year round) generously apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a SPF of at least 15, depending on your anticipated sun exposure. After that, just make sure to reapply regularly according to the label, especially if you’re in direct sunlight or immersed in water (or sweat, let's be real).
 
Ready to discover the products that are making sunscreen great again? Here are our top sunscreen picks for all skin types, whether you’re in need of moisture or are acne-prone:

For Sensitive Skin

If you have sensitive skin that reacts easily to fragrances or chemicals, you’ll want to go for a natural physical sunscreen with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide minerals. Unlike chemical sunscreens that need some time to sink in and protect your skin by absorbing the sun’s broad-spectrum rays, physical sunscreens are effective the moment you apply and work by deflecting or blocking the rays instead. Here are our favorite formulas that are paraben-free, chemical-free, fragrance-free and non-comedogenic (i.e. doesn’t block pores) so you can apply and re-apply as necessary.
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NYDG Chem-Free Active Defense SPF30 - $98
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Vanicream Sunscreen For Sensitive Skin SPF 30 - $15
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Blue Lizard Sunscreen Sensitive, Chemical Free, Fragrance Free, SPF 30+ - $14
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For Oily and Acne-Prone Skin

If you’ve been holding off on sunscreen because you’re afraid of looking like a pimply slice of pizza, we understand – and we’ve got a solution. For oily and acne-prone skin, we’ve selected lightweight formulas that are oil-free and non-comedogenic – with the added bonus of mattifying and pore-clearing ingredients. Remove all the product at the end of the day with a thorough double cleanse, and your skin will feel more balanced than ever.
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EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF46 - $32.50
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Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 - $8
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Dermalogica MediBac Clearing Oil Free Matte SPF 30 - $52
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For Dry Skin

On the other side of the spectrum, if sunscreen drains you of moisture, you’ll want to opt for mostly cream-based formulas. You can treat yourself to a two-in-one moisturizer-and-sunscreen, or if you’ll be in direct sunlight and will need to reapply throughout the day, a sunscreen that contains special hydrating ingredients.
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Neogen Dermalogy Day-Light Protection Sun Screen SPF 50 PA+++ - $30
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Estée Lauder DayWear Advanced Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant Creme Broad Spectrum SPF 15 - $54
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Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream SPF 30 - $47.50
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For Darker Skin

If you have darker skin, you might have been told that sunscreen isn’t necessary – the higher concentration of melanin in your skin is enough. Although those with lighter skin tones do burn more easily, unprotected exposure to UV rays presents a danger to everybody, regardless of your skin tone. To protect yourself (but still avoid that dreaded gray film that certain sunscreens leave), look for a formula that doesn’t leave a chalky residue: chemical sunscreens, for example, tend to be a safer bet. And when you’re applying it, pat, don’t rub – this will help distribute the sunscreen evenly and prevent streaking.
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Kiss My Face Face Factor Sunscreen SPF 30 Sunblock for Face and Neck - $7
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La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF 60 Ultra-Light Sunscreen Fluid - $30
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L'oréal Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition Facial Oil SPF 30 - $20
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For Waterproof coverage

While many of the sunscreens we’ve talked about have been for daily use on the face, these products are especially geared towards you beach babes who need all-over-body, water-resistant protection. Dermatologists say that one ounce of sunscreen – enough to fit a shot glass – is approximately the amount you should use to coat all exposed skin. If you’re going to be sweating it out under the sun for an extended period of time, it’s especially important to reapply regularly, as water, perspiration and even towel drying will cause the sunscreen to wear off.
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Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ Wetforce For Face/Body - $40
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Headhunter SPF 30 Sunscreen - $12
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Supergoop! Super Power Sunscreen Mousse Broad Spectrum SPF 50 - $34
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For Balanced Skin

If you’re one of the lucky few that doesn’t need to take specific skin concerns into account when looking for a sunscreen, these are our all-round favorite products for you. These sunscreens work with any skin type: they’re non-greasy, easily blendable and even incorporate antioxidants that shield the skin against the damaging effects of free radicals.
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Clarins Sunscreen Multi-Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 50 - $43
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Jan Marini Skin Research Antioxidant Daily Face Protectant SPF 33 - $43
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La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Melt-In Sunscreen Milk - $36
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