How to Choose the Best Sunscreen for Your Face

How to Choose the Best Sunscreen for Your Face


5 minute read

Finding a non-comedogenic sunscreen that both protects your skin and provides adequate moisture can be a real challenge. Here’s a simple guide on how to choose the best sunscreen for your face.

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • Why you should choose a physical sunscreen
  • What are the best sunscreens for acne-prone skin, sensitive skin and dry skin
  • How to apply physical sunscreen most effectively 

Sunscreen is the most important product in your daily skin care routine

Reduce redness, provide moisture, reduce breakouts and prevent premature skin aging all in one product? Let me introduce you to the best sunscreens on the North American market… but first, let’s explore why you should choose a physical sunscreen.

WHY YOU SHOULD CHOOSE PHYSICAL SUNSCREEN

How to choose the best sunscreen for your face? If you’re someone who has struggled with finding a sunscreen that doesn’t break you out, irritate your skin or provide enough moisture, you’ll benefit from a physical sunscreen.

If you have a dark skin tone, fear not! There are physical sunscreen options that will not leave a white cast which I will outline for you below. Why choose a physical sunscreen, though?

Physical sunscreens contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to reflect UV rays away from the skin. Similar to chemical sunscreens, they too absorb the rays but the difference is they act like a shield to protect the skin and tend to be less irritating on barrier compromised skin (skin with redness, irritation or active breakouts).

Physical sunscreen is especially beneficial for acne-prone skin because zinc oxide has anti-inflammatory and repairing properties. This is why it’s also a great option for sensitive skin, to reduce redness and provide barrier support to calm the skin as they prevent your skin’s natural sebum from oxidizing and creating blackheads that create acne breakouts in the first place.

THE BEST SUNSCREEN FOR ACNE-PRONE SKIN

Over the last 6 years, I’ve searched, tested and invested in the best physical sunscreens for acne-prone skin that is prone to sensitivity. Here are our favourites:

  1. TIZO Am Replenish SPF 40 

What my community and I love about this oil-free sunscreen is that it is non-comedogenic and will not contribute to increased breakouts. It contains ceramides to hydrate skin that is oily and or dehydrated so you can use it as your daily moisturizer as well. It also comes in a tinted version if you have a dark skin tone. This lightweight formulation glides on the skin easily and contains vitamin C and E as antioxidants to keep your skin protected. 

AM Replenish SPF 40

AM Replenish SPF 40

$80.50

This lightweight sunscreen and day cream is formulated with zinc oxide, ceramides and powerful antioxidants. AM Replenish SPF 40 is a fragrance-free formula that will restore your skin’s moisture levels and protect against UV damage. If you’re looking for a… Read more

If you have malassezia (fungal acne), try the TIZO Facial Primer Sunscreen. This non-comedogenic sunscreen will act as your daily moisturizer if you have oily skin. If your skin is more on the dry side, you’ll likely need to apply a moisturizer underneath. 

  1. Dermastart ClearChoice Sport Shield SPF 45

This one of a kind face and body sunscreen is my go-to for reapplication throughout the day and any outdoor exercise. What we love about this sunscreen is that it feels and smells nothing like a traditional sunscreen. It applies incredibly easily, feels super hydrating on the skin and smells like cucumbers and oranges thanks to these beneficial extracts. It is a silicone-free sunscreen with acne-safe plant oils, vitamins C + E and will not leave a white cast on even the darkest skin tones.

  1. Sorella Hydrating SPF 30

This sunscreen and moisturizer all-in-one is both acne-safe and non-irritating. My clients with rosacea and sensitive skin love this one! It’s suitable for light and medium skin tones and contains hyaluronic acid, resveratrol and silicones to hydrate, protect and lock in hydration. Combination to dry skin types benefit greatly from this sunscreen year-around.

  1. Suntegrity Impeccable Skin SPF 30

This non-comedogenic sunscreen also acts as your moisturizer and foundation! Silicone-free, oil-free and available in five shades, it’s ideal for anyone looking for a moisturized, natural look with a dewy finish. Vitamin e provides antioxidant benefits while bisabolol calms the skin. You’ll enjoy this multipurpose product if your skin is combination to dry with acne or sensitive tendencies.

  1. TIZO Ultra Zinc SPF 40

This sunscreen is a complete game changer for those experiencing redness (rosacea, eczema, irritation), inflamed acne breakouts who have combination to dry skin. This 20% zinc oxide formulation reduces redness and irritation within one hour of application. I’m not kidding! Take a look at these before and afters of my face when I experienced a rash last winter. 

TIZO Ultra Zinc SPF 40 before and after rash

  1. BION Research Suncream SPF 35

If your skin is on the dry side, is prone to sensitivity and you only experience breakouts once in a while, you’ll love this moisture-rich sunscreen. Formulated with aloe and hyaluronic acid to hydrate, shea butter and silicones to moisturize and it has a pleasant vanilla scent that everybody loves!

HOW TO APPLY PHYSICAL SUNSCREEN MOST EFFECTIVELY

Physical sunscreens can be tricky to apply, depending on the formulation. By following this professional application technique and being diligent and generous with your sunscreen, you’ll be protected from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

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