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Gyan14 Best Sunscreens of 2021, Recommended by Dermatologists

14 Best Sunscreens of 2021, Recommended by Dermatologists

Everyone knows sunscreen is important, but how many people actually know the best sunscreens of 2021? The dermatologist picked these options for year-round use.

View the best sunscreens of 2021, recommended by dermatologists. These are products that not only protect your skin from UV rays but also helps fight acne and hyperpigmentation. The list includes all types of sunscreen including oil-free and waterproof formulas to help you achieve a flawless complexion year round.

The “best sunscreens of 2021” are the 14 best sunscreens that dermatologists recommend. These sunscreens have been listed by their SPF, price, and more.

When it comes to SPF, one thing is certain: it is essential to use it on a regular basis. However, not all sunscreens are the same.

Our specialists narrowed down the top-performing options after examining tens of thousands of replies from over 600 testers. Our experts have the right SPF selection for you, whether you’re searching for sensitive skin formulations, sunscreens for kids and infants, zinc oxide formulas, sunscreen for oily skin, or even natural sunscreen.

What factors should I consider while selecting the best sunscreen for my skin?

When selecting the proper sunscreen and SPF for you, keep the following aspects in mind:

Broad-spectrum protection, “to protect against both harmful UVA/UVB rays.” UV radiation causes hazardous sunburns (also known as skin damage and perhaps skin cancers), dark spots, and a disruption in collaged formation – UV exposure is responsible for 80% of noticeable skin aging. According to David Lortscher, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and CEO of Curology, SPF 30 or above is ideal. “Most individuals don’t apply sunscreen precisely,” Dr. Chen continues, “so it’s preferable to have at least a number 30 to assure appropriate coverage.”

Ingredients that are active: Chemical and mineral sunscreens are the most common choices for your key SPF agents:

  • According to Michael Somenek, M.D., chemical formulae absorb UV photons and convert them to heat. He explains, “This mechanism permits the body to discharge UV rays, which keeps the skin from burning.” Chemical sunscreens are preferable for swimming since they are water resistant, but because they are easy to apply and leave no white residue, you will need to reapply sunscreen more often than you would with a physical or mineral choice.
  • Mineral sunscreens (also known as physical sunscreens) provide a protective layer on the skin that reflects or filters UVA and UVB radiation. Dispersed zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide compositions are more difficult to apply and produce a white cast on the skin, but they stay longer than chemical preparations.

Water-resistance to withstand sweaty days or time spent in the pool. It’s important to note that there is no such thing as waterproof or sweatproof sunscreen. Only “water-resistant for 40 minutes” or “water-resistant for 80 minutes” choices are available under current FDA rules. Instead of reapplying every two hours, pay attention to the bottle’s water-resistance duration and layer the product on more often while swimming, sweating, or toweling off.

Type of formula: Lotions and creams are preferred over sprays by our Beauty Lab experts because they linger longer on skin than sprays and are more likely to establish a uniform protective covering over skin than sprays. A cream may be preferable for you if your skin is prone to dryness. Sprays are simple but they may need a second treatment, so spray liberally.

If you have dry skin, go looking for compounds like dimethicone, glycerin, aloe, and oils, rather than spray or gel sunscreens that include alcohol. It is also recommended using a lightweight sunscreen with elements like silica or isododecane if you have oily skin.

Now that you know the basics, check out our Beauty Lab’s top sunscreen products, as well as doctor recommendations. Remember to apply sunscreen every day, at least 15 minutes before going out, no matter what you use, to properly enable the protective film to build!

14 Best Sunscreens of 2021 recommendations by Dermatologists

Best Sunscreen for the Body

  1. The Hawaiian Tropic SPF 50 AntiOxidant+ Sunscreen Lotion
best sunscreen

The Hawaiian Tropic performed well in our lab tests, receiving flawless ratings for neither drying or irritating the skin. It even remained place throughout a run, according to one tester, and didn’t burn her eyes. It’s also less than half the price of the other items we looked at, at less than $1.60 per ounce.

It didn’t feel sticky or oily on the skin, and it absorbed quickly with no white residue, according to testers. Its beachy aroma was also a huge hit with testers, including those who are notoriously picky about scent. 

  • SPF 50
  • Sunscreen lotion with chemicals
  • 80 minutes of water resistance

Best Sunscreen for the Face

2. VICHY Laboratoires SPF 30 LiftActiv Peptide-C Sunscreen

This selection came out on top in our Beauty Lab’s most recent sunscreen test, with testers praising it for its moisture and lack of breakouts or irritation. It was also the simplest to apply, did not obstruct cosmetics, and received the second best grade for not leaving a white cast.

Its aroma divided testers: some enjoyed it, while others despised it. Many people liked how thin it was and how easily it sank into their skin. It received the best grade in this area because testers said it protected them from sunburn.

  • SPF 30
  • Sunscreen lotion with chemicals

Face Sunscreen with the Best Value

3.Hawaiian Tropic Matte Effect Lotion SPF 30

best sunscreens

This sunscreen is soft on the skin and gives just enough moisture for a lightweight, more inexpensive choice (though you might need an extra layer of moisturizer if your skin is on the dry side). This sunscreen received high marks from testers with darker skin tones, who said there was little to no white cast. It also has a light, pleasant fragrance. Remember that the texture may be a little sticky and runny. 

  • SPF 50
  • Sunscreen lotion with chemical and mineral ingredients
  • 80 minutes of water resistance

The Most Effective Sunscreen Spray

4. Sun Bum SPF 50 Original Sunscreen Spray

This tropical-scented Sun Bum spray was the clear victor in GH Beauty Lab testing, applying effortlessly and leaving no chalky residue on skin for people who like to spritz on their sun protection. The recipe won since it didn’t leave a white residue and offered great sunburn protection. 

Two testers claimed the “continuous and even” spray “covered my skin rapidly.” “I’d absolutely purchase this,” said another. It’s worth noting that some customers reported that it left an oily finish on their skin that took a long time to fade.

  • SPF 50
  • Sunscreen spray with chemicals
  • 80 minutes of water resistance

The Best Mineral Sunscreen for Face

5. CeraVe Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 Face Lotion

This sunscreen’s “silky texture” was a favorite with testers. It had a “velvety” sensation to it and didn’t leave the skin shiny or oily. The sunscreen received almost flawless marks for generating no irritation or redness, and several testers said that it performed well under makeup. After application, some people noticed a white cast or a little grey tone.

  • SPF 30
  • Sunscreen lotion with zinc oxide as a mineral
  • 40 minutes of water resistance

Mineral Sunscreen with the Best Price

6. Australian Gold Botanical Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50

best sunscreens of 2021

Mineral sunscreens don’t have to be expensive to be effective: This one scored well in our testing while costing less than half as much as other high-performing mineral choices. “It applied nicely, left minimal residue, and didn’t make me feel too sticky,” remarked one of the testers, who is allergic to chemical alternatives.

Warning: While this product does not feel greasy, it does leave behind a white cast that only grows brighter when skin is moist (i.e. after a dip in the pool or a sweaty outdoor run). It also soiled one of the testers’ swimming suits.  

  • SPF 50
  • Sunscreen lotion with minerals
  • 80 minutes of water resistance

Sunscreen that Dermatologists Recommend

7. La Roche Anthelios Mineral Zinc Oxide Sunscreen SPF 50

Dr. Chen personally recommends (and uses!) La-Roche Posay’s mineral SPF. “It’s super light, has zinc and titanium dioxide, and was created with delicate skin in mind,” she explains. The product dries to a matte finish and is completely undetectable on the skin. It also includes antioxidants and gives UVA and UVB protection, so it improves skin as well as protects it.

  • SPF 50
  • Lotion with zinc oxide minerals
  • 40 minutes of water resistance

Best Sunscreen for Face That Isn’t Heavy

8. Julep SPF 40 Invisible Facial Sunscreen Gel No Excuses

Julep sunscreen is light and simple to apply, leaving no white cast or oily residue behind, making it ideal for daily use for the face. This received flawless ratings in our Beauty Lab testing for not flowing into or irritating eyes and not creating breakouts. We found it to be a real universal product that worked well on all skin types, from dry to oily, and all skin tones, from light to dark. 

  • SPF 40
  • Sunscreen lotion with chemicals

Sunscreen with the Best Scent

9. Banana Boat Reef-Friendly Sunscreen Lotion by Light As Air

This drugstore sunscreen received the highest rating from testers because to its “pia colada” aroma, which one tester said placed her in a pleasant mood every time she used it. It’s also non-irritating to the eyes, according to the testers.

You also don’t have to be concerned about a white cast on your skin or garment transfer. Plus, the sunscreen is quite inexpensive, approximately three times less expensive than the average price of all of the products evaluated!

  • SPF 50
  • Sunscreen lotion with chemicals
  • 80 minutes of water resistance

Sunscreen with Zinc Oxide is the best.


This zinc oxide product glides on smoothly and produces a powdery, silky finish, according to our consumer testers. It “melted into” the skin of one of the testers. Yes, it’s a splurge (more than three times the average price of the others we tested), but if you’re looking for a high-end mineral choice, this is it. It was very mild on the skin, producing no irritation or stinging even when used near the eyes of our testers.  

  • SPF 50
  • Sunscreen lotion with minerals
  • 80 minutes of water resistance

What is the Best Sunscreen for Oily Skin?

11. BARE Republic Sunscreen Gel-Lotion with Minerals

This sunscreen received the highest score in this area after many testers said that it left a matte finish or helped regulate their oily skin throughout the day. It also received high reviews from testers for not leaving a shine after usage and remaining put throughout exercises. It’s worth noting, though, that some testers found it chalky and lacking in moisture, so you may need to top it with your preferred moisturizer.  

  • SPF 30
  • Gel-lotion containing zinc oxide
  • 40 minutes of water resistance

What is the Best Sunscreen for Dry Skin?

12. YourGoodSkin Anti-Oxidant Day Cream with SPF 30

When it comes to leaving testers’ skin moisturized, YourGoodSkin tied for first place in our Beauty Lab’s latest test. One person even said that the chemical composition felt more like a moisturizer than a sunscreen! It also received the top grade for aroma because of its mild, fresh perfume that wasn’t overbearing.

This is an excellent alternative for daily use since you can apply the sunscreen beneath your makeup without it interfering with your other products. It didn’t irritate the skin, create outbreaks, or leave a white cast, as we discovered. A few oily-skinned testers stated it left a small residue that added some undesirable shine, but that was easily hidden when the remainder of their makeup was done. 

  • SPF 30
  • Sunscreen lotion with chemicals

Sensitive Skin’s Best Sunscreen

13. Coola SPF 50 Sunscreen

Many testers remarked they forgot they were using Coola’s fruity sunscreen since it feels so light on their skin. It has the thickness and feel like a light skin lotion rather than an usual thick sunscreen, according to one reviewer. It received excellent rankings for being soft on skin, making it ideal for persons with sensitive skin (face and body). 

Warning: At first, the tropical aroma is rather intense. Some testers thought it was great, while others felt it was simply too much — despite the fact that it only lasts around 15 minutes. 

  • SPF 50
  • Sunscreen lotion with chemicals
  • 80 minutes of water resistance 

The Best Sunscreen That Isn’t Greasy

14. Kiehls SPF 50 Activated Sun Protector Sunscreen

Kiehl’s lotion, which is meant for both the face and the body, tied for first place in our 2017 Lab test. Its finest feature is that it doesn’t make skin feel greasy, oily, or slippery, even when exposed to the sun. This water-light lotion was described by customers as “moisturizing” and having a “neutral scent.” The sunscreen was runny as it came out of the container, according to a few testers. 

  • SPF 50
  • Sunscreen lotion with chemicals
  • 80 minutes of water resistance

These are best sunscreens as recommended by various prominent dermatologists from world over. But still it is highly recommended to go what suits your skin type and it’s needs. Nowadays in the beauty industry there is availability of so many products so one can easily choose keeping in mind their personal preferences. Abovementioned list of Best Sunscreens of 2021 gives you insight into what are the products recommendations in different categories.

The “best sunscreen” is a list of sunscreens that has been recommended by dermatologists. So, choose what suits your skin & its needs best and enjoy the sun!

Frequently Asked Questions

What sunscreen do dermatologists recommend?

A: A sunscreen with an SPF of at least 20 is recommended by dermatologists.

What are the top 5 sunscreens?

A: The best sunscreen for you is dependent on the type of skin that you have. If your skin is sensitive, look into a higher SPF or broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect against UVA and UVB rays.

What is a highly recommended sunscreen currently available?

A: The best sunscreen available at this time is the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen for Face SPF 50. This product has an excellent rating on Amazon currently with 4,843 reviews and its price point will not break your bank balance.

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