14 Holy-Grail Sunscreens That Won't Break You Out

Using skincare as a mode of self-care is one of the biggest skincare trends of 2021 so far, with decadent textures, spa-like aromas and luxurious packaging emerging high on all of our wish lists when it comes to investing in new beauty products. In fact, entire brands have launched this year with the sole aim of encouraging us to embrace skincare as a ritual rather than something to be rushed through. Case in point: Alicia Keys's new beauty brand, Keys Soulcare.

However, there's no getting away from the fact that there are certain products and ingredients that our skin actually needs to stay healthy regardless of how pampering they may or may not feel. There's one, in particular, that comes up time and again when I speak to skin experts: SPF.


(Image credit: @FIAHAMELIJNCK)

Sun damage is one of the major contributors to skin ageing, leading to a whole host of avoidable issues like pigmentation, fine lines and dryness. This is why, despite many of us only thinking about wearing SPF on our face during the sunnier months, leading dermatologist Hiva Fassihi, MD, advocates for wearing sun protection year-round. "Something that many of us don't consider is that most of us have sun damage within our skin that is yet to be visible," Fassihi explains. "This is why it is important to protect your skin at any age."


(Image credit: @MEGANADELAIDE)

I'll be honest though. Trying to decide on the best sunscreen for your face can feel like a bit of a thankless task. I've tried so many over the years, and there are still a huge number of formulas that tick those classic SPF tropes of being thick and greasy and lingering on the surface of your skin—not what you want when you're already prone to breakouts like me.

However, having tested probably hundreds of different sunscreens at this point, I now consider myself something of a connoisseur of facial SPFs and can attest to the fact that there are some truly brilliant formulations on the market right now. My criteria? That the sunscreen doesn't clog pores, works beneath makeup for daily wear and, most importantly, doesn't leave behind any white residue, which is essential for deeper skin tones.


(Image credit: @JEANNINE.ROXAS)

Keep scrolling for 14 of the best sunscreens for your face. 

Mica Ricketts