Up until last year, I didn’t consider my skin “sensitive.” Before jumpstarting the transition to a more sustainable routine (more on this later), I had grown accustomed to trying every product that landed on my desk or inside my work bag during a random drugstore stop. My face and body almost never had an adverse reaction to whatever I was slathering on—in short, my skin was basically Teflon. That is, until, I started seeing tiny, flaky splotches of skin on my legs and around my chin last winter. Hello, eczema! Now I’m obsessed with reading product labels and seeking out formulas that won’t leave my skin itchy and inflamed, including the best SPF for sensitive skin. It’s especially important during the summer, but ultimately, sun protection is on my mind every day of the year.
Sunscreen comes in many forms. Spray, lotion, gel-cream, powder; you name it and one brand probably has at least two versions of it. Unfortunately, the wide gamut of options means little to my memory, because I still manage to forget applying sunscreen to my face or body every other day. (I know I’m not the only one.) And if you also have sensitive skin, remembering to apply SPF is only half the battle. There is also the challenge of discovering products that are made without potentially harmful additives that could cause flare-ups, allergic reactions, and more. I’ve done my fair share of research, review reading, and swatching to find some top-notch hair, skin, and makeup options that not only help shield the skin from UVA and UVB rays but provide coverage and moisture too. Ahead are just 11 of them to add to your shopping list.
Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30
A sheer, chemical-free sunscreen free of fragrance and essential oils and chock full of antioxidants to provide moisture and anti-aging benefits.
Physicians Formula Natural Defense Protect Your Prime Oil SPF 15
An alcohol-free, fast-absorbing face oil made with an exclusive complex that defends the skin against sunlight, pollution, and blue light.
Coola Classic Sunscreen Spray Fragrance-Free SPF 50
A water-resistant, ultra-fine sunscreen mist made without fragrance and infused with 70 percent organic ingredients including cucumber and algae.
Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40
A squalane-based hybrid between a tinted moisturizer and foundation that helps the skin to seal in moisture (hyaluronic acid) and improve texture (niacinamide).
Sun Bum Sunscreen Scalp Spray SPF 30
A nourishing SPF mist made specifically for protecting the oft-forgotten scalp, no matter your hair type.
Babo Botanicals Daily Sheer Tinted Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 Fragrance Free for Sensitive Skin
A moisturizing (and tinted) mineral sunscreen enriched with ingredients that moisturize, soothe, and brighten.
It Cosmetics CC+ Cream with SPF 50+
A cult-favorite CC cream that color corrects, provides sun protection, and delivers multiple anti-aging ingredients into the skin.
Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 60
A hypoallergenic and water-resistant mineral sunscreen made to protect sensitive skin without causing irritation.
Aveeno Positively Mineral Sensitive Skin Daily Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50
A TSA-friendly sunscreen made with naturally-sourced zinc oxide and soothing oat.
EltaMD UV Clear Tinted Face Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 46
A dermatologist-recommended tinted moisturizer made with ingredients that target dark spots, acne, and rosacea.
bareMinerals ORIGINAL Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15
A fan favorite vegan powder foundation made without talc and other fillers that could irritate sensitive skin.
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