Sun Protection for Your Face: Prevent Skin Cancer & Wrinkles with Our Top 9 Picks

By Alexis Wolfer

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month – and while the month is practically over, Memorial Day seems to usher in the season of suntans, short-shorts and dermis-destroying time spent under the sun’s harmful rays. Sure, we all know that we should wear SPF daily (as Dr. Neal Schultz says, if there is enough natural light to see your hand in front of your face, there are enough UV rays to do damage), but not all of us do. However, considering that, according to the New York Times, the most common cancer in the United States is nonmelanoma skin cancer (with 3.5 million cases a year!), it’s vital that as we spend more and more time in the sunshine, we shield our precious skin as much as possible – not only to protect us from skin cancer, but also to prevent those wrinkles and sun spots that threaten to reveal our age.

While most of us are less discriminating with regard to the products we use on our bodies, finding a facial sunscreen that feels no heavier than our regular hydrating creams (and won’t clog our pores!), can be quite a challenge. Here, though, are 9 we’ve tried and, based on your desires, think you should consider!

For All Natural: Priori Natural Daily Protection SPF 25, $80,
This all-natural, lightweight formula is fortified with CoffeeBerry, a potent antioxidant, in order to protect against UV and free-radical damage. Plus, with a slight tint that can blend into all skintones, it’s great as an alternative to foundation in the summer.

For Travel: Ahava All-Day Sunshield Travel Kit, $25,
With an anti-aging SPF 30 moisturizer and an after-sun rehydrating balm, the convenient 2-in-1 pack is perfect for the weekend getaway (and small enough to adhere to the TSA carry-on rules).

See more of our travel essentials!

For Oil-Free: Korres Watermelon Lightweight Tinted Moisturizer, $28,
With medium coverage, this tinted and oil-free formula is great for those of us looking for a double duty foundation that will not only keep pores clog-free but also provide coverage for an even skintone.

For Men: Anthony Logistics for Men Facial Moisturizer SPF 15, $31,
Also available in oil-free, this marketed-to-men product is a light-weight yet effective moisturizer perfectly well suited for women as well!

For SPF 50: SkinCeuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense, $30,
With it’s chemical-filter-free formula packed with all the physical, proven broad-spectrum filters, this non-irritating SPF is ideal for even the most sensitive skin. What has us sold, though, is its mattifying effect and transparent finish, which keeps us looking sheen-free all day long.

The ideal manicure for summer fun!

For Lightweight: Laura Mercier Flawless Skin, $45,
While certainly pricey for the small size, this is, by far, the lightest weight formula we’ve ever sampled, and, coupled with its oil-controlling properties, ideal for those of us unaccustomed to wearing moisturizer and uncomfortable with the feel of  shine-inducing sunscreens.

For Tinted: La Mer The SPF 18 Fluid Tint, $65,
Substitute you’re regular foundation for this tinted sunscreen from La Mer and you’ll never go back. Not only will it protect you from harmful UV rays, but also, with phototonic gemstones, will allow the beneficial light to reach your skin, all the while keeping the destructive rays away.

For Water Resistant: California Baby Everyday/Year-Round Sunscreen, $19.99,
Proven to retain its effectiveness through 80 minutes of water activity or sweat, this formula is ideal for days spent in the water or exercising outdoors. Plus, it’s non-chemical, baby-safe formula won’t sting your eyes or irritate you skin.

For the Beach: Smart Girls Who Surf Face Stick, $12.99,
While liquid sunscreens can get runny in the hot summer sun and, unfortunately, sometimes even leak in our beach bags, this organic and water-resistant stick is perfect for touch-ups on hot beach days. Even better, it’s organic and eco-friendly!

Still want to look like you’ve been sun tanning? Check out our tips for perfectly applying self tanner!