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7 Best Face Sunscreens for Mature Skin To Ward Off Wrinkles and More

Plus, why you really should be wearing it every day

We all probably have memories of being slathered down with sunscreen from head to toe when we were little. I mean, how could we forget the greasy feeling and the inevitable white cast left on our face, no matter how long we attempted to blend it in. Thankfully nowadays, there are so many amazing face sunscreen formulations on the market that we no longer have to dread putting it on. Here, we talked to dermatologists about why applying face sunscreen is so important — especially for mature skin — and the best face sunscreens to add to your beach bag.

Why do we need to wear face sunscreen?

If you haven’t been told enough already, let us remind you that SPF is absolutely essential for protecting your skin from the sun. That that’s especially true for the delicate skin on your face, which is thinner than the rest of your body. Sunscreen helps protect from a painful sunburn, and also combats signs of aging, including discoloration, fine lines, wrinkles and more.

mature woman applying face sunscreen

“Wearing sunscreen on the face (in addition to the body) is imperative for several reasons,” affirms Pooja Rambhia, MD, board-certified dermatologist based in New York City. “Most importantly, the skin on the face has significantly higher exposure to ultraviolet rays than body skin, which is more commonly covered. Because of this higher cumulative exposure to UV rays, facial skin is more prone to sunburns and skin cancer, in addition to showing early signs of aging (pigmentation, wrinkles, skin laxity).”

Why is sunscreen essential specifically for mature skin?

Everyone can benefit from wearing sunscreen, no matter their age, gender, race, etc. We all need protection from UV rays, and applying SPF is the easiest way to do that. However, it’s especially important for mature skin to be wearing sunscreen. Why? For starters, our skin gets “weaker” — meaning it’s more prone to damage and signs of aging — as we age. In other words, the “quality” of our skin goes down.

“As we grow older, our skin undergoes a decline in quality influenced by various factors such as photodamage, the natural aging process, hormonal changes and the environment,” explains Dr. Rambhia. “This decline manifests in a decrease in the production of collagen and elastin proteins, crucial for maintaining the skin’s firmness and elasticity.”

mature woman putting sunscreen on outside

Further, there’s evidence that a large majority of signs of aging on our skin is from UV exposure. And thankfully, damage from sun exposure is something we can try to prevent. And simply slathering on some face sunscreen every day (no matter the weather) can do wonders in reducing age spots. “Studies show that approximately 80% of facial skin aging is thought to be related to ultraviolet exposure, which can manifest as fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, blood vessels, hyperpigmentation and even skin cancer,” affirms Dr. Rambhia.

For mature skin specifically, wearing sunscreen “can help to prevent UV radiation breakdown of elastin and collagen that contributes to skin laxity and wrinkles, thereby helping to stave of signs of premature aging. It also will help to prevent against the formation of sunspots. Most importantly, sunscreen will help to protect against skin cancer as mature skin has a higher risk of developing skin cancer due to chronic, cumulative UV exposure,” says Dr. Rambhia.

How often should you apply face sunscreen?

You should be wearing sunscreen every single day, all year round. Dr. Rambhia suggests wearing an SPF of at least 30. And she says it’s best to reapply every two hours if outside, or immediately after swimming or sweating. “This [applying every day] may seem daunting to those that are not in the habit of doing so,” she says. “But I explain that it should be thought of as a non-negotiable in your morning routine (just like brushing your teeth or your daily cup of coffee!).”

The 7 best face sunscreens

If you’re ready to start adding face sunscreen to your skincare routine or just are looking for a new one to try, we have you covered. Keep scrolling for Dr. Rambhia’s picks for the best face sunscreens on the market.

Neova Silc Sheer 2.0 SPF 40

Neova Silc Sheer 2.0 SPF 40

Although a bit pricey, you’re getting a great, high quality sunscreen for your buck. “This is a micronized, tinted physical and chemical sunscreen that is cosmetically elegant, blends into a broad range of skin tones seamlessly and contains DNA repair enzymes that can help mitigate early signs of skin aging. Additionally, there is no white cast and no greasy residue, making it the perfect summertime sunscreen for a broad range of skin tones,” says Dr. Rambhia.

Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Sunscreen Lotion

Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Sunscreen Lotion

For those with oily-prone skin, this Neutrogena face sunscreen is perfect. It’s oil-free, so you won’t have to worry about any breakouts or a greasy feel.

TiZO3 Facial Mineral Sunscreen and Primer

TiZO3 Facial Mineral Sunscreen and Primer

A sunscreen-makeup duo is truly unmatched. This one “is a mineral-based sunscreen with both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide,” explains Dr. Rambhia. “It has a lightweight feel, a sheer finish and blends into darker skin types seamlessly.” Plus, she adds that it “serves as an excellent makeup primer.”

Toty Solaria Mineral SPF 50+ 30ml

Toty Solaria Mineral SPF 50+

Have a vacation coming up? You’ll want to stock up on a travel-size sunscreen. We like this one by Sofia Vergara’s beauty brand, Toty. And best of all, it contains antioxidants to help fight environmental damage.

Isdin Eryfotona Ageless Ultralight Tinted Mineral SPF 50

Isdin Eryfotona Ageless Ultralight Tinted Mineral SPF 50

“This sunscreen has a very light, quickly absorbing, 100% tinted mineral sunscreen that is non-comedogenic,” says Dr. Rambhia. “And [it] contains peptide complex that helps to support collagen production to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also blends into a broad range of skin tones.”

La Roche-Posay Anthelios tinted light fluid sunscreen SPF 50
La Roche-Posay

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Tinted Face Sunscreen SPF 50

If you’re headed to the beach or pool, you’ll want a water-resistant sunscreen, like this La Roche-Posay pick. Dr. Rambhia recommends this one because it’s a “100% mineral sunscreen that is water-resistant, fast-absorbing with a matte finish and contains antioxidants for maximal protection against free-radical damage. This is especially important in the summertime, with higher amounts of UV-exposure.”

Supergoop! 100% Mineral (Re)setting Powder SPF 35

Supergoop! 100% Mineral (Re)setting Powder SPF 35

Yep, these even make setting powders with sunscreen now! SPF powders are perfect for the summertime, in case you sweat and need a touch up. “This mineral sunscreen is a perfect setting powder to use upon initial makeup application and can mattify shine that builds up throughout the day, in addition to providing UVA/UVB protection,” recommends Dr. Rambhia. “This product makes it so easy to reapply sunscreen on top of your existing makeup throughout the day.”

For more on sun protection, click through these stories:

The Anti-Sunscreen Trend Is Here: Why People Are Ditching Sunscreen and Why It Is Important Not To

How to Protect Your Hair and Scalp From the Sun, Plus the Products That Make It Easy

16 Best Summer Beauty Heroes to Look and Feel Refreshed + Glowy All Season Long

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