If you’re an avid Allure reader (and I’m sure you are), you’re probably aware of our editors’ golden rule to skin care: sunscreen, and a whole bunch of it. We can write a manifesto on why UV protection with a broad-spectrum SPF rating of at least 30 is non-negotiable for everyone’s skin-care routines, but it’s especially important for those with maturing skin to prevent increased signs of aging. Sure, there are tons of sunscreen formulations to trial, but we tapped some of the best board-certified dermatologists in the nation to create a definitive list of the best sunscreens for mature skin — you’re welcome.
So, why should those with maturing skin types invest in a quality sunscreen formula? Well, on top of preventing issues like skin cancer and sunburn, Margarita Lolis, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in Hackensack, New Jersey, says applying (and reapplying) a broad-spectrum sunscreen will minimize the appearance of concerns like fine lines, sun spots, and decreased skin laxity. “Unprotected sun exposure drastically accelerates the appearance of aging skin,” she says. “While mature skin is already experiencing these effects absent sun exposure, not protecting your skin with sunscreen daily only sends the aging process into hyperdrive.”
Minimizing signs of sun damage and aging skin is easier than ever, thanks to these derm-approved sunscreen formulas. Not only will they provide all of the sun protection you need, but each formula is also spiked with nourishing ingredients like free radical-fighting antioxidants and skin-plumping hyaluronic acid, by the way.
Our Top Picks:
- Best Overall: EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46, $41
- Allure Readers’ Favorite: Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40, $38
- Prevents + Repairs Sun Damage: Isdin Eryfotona Actinica Sunscreen SPF 50+, $60
- Sensitive Skin-Friendly: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Moisturizing Face Serum SPF 60+, $14
- Best Drugstore: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer SPF 30, $22
EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46
Allure editors love EltaMD’s UV Clear SPF 46 so much that this face sunscreen nabbed our highly-coveted Best of Beauty Award back in 2018, and James Y. Wang, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in Los Angeles, loves it as much as our staff does. He calls this mineral-based facial sunscreen “one of the lightest and silkiest skin-care products on the market” and calls out its star ingredient, niacinamide, for its complexion-brightening properties.
Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40
When it comes to Supergoop’s Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40, we can’t seem to find a single person that doesn’t like its transparent, white cast-free formula. This matte-finish chemical sunscreen is so beloved by our readers that it’s an Allure Readers’ Choice Award 2023 winner and Dr. Wang gives this formulation his own seal of approval, too. “This is a wonderfully invisible and light sunscreen with some additional beneficial ingredients, such as soothing frankincense and antioxidant-rich red algae,” he says. It’s also worth mentioning that this sheer sunscreen is also water-resistant for up to 40 minutes and acts as a makeup primer.
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer SPF 30
Dry skin types, prepare to quench your thirsty skin with the La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer SPF 30. This moisturizing sunscreen is one of Dr. Wang’s favorite drugstore formulations for its trifecta of skin enhancers, including hydrating glycerin, brightening niacinamide, and moisture-sealing ceramides. Its lightweight, lotion-like texture makes this formula easy to blend seamlessly onto any skin tone, and, most importantly, it provides broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection against the sun’s rays.
SkinCeuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50
UVA and UVB rays don’t stand a chance against the SkinCeuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50. This sunscreen guards against sun damage with the help of mineral UV blockers titanium dioxide and zinc oxide while antioxidant-rich plankton extract protects delicate skin against environmental aggressors.
Cosrx Vitamin E Vitalizing Sunscreen SPF 50+
Dr. Wang says he’s also a fan of Cosrx’s Vitamin E Vitalizing Sunscreen SPF 50+ for the inclusion of its hero ingredient, antioxidant vitamin E, which protects against free radical damage and provides much-needed moisture replenishment. “Free radicals can contribute to premature aging, so the presence of vitamin E may help maintain the health and vitality of maturing skin,” he says.
Isdin Eryfotona Actinica Sunscreen SPF 50+
Isdin’s Eryfotona Actinica Sunscreen SPF 50+ is a tried-and-true formula that Dr. Lolis swears by in her own skin-care regimen. “This formulation contains patented DNA repair technology that is clinically proven to repair existing sun damage caused by years of unprotected sun exposure,” she says.
Eucerin Sensitive Mineral Face Tinted Sunscreen Lotion SPF 35
On top of its universal tint that blends transparently on a wide range of complexions (including darker skin tones), Dr. Lolis says she’s a fan of Eucerin’s Sensitive Mineral Face Tinted Sunscreen Lotion SPF 35 for its mineral-based zinc oxide formula. “Zinc oxide creates a physical barrier to the skin which allows the harmful rays of the sun to bounce off the skin, not get absorbed and converted to heat like chemical sunscreens,” she says.
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Moisturizing Face Serum SPF 60+
If your skin is sensitive, we recommend grabbing a bottle of Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Moisturizing Face Serum SPF 60+, stat. This sunscreen is as light as your favorite serum and contains moisturizing vitamin E to condition and soothe skin while making it look dewy and healthy. This formula is also lightweight, fragrance-free, and does not contain oxybenzone. “This is one of the few sunscreen serums on the market that is great for people who do not like a sticky film or sunscreen smell,” he says.
Colorescience Total Protection No-Show Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50
If you’re looking for an intensive formula that’ll go beyond sun protection, Dr. Lolis loves Colorescience’s Total Protection No-Show Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 for its conditioning and hyperpigmentation-reducing properties. As it guards your skin against UVA, UVB, and blue light rays, a combination of moisturizing bisabolol, hydrating mushroom extract, and dark spot-diminishing antioxidants work their nourishing wonders on your skin. It’s also worth mentioning that this is an oil-free formulation, making it a great physical sunscreen pick for those who are breakout-prone or have oily skin.
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