Which Facial Sunscreen Offers the Best Coverage? We Put 6 to the Test

Whether it was watching our grandmother smooth Coppertone over the backs of her hands or listening to our derm wax poetic on sun protection, the importance of wearing sunscreen has been etched into our minds. But with so many products on the market, from chemical formulas to mineral blocks, how do we determine which SPF is best?

On this week’s episode of “The Glow Up,” beauty director Jenny Jin goes under a UV light to test how well six facial sunscreens—from a light mist to a concentrated balm—cover up her complexion. Of the six, three utilize chemical protection, while the other three create a physical barrier on the skin. But wait, what exactly are the differences between chemical and mineral formulations?

According to NYC-based dermatologist Dhaval G. Bhanusali, M.D., chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays and scatter the light. They tend to be more water resistant, says the derm, so reach for them if you’ll be sweating or swimming. On the other hand, mineral (also referred to as physical) formulas deflect the UV rays by forming a protective shield, explains Dr. Bhanusali.

Watch as Jin applies each cream, spray and stick under UV light to find out which sunscreen covers best. And no matter which SPF is your fave, be sure to slather the stuff onto your face Every. Single. Day.

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Senior Social Strategy & Trends Editor

From 2017-2023 Michaela Magliochetti held the role of Senior Social Strategy & Trends Editor covering wellness, horoscopes, trends and more.