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New to skin care? Sunscreen is a great place to start. In addition to protecting against skin cancer, it’s the single best thing you can do to prevent premature aging. Confused about what to buy? These three get top marks (for not leaving any marks on our face).

Amazon

Editor’s Pick: EltaMD UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 46

The Facts:

  • One of the top recommended sunscreens by dermatologists
  • Formulated with zinc oxide to protect against UVA and UVB rays
  • Has niacinamide, an anti-inflammatory ingredient that can help clear skin

Once upon a time, sunscreen was a nightmare to use. It was thick, it was chalky, it smelled like piña coladas and regret. This was the first formula one editor tried (nearly seven years ago) that made her see the light: “I grew up struggling with acne and was extremely wary of anything that might clog my pores. This didn’t break me out or aggravate my temperamental skin, so it quickly become a staple in my daily routine.” And though there’s still more research to be done on whether or not certain commonly used sunscreen ingredients are safe to use, the only two that have been cleared by the FDA for now are zinc oxide (which is what this has) and titanium dioxide.

Buy it ($35)

Amazon

Splurge-Worthy: Tizo 2 Non-Tinted Facial Mineral Sunscreen SPF 40

The Facts:

  • Has a soft, matte finish
  • Uses both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to protect skin
  • Water-resistant for up to 80 minutes

 

Somewhat of a hidden gem, this sunscreen has grown quite the loyal following on Amazon. One reviewer says, “it’s hands down the best sunscreen” and she “prays they never stop making it.” What makes it so gosh darn great? Well, for starters, it doesn’t make your face look pale or greasy. Then there’s the fact that it doesn’t sting if it gets in your eyes. (Calling all runners, bikers, swimmers and heavy sweaters.) And did we mention that it has the most incredible silky finish that basically doubles as a primer for your makeup? We’ll take two tubes, please and thank you.

Buy it ($42)

Amazon

Best Value: Australian Gold Botanical Sunscreen SPF 50

The Facts:

  • Tinted formula with SPF 50
  • Has botanical antioxidants like kakadu plum, eucalyptus and red algae
  • Clean, powder-like matte finish 

Consider the fact that you’re supposed to use two milligrams of sunscreen per square centimeter of skin (i.e., two tablespoons’ worth for any areas that are exposed to sunlight and a nickel-sized amount for your face alone). Factor in that you’re supposed to reapply every few hours. If you’re actually vigilant about your SPF (in which case, we applaud you), that can quickly add up—which is precisely what makes this drugstore buy so great. It has the cosmetic elegance (read: non-chalkiness) that rivals some of the fancier formulas we’ve tried at a third of the cost. Only caveat? It has a light tint that may require some additional rubbing in.

Buy it ($12) 

RELATED: The One Place You’re Forgetting to Apply Sunscreen (but Really Should)

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