Not counting general laziness and forgetfulness, one of the main reasons we don’t wear sunscreen 365 days of the year is because it can be goopy, chalky, and make your face feel super greasy. Plus, sunscreen can ruin your makeup. It’s summer, so this definitely isn’t the season to be skipping sunscreen. However, that doesn’t mean we have to suffer with the same old tropical-scented white goop. I tested a range of different facial sunscreens in different formulas and prices to see what ones weren’t greasy and didn’t leave a white film on my face.
Here are the results:
1. Super Fluid UV Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ (Kiehl’s)
Like the name states, this is a liquid sunscreen. You shake the bottle then carefully dispense it out. Warning: Be careful not to tip too much out because it comes out fast. I was surprised by how light it was and the lack of smell. It absorbed instantly, leaving no greasiness or chalky texture. The only downfall I could see is not applying enough of it because of the different consistency.
2. Shade Broad Spectrum Sunscreen Moisturizer SPF 30 (Osmosis)
This sunscreen moisturizer definitely reassembles a lightweight moisturizer over a goopy sunscreen. It is very lightweight and makes my skin feel softer. It initially goes on your face white, but all it takes is a quick rub to blend it in. It has what I would describe as a subtle spicy lemon smell that is quite nice. Think lemon mixed with ginger.
3. 8hr Mattifying Moisturizer Sunscreen SPF 20 (Sephora)
This sunscreen doesn’t have as much SPF as some of the others on the list, but it does promise to keep your skin matte. It feels like a gel moisturizer and has a pleasant cooling effect. After I applied it, my forehead was immediately dry. There was no greasy residue. Oily-skinned girls, this is a great sunscreen for you.
4. Sun Specialist High Protection Cream SPF 40 (Jurlique)
This sunscreen is suitable for use on your face and body, but I didn’t find it too heavy on my face. It is quite easy to blend in, thanks to the lotion formula. It didn’t leave a residue or chalkiness; instead, it made my skin feel a lot softer. It has a woodsy scent that may not be for everyone, but it fades once you apply it to your face/body.
5. Hello Kitty Mineral Faces Sunscreen Lotion SPF 45 (Australian Gold)
This sunscreen earns points just for the packaging. The mineral sunscreen doesn’t have any noticeable scent, and it has a thicker cream consistency. It takes some rubbing in to get rid of the white cast, but when I blended it in, there was no chalky glow, and I didn’t even notice it on my face. Another bonus: It is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.
6. Mineral Broad Spectrum Moisturizer SPF 40 (Mineral Fusion)
This mineral moisturizer has a similar texture to the previous one. It requires the same about of rubbing to get rid of the white cast. The package suggests waiting 3-5 minutes for it to dissipate before moving onto your primer, but the white tinge will disappear before then. It has a soft lemony scent that is pleasant and doesn’t scream, “I’m wearing sunscreen.”
7. Peony Brightening UV Shield Sunscreen SPF 50+ (Fresh)
This sunscreen has a similar consistency to a gel moisturizer. You’ll be surprised when you squeeze it out because it’s beige with a slight pink undertone. When I applied it, it felt more like a BB cream, and it also had the same magic. It actually goes make your face look brighter and improves your skin tone. I would skip wearing foundation with it. If you’re wondering if it really does smell like peonies, you’ll notice a very faint floral smell when you’re applying it.
8. Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer SPF 45 (Neutrogena)
This is marketed as a moisturizer, but the thicker white consistency is more like a traditional sunscreen. It blends in better than the average sunscreen and smells more like a moisturizer than SPF protection. However, it did make my face feel greasy after I rubbed it in.
9. Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 36 (Equitance)
Here’s another fluid sunscreen. This is similar to the Kiehl’s one. It has a weightless consistency and seems to disappear as soon as you touch it to your face. There is no rubbing involved to great rid of that white cast, and there is no telltale sunscreen smell.
10. Armada Sport Extreme Outdoor Active Skin Cover SPF 50+ (VMV Hypoallergenics)
This creamy sunscreen is suitable for use on your face and body. It comes out of the tube in a very pale yellow cream, but when I applied it to my face, I was surprised by how it seemed to magically turn into a clear lotion and absorb in. Your face may look a bit dewy until you rub it in, but after a few minutes, it will dissipate, and you won’t be left with any residue.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website's content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra's expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.