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Skin Care Academy

Best Sunscreens for Every Skin Type and Purpose

August 24, 2023

No matter the location or season, wearing sunscreen is a must – yes, even here in Canada, and even in winter. Sun exposure is responsible for a broad range of issues, like sunburn and skin cancer. Beyond those, it can also cause or worsen a broad range of skin concerns such as:

 

  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Skin sagging
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Facial veins or visible capillaries
  • Seborrheic keratosis
  • Actinic keratosis. 

 

Because of this, sunscreen not only protects you from sunburn and the carcinogenic effects of sun exposure, but it’s also responsible for keeping your skin looking firm, even, and youthful. 

A great sunscreen should protect you from both UVA and UVB rays. For an even more powerful anti-aging and anti-pigmentation effect, it’s better to choose a sunblock that also protects from infrared & high-energy visible lights which we’re regularly exposed to from computers, phones, and TV screens. 

But wearing sunscreen regularly can be a struggle, especially if you find most sunscreens irritate your skin or leave a white cast. That’s why we’ve curated this list of the best sunscreens here in Canada, approved by our team of medical aestheticians. 

 

#1- Best Overall: ZO Skin Health Sunscreen + Primer Broad-Spectrum SPF 30

From ZO Skin Health, this is a two-in-one sunscreen and primer that’ll keep you protected while ensuring your foundation glides on flawlessly. It’s our favourite for everyday wear thanks to its incredible elegant formula and powerful protection from various types of light. It’s made with silky silicones that turn the skin into an ultra-smooth canvas with blurred imperfections, making it also the best sunscreen for under makeup. 

It’s all-mineral with both zinc and titanium dioxide, so you may notice a slight white cast if you have a deeper skin tone. That said, not only will it defend your skin from the sun, but it also protects you from Infrared and High-Energy Visible light. 

 

Get the facts: 

  • Mineral 
  • 30 SPF
  • Soft matte finish with a primer effect

 

#2 – Best for Face & Body: Colorescience Total Protection™ No-Show™ Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50

This mineral formula is sheer, gentle, and light, which is why we think it’s the best sunscreen for the face. It’s a safe bet for everyone, regardless of skin type or skin tone. Yes, it’s a great sunscreen even if you have acne-prone skin! The formula has a natural finish that mimics skin beautifully, with added skin-soothing and anti-aging ingredients like silver ear mushroom extract and bisabolol. 

It’s made with 10% zinc oxide to provide complete protection from both UVA and UVB rays, keeping your skin totally protected. 

 

Get the facts: 

  • Mineral 
  • 50 SPF
  • Natural finish 
  • Suitable for all skin tones
  • Doesn’t stain clothes

 

#3 – Best for Body: Colorescience Sunforgettable® Enviroscreen™ Protection Body Shield SPF 50 Original 

We’ve got your face covered, but what about your body? This all-mineral sunscreen comes in a larger bottle, to protect you from head to toe. It’s a vacation must-have that’ll stay put for 80 minutes even after you dive into the water. 

This formula is lightly hydrating, non-greasy, and does not leave a white cast, so you’ll enjoy rubbing it on. It’s also available in a tinted Bronze version!

 

Get the facts: 

  • Mineral 
  • 50 SPF
  • Natural finish

 

#4 – Best for Sensitive Skin: ZO Skin Health Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 50

This is our best sunscreen for sensitive skin or for anyone who has recently undergone any advanced skin treatments. It’ll protect your skin from the sun when it’s most compromised, without causing any irritation. 

The high UVA and UVB protection come courtesy of gentle mineral filters, and there’s an added soothing dose of bisabolol and beta-glucan. Just note that it can have a very slight white cast. 

 

Get the facts: 

  • Mineral 
  • 50 SPF
  • Natural finish

 

#5 – Best for Acne-Prone Skin: SkinMedica® Daily Physical Defense® Sunscreen (Broad Spectrum SPF 34)

Many of the sunscreens on our list are a solid choice for all skin types, but this is definitely one of the best sunscreens for acne-prone skin. It’s an oil-free, non-comedogenic lotion with gentle, soothing ingredients that can help calm a breakout. 

The primer-esque formula keeps the skin from looking shiny or greasy, and also ensures it sits well under makeup! You can feel confident using it on a daily basis, as well as after procedures like laser or microneedling. 

 

Get the facts: 

  • Mineral 
  • 34 SPF
  • Natural-matte

 

#6 – Best for Anti-Aging: ZO Daily Sheer or Smart Tone Broad Spectrum SPF50 

All of our top sunscreens are already unbeatable at preventing premature skin aging, but ZO  takes it up a notch with this antioxidant-enhanced formula. With regular use, this sunscreen was found to actively improve skin firmness and elasticity. 

The elegant hybrid formula helps fade fine lines and wrinkles with the SOL-IR® Advanced Antioxidant Complex which rejuvenates the skin and addresses premature aging. Plus, it’s incredibly sheer and comfortable to wear, with a self-adjusting “Smart Tone” tint that ensures it’ll flatter all skin tones. 

 

Get the facts: 

  • Hybrid 
  • 34 SPF
  • Smart tone
  • Lightweight, sheer finish 

 

#7 – Best for Redness: ColoreScience All Calm® Clinical Redness Corrector SPF 50

This slightly tinted sunscreen corrects redness while calming and protecting your skin. The formula is fragrance-free. It features ColoreScience’s proprietary Biosolace® Complex and niacinamide to soothe the skin. It also contains iron oxides for added blue light protection. It’s a perfect option for days when you’re having a flare-up or irritation, and it’s also a great way to protect your skin post-procedure. 

 

Get the facts: 

  • Mineral 
  • 50 SPF
  • Natural finish

 

How do I apply sunscreen?

Even the best sunscreen must be applied after every two hours of activity or sun exposure, or else it can lose its efficacy. Make sure to apply at least a ¼ teaspoon of sunscreen to your face and neck, since using a smaller amount can reduce your protection level significantly.

For even better protection, always wear a wide-brimmed hat while out in the sun. 

 

Stay Protected 

All too often, sunscreens can feel heavy, greasy, or irritating to the skin. That’s not the case with the best sunscreens on our list! 

These elegant formulas keep you shielded while nourishing your skin with added skincare ingredients. From face to body, you’ll feel good about the protection you choose.  

If you’re not sure about the best sunscreen for you, our team at Discovery Laser would love to help you out! Reach out via our contact page, and we’ll be happy to help. 

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