The Best Sunscreens To Wear Under Your Face Mask

Karina Hoshikawa
·4 mins read

We know, we know — between maskne and
dealing with un-breathable face coverings, the last thing you probably want on your skin is another layer of product right now. But if you're gearing up for one last socially-distanced hurrah this LDW, then both a mask and a bottle of sunscreen top the list of safe outdoor essentials.

"Just like sun-protective clothing, masks will physically block some UV light," NYC-based dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, tells us. "If you are wearing a face mask on a regular basis, then you may develop a tan line even from everyday exposure."

No thanks! Enter sunscreen, which will ensure you're fully protected and can help prevent unwanted tanning to an extent. "I recommend mineral-based sunscreens — zinc oxide not only gives broad-spectrum UV protection, but also forms a physical barrier between your skin and the face mask," Dr. Zeichner explains. One formula to skip if you're concerned about transfer? "Tinted sunscreen can be used, but they are much more likely to stain or soil your face mask," he adds.

Ahead, we've compiled our favorite lightweight sunscreens to keep on rotation while mask-wearing protocols remain in effect.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

<h3>Glossier Invisible Shield</h3><br>This formula has the look and feel of a makeup primer, but with the added benefit of SPF. Better yet, the clear finish means you don't need to worry about product transfer on your <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2020/05/9782883/stylish-fashion-face-mask-coronavirus" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:brand-new floral face mask" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">brand-new floral face mask</a>.<br><br><strong>Glossier</strong> Invisible Shield, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2Fglossier.79ic8e.net%2Fk2ryM" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Glossier" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Glossier</a>

Glossier Invisible Shield


This formula has the look and feel of a makeup primer, but with the added benefit of SPF. Better yet, the clear finish means you don't need to worry about product transfer on your brand-new floral face mask.

Glossier Invisible Shield, $, available at Glossier
<h3>Eleven by Venus Williams On-The-Defense Sunscreen SPF 30</h3><br>We can't think of a higher stamp of approval than getting a sign-off by legendary tennis champ Venus Williams. This invisible cream goes one step further and gives skin a filter-like, demi-matte finish. Game, set, match.<br><br><strong>Eleven by Venus Williams</strong> On-The-Defense Sunscreen SPF 30, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fcredobeauty.com%2Fproducts%2Fon-the-defense-sunscreen-spf-30" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Credo" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Credo</a>

Eleven by Venus Williams On-The-Defense Sunscreen SPF 30


We can't think of a higher stamp of approval than getting a sign-off by legendary tennis champ Venus Williams. This invisible cream goes one step further and gives skin a filter-like, demi-matte finish. Game, set, match.

Eleven by Venus Williams On-The-Defense Sunscreen SPF 30, $, available at Credo
<h3>Aveeno Positively Mineral Sensitive Skin Daily Sunscreen Lotion with SPF 50<br></h3><br>Calling all sensitive skin types: Aveeno Positively Mineral provides high-level UV protection and has colloidal oatmeal to coddle sun-damaged skin. Dr. Zeichner gives it two thumbs up.<br><br><strong>Aveeno</strong> Positively Mineral Sensitive Skin Daily Sunscreen Lotio, $, available at <a href="https://amzn.to/31VRwBr" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Amazon" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Amazon</a>

Aveeno Positively Mineral Sensitive Skin Daily Sunscreen Lotion with SPF 50


Calling all sensitive skin types: Aveeno Positively Mineral provides high-level UV protection and has colloidal oatmeal to coddle sun-damaged skin. Dr. Zeichner gives it two thumbs up.

Aveeno Positively Mineral Sensitive Skin Daily Sunscreen Lotio, $, available at Amazon
<h3>Solara Suncare Time Traveler Ageless Daily Face Sunscreen<br></h3><br>Another Dr. Zeichner fave: this indie Solara formula with zinc oxide and soothing botanicals. <br><br><strong>Solara Suncare</strong> Time Traveler Ageless Daily Face Sunscreen, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Ffave.co%2F3biDpZT" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Free People" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Free People</a>

Solara Suncare Time Traveler Ageless Daily Face Sunscreen


Another Dr. Zeichner fave: this indie Solara formula with zinc oxide and soothing botanicals.

Solara Suncare Time Traveler Ageless Daily Face Sunscreen, $, available at Free People
<h3>Sun Bum Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50<br></h3><br>"This is a non-greasy formula that fully rubs into the skin," Zeichner says of this under-$20 pick with added moisturizing benefits.<br><br><strong>Sun Bum</strong> Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ulta.com%2Fmineral-sunscreen-lotion-spf-50%3FproductId%3DxlsImpprod18321077" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Ulta Beauty" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Ulta Beauty</a>

Sun Bum Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50


"This is a non-greasy formula that fully rubs into the skin," Zeichner says of this under-$20 pick with added moisturizing benefits.

Sun Bum Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50, $, available at Ulta Beauty
<h3>Pipette Mineral Sunscreen</h3><br>Believe it or not, this chic sunscreen isn't just for bébé — although it was formulated to be gentle enough for sensitive bums. According to reviewers, the lotion goes on smoother than silk, and the generous size means you get more bang for your buck.<br><br><strong>Pipette</strong> Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Ffave.co%2F2QLHrAC" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Pipette" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Pipette</a>

Pipette Mineral Sunscreen


Believe it or not, this chic sunscreen isn't just for bébé — although it was formulated to be gentle enough for sensitive bums. According to reviewers, the lotion goes on smoother than silk, and the generous size means you get more bang for your buck.

Pipette Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50, $, available at Pipette
<h3>Elta MD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46</h3><br>If you've got acne-prone or oily skin, this dermatologist-favorite formula might already be on your radar. We find the lightweight texture plays especially nicely under a mask. <br><br><strong>EltaMD</strong> UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dermstore.com%2Fproduct_UV%2BClear%2BBroadSpectrum%2BSPF%2B46_20567.htm" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:DermStore" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">DermStore</a>

Elta MD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46


If you've got acne-prone or oily skin, this dermatologist-favorite formula might already be on your radar. We find the lightweight texture plays especially nicely under a mask.

EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46, $, available at DermStore
<h3>Thank You Farmer Sun Project Water Sun Cream</h3><br>One of the most popular <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/best-korean-sunscreen" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:K-beauty sunscreens" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">K-beauty sunscreens</a> in the game is currently on sale at Soko Glam. (Think the hydrating, non-greasy texture of <a href="https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/tatcha-water-cream-moisturizer-review" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Tatcha's Water Cream" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Tatcha's Water Cream</a>, but with SPF 50 PA+++ benefits.)<br><br><strong>Thank You Farmer</strong> Sun Project Water Sun Cream, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Ffave.co%2F2ELiByi" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Soko Glam" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Soko Glam</a>

Thank You Farmer Sun Project Water Sun Cream


One of the most popular K-beauty sunscreens in the game is currently on sale at Soko Glam. (Think the hydrating, non-greasy texture of Tatcha's Water Cream, but with SPF 50 PA+++ benefits.)

Thank You Farmer Sun Project Water Sun Cream, $, available at Soko Glam
<h3>Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40</h3><br>Supergoop!'s best-selling sunscreen is another highly-reviewed pick that's perfect if you want a barely-there feel and crystal-clear finish on skin.<br><br><strong>Supergoop!</strong> Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Ffave.co%2F2EMFotp" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Sephora" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Sephora</a>

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40


Supergoop!'s best-selling sunscreen is another highly-reviewed pick that's perfect if you want a barely-there feel and crystal-clear finish on skin.

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40, $, available at Sephora
<h3>Ghost Democracy Invisible Lightweight Daily Face Sunscreen SPF 33</h3><br>This just-launched mineral lotion is formulated with niacinamide and turmeric to clarify and brighten your skin, while zinc oxide does its thing to shield you from UV damage.<br><br><strong>Ghost Democracy</strong> Invisible Lightweight Daily Face Sunscreen SPF 33, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.verishop.com%2Fghost-democracy%2Fface-sunscreen%2Finvisible-lightweight-daily-face-sunscreen-spf-33%2Fp4352402391063" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Verishop" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Verishop</a>

Ghost Democracy Invisible Lightweight Daily Face Sunscreen SPF 33


This just-launched mineral lotion is formulated with niacinamide and turmeric to clarify and brighten your skin, while zinc oxide does its thing to shield you from UV damage.

Ghost Democracy Invisible Lightweight Daily Face Sunscreen SPF 33, $, available at Verishop
<h3>Everyday Humans Resting Beach Face</h3><br>Come for the cheeky name and packaging, stay for the green tea-infused hydrating serum texture that makes this formula one you'll actually look forward to smoothing on every day.<br><br><strong>Everyday Humans</strong> Resting Beach Face, $, available at <a href="https://go.skimresources.com/?id=30283X879131&url=https%3A%2F%2Ffave.co%2F3lCo37a" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Everyday Humans" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Everyday Humans</a>

Everyday Humans Resting Beach Face


Come for the cheeky name and packaging, stay for the green tea-infused hydrating serum texture that makes this formula one you'll actually look forward to smoothing on every day.

Everyday Humans Resting Beach Face, $, available at Everyday Humans

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