Top Sunscreen Recommendations 2022

Affiliate Disclosure: I receive a small commission for purchases made via affiliate links.
How to cite: Wong M. Top Sunscreen Recommendations 2022. Lab Muffin Beauty Science. July 25, 2022. Accessed June 15, 2024.

It’s time for an updated sunscreen recommendations list! This is also available as a video here – the video also shows the texture and packaging of each sunscreen, but if you prefer reading the text version keep scrolling.

Fave Sunscreens 2022 thumbnail


First a bunch of disclaimers, because I do not have the self confidence to give my opinion without them. (I am working on that.)

This list is obviously subjective. Everyone has different likes and dislikes, so don’t assume you’ll like all of these. It’s a good idea to check out recommendations from people with similar skin to you, because you’ll probably like similar formulas.

I have oily to normal skin, it’s prone to clogged pores (especially with sunscreens), dehydration and hyperpigmentation. If you’re not sure about your skin type and conditions, The Lab Muffin Guide to Basic Skincare eBook can help you out. It also talks about how to choose and use products including sunscreen.

White cast is a problem with a lot of sunscreens. My skin tone is NC20 – if your skin is dark, look at reviews from people with a similar skin tone to check that it won’t show up on you.

Zinc white cast

I like high UVA protection because of my hyperpigmentation, which is genetic – my dad is basically a giant mole (I have a post on UVA if you want to read up more on that). I prefer products with newer filters because they usually feel lighter. I also like sunscreens that are formulated to sit nicely and not bunch up under makeup and make me look like I have face dandruff.


Also I’m Australian, but the vast majority of you watching this are not, so I’ll be talking about products that are and aren’t approved as proper therapeutic sunscreens in Australia. The ones that are will have a listing number in the format AUST L 000000.

Additionally for Australian sunscreens, SPF 50+ actually means above SPF 60, whereas it means above SPF 50 in the rest of the world. Things work differently here: we ride kangaroos (in pairs, because public transport), there was an emu war…

For those of you overseas interested in Australian sunscreens, Chemist Warehouse ship internationally and stock most of these.

Different sunscreens are also formulated for different purposes – for example, most popular Asian sunscreens are only meant for going to the office, so they might not hold up to dancing in the rain or eating a really spicy laksa. For moist activities, you probably want to look for a water resistant sunscreen instead.

It’s also good to avoid roasting in the sun even with sunscreen on, and to layer your protection – for example, use sun protective clothing, hats and sunglasses. Even if you try really hard, you’re probably not getting a perfect layer of sunscreen, so if you have a few other types of protection, you’ll still probably get good protection overall – your swiss cheese holes are unlikely to line up.

Related post: Do Hats and Umbrellas Protect Well From the Sun? (with video)


Related post: How to Choose UV Protective Clothing

And for all of these you want to be applying around ¼ teaspoon for your face, ½ teaspoon for face, neck and ears. Make sure you read the label for specific instructions for any sunscreen. My sunscreen questions post also has a lot more on how to use sunscreens.

Mandatory AU sunscreen statement: Always read the label and follow the directions for use. Limit sun exposure and use protective clothing, hats and eye wear. Reapply sunscreen regularly.

And a conflict-of-interest statement: all of these products were given to me as PR samples, or as part of a sponsorship. But about 95% of the sunscreens I’ve been given haven’t made it onto this list (or into any of my content at all), so I do have standards!

(It’s also worth noting that I’m at the point where I own way too many products I like in every category so really, almost no products are actually “worth buying” for me. A lot of sunscreen companies also know who I am and reach out to me to send samples.)

Onto the sunscreens!

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Invisible Fluid Facial Sunscreen

  • Australia (therapeutic, AUST L 315643), was available in the EU (replaced by UV Mune)
  • SPF 50+ (AU)
  • Broad Spectrum (AU)
  • No WR
  • Filters: Bemotrizinol (BEMT), Avobenzone, DTS, Ecamsule (TDSA), Octyl Triazone (EHT), Octisalate

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Invisible Fluid is also commonly called the Shaka Fluid. This is my partner’s favourite sunscreen, which he reviewed in our collaboration where I bullied him into using skincare.

According to him:

“This one it meets all the marks of my favorite sunscreen because it’s nice and thin, light, doesn’t leave a residue, smells nice (note: it’s fragrance-free, but I guess that’s “nice” by his criteria?) … nice screw top here, I’m not afraid of it exploding my backpack. This – this is the goods.”

This is a very lightweight, non-greasy sunscreen, designed for sensitive skin, and it’s pretty much invisible after you apply it. It’s fragrance-free, absorbs easily into skin, doesn’t clog pores and sits nicely under makeup. It’s just a comfortable daily sunscreen.

It’s also made to not sting eyes, and that seems to be true for most people who’ve reviewed this – eye sting seems to vary a lot though, and so far I don’t think there’s any real pattern with which ingredients sting or not, it changes a lot from person to person.

The packaging is also really nice. The liquid texture in this packaging with the small dropper opening also means that there’s less product wastage – unless your partner decides to apply it to his back one day for some reason, because some of us are unable to function in polite society.

There are very similar looking product in the US and EU so be careful – check the ingredients to make sure you’re buying the Australian version (or the old European version).

Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence

  • Japan (quasi-drug)
  • SPF 50+ 
  • PA++++
  • 80 min WR (?)
  • Filters: Bemotrizinol (BEMT), DHHB, Octinoxate, Octyl Triazone

Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence is the 2019 version, which as of right now is the newest version, sort of. There’s a 2021 Light Up version with a white cast on purpose, which is actually a common thing with Asian sunscreens, so check which one you’re buying.

This one doesn’t have a white cast, and it’s one of the most popular Asian sunscreens. The Watery Essence line is famous for having this really nice and light, fresh, non-sticky feeling on your face. It’s designed to work as a foundation primer as well, although it can pill a bit with some foundations.

I’m guessing it’s because it’s water resistant. Water resistant sunscreens tend to pill more because of the extra film-forming ingredients that help them stay in place. This claims to be 80 min water resistant – from what I can tell there’s no official water resistance standard in Japan, and there are a bunch of different standards around the world, so it’s hard to work out how water resistant it is after 80 minutes.

But it is one of the lightest, least pill-y water-resistant sunscreens out there.

Alcohol is up there on the ingredients list, which generally isn’t a problem, because it has a lot of moisturising ingredients as well to balance out any drying. Alcohol isn’t necessarily bad in skincare – I have a video that goes through all the evidence on that – but some people can have issues with it, so if that’s you, this might not be the best option. But a lot of people with sensitive skin do love this sunscreen.

It has a mild floral scent once the alcohol smell goes away.

The biggest downside to this sunscreen (and a lot of Japanese sunscreens in general) is that they tend to reformulate them every couple of years, which makes it really confusing to work out which one you’re buying, and which one people are reviewing.

But it’s great from a technology point of view – this version was updated with encapsulated UV filters they call the Micro Defense system, that help the sunscreen form a more continuous film on skin.

Beauty of Joseon Relief Sun Rice + Probiotics

  • Korea (functional cosmetic)
  • SPF 50+
  • PA++++
  • No WR
  • Filters: Octyl Triazone, DHHB, Iscotrizinol (DEBT), Bisoctrizole (MBBT)

Beauty of Joseon Relief Sun Rice + Probiotics is a Korean sunscreen, and it’s currently the one I’ve been recommending the most.

I know some people are a bit skeptical about Korean sunscreens after SPF-gate, but this is manufactured by Kolmar, who are widely recognised as the top Korean sunscreen producer, the SPF has been certified by two labs in two different countries (Korea and Spain), AND it’s actually approved as a sunscreen in Korea, so this is probably one of the most legit Korean sunscreens.

It’s really lightweight with a non-sticky moisturising finish similar to a light moisturiser, even if you apply lots of it. It doesn’t clump up or get cakey under makeup.

There’s no white cast on light and medium skin, but I have seen it show up on darker skin. It has no fragrance and no alcohol if those are problems for your skin.

The only issue is that this is designed to be lightweight and wash off easily, so if you’re sweaty or moving around a lot, very vigorously eating a spicy laksa, this probably won’t be as appropriate. But it’s great as an everyday sunscreen – maybe for a mild laksa day.

In terms of skincare ingredients it has rice extracts, which are meant to be great for hydration and for sensitive skin. There’s also glycerin, which is hydrating, as well as niacinamide and adenosine which are brightening and antiwrinkle ingredients used in a lot of Korean functional cosmetics.

Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Airy Sun Stick

  • Korea (functional cosmetic)
  • SPF 50+
  • PA++++
  • No WR
  • Filters: Homosalate, Octinoxate, Octisalate, DHHB, Bemotrizinol (BEMT)

Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Airy Sun Stick is a new entry to my list. This really intrigued me because this is the sunscreen Isntree recommend for oily and combination skin, and to me sticks have always been on the heavy side, but I think I have to change my opinion.

This is extremely light and non-sticky, it glides on smoothly and is designed not to clump even over makeup.

The stick has a droplet shape that’s designed to make it easier to apply on the curves of the face – next to your nose, around your eyes.

Like the Beauty of Joseon sunscreen, it’s made by Kolmar and is properly approved in Korea.

It also has niacinamide and adenosine, and is approved as a brightening and antiwrinkle functional cosmetic in Korea. It also has 8 types of hyaluronic acid in it, which means there are lots of different molecular sizes which can sink into skin at different depths and give more well-rounded hydration. There’s also a bunch of antioxidants and ceramide.

The biggest downside: this is very small, 22 g which is less than half the size of the Watery Sun Gel, another Isntree sunscreen that’s coming up in my recommendations (spoiler), but also more expensive.

It’s also a bit tricky to be confident about how much of a stick to apply. The AAD website recommends 4 swipes, but I’m not sure how they came up with that number.

I think sticks are really useful though – they usually have waxy ingredients that tend to stay put on skin a bit better than a lot of lotions, so if you have a great sunscreen that burns your eyes, try using a stick around your eyes and putting the stinging sunscreen on the rest of your face. You can also layer a translucent powder on top to try to keep it in place even more.

Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Mineral Sunscreen Stick

  • US (drug), possibly the same as the Australian version?
  • SPF 50+ (US)
  • Broad Spectrum (US)
  • 80 min WR (US)
  • Filter: Zinc Oxide

Neutrogena Sheer Zinc stick is another great option for using around your eyes.

I think a zinc stick is the safest option when it comes to preventing eye sting – on top of the stick benefits, you also avoid chemical sunscreens, some of them can cause stinging (although I also know some people who only get eye sting with mineral sunscreens). Like I said, eye sting is just all over the place.

Ultra Violette Supreme Screen

  • Australia (therapeutic, AUST L 307611), available in the UK (cosmetic)
  • SPF 50+ (AU)
  • Broad Spectrum (AU)
  • No WR
  • Filters: Bemotrizinol (BEMT), Octinoxate, MBBT

Ultra Violette Supreme Screen is an Australian sunscreen that’s their all-rounder product meant for all skin types. It’s hydrating so it doubles up as a moisturiser, but has a satin finish and works well as a primer under makeup. It has what they describe a “clean” sort of scent, and it has a bunch of antioxidants in it as well.


Most importantly, it has my favourite type of sunscreen packaging: a pump top. They’re just so handy and it makes it easy to remember how much you need to use.

I really love that Ultra Violette’s sunscreens were developed by women who have a lot of experience making products for a multi-step routine, like a morning routine that needs the sunscreen to be layered with skincare and makeup products. Some brands don’t seem to really take that into account and you end up looking like your face is falling off, but the whole Ultra Violette line was purposely designed to play well with other products, which is why I think they’ve gotten so popular.

As well as Australia, you can get Ultra Violette in a whole bunch of UK retailers. They have a few other really popular sunscreens too like the Queen Screen which is for dry skin.

Cancer Council Face Day Wear Fluid

  • Australia (therapeutic, AUST L 355796)
  • SPF 50+ (AU)
  • Broad Spectrum (AU)
  • No WR
  • Filters: Homosalate, Octocrylene, Avobenzone, Octyl Triazone, Bisoctrizole (MBBT), Bemotrizinol (BEMT)

Cancer Council Face Day Wear Fluid is another new entry on my list. It’s another Western-“lightweight” fluid sunscreen, launched late 2021 – I think they might’ve been inspired by the La Roche-Posay fluid. It’s a bit more affordable though, so it hurts less if someone decides to empty half the bottle on their back. It comes in a handy pump, which also makes it more likely that they’ll stop before that happens.

It’s recommended for combo and oily skin, absorbs quickly, dries smoothly on skin, and has a few mattifying ingredients.

In terms of eye sting, people have said it stings less than some of the other Cancer Council sunscreens like the Face Day Wear Matte, but it can still sting, so be warned.

I think my favourite thing about it is that it funds the Cancer Council, who do a lot of cancer research and provide cancer-related services.

Mecca To Save Face Superscreen

  • Australia (therapeutic, AUST L 321272)
  • SPF 50+ (AU)
  • Broad Spectrum (AU)
  • No WR
  • Filters: Bemotrizinol (BEMT), Avobenzone, Octocrylene, Ensulizole

Mecca To Save Face Superscreen is a recent-ish reformulation of their classic To Save Face sunscreen (look, the last few years are all just one big blur, I think it was late 2020?).

The old version was super popular in Australia, and so is this new version. It’s been designed to copy the original, all the inactive ingredients are the same. But it does have new filters!

They’ve gotten rid of oxybenzone, which isn’t that bad an ingredient really. But it’s the sunscreen active that gets all the bad press – it’s sort of like the Jar Jar Binks of sunscreen ingredients. And it’s actually rare to see it in Australian sunscreens, so I’m guessing that’s why they changed it.

So they took oxybenzone out, and added BEMT, also called Tinosorb S, which is a newer photostable filter that’s mostly used to boost UVA protection. It’s one of my favourite sunscreen ingredients.

Mecca is a beauty store in Australia, a lot like Sephora, so their sunscreen was purposely designed with makeup wearers in mind – it’s lightweight and non-greasy, and sits under foundation really nicely. It has a pretty matte finish, includes some moisturising ingredients and antioxidants like sodium PCA, vitamin E and pycnogenol.

It has a moderately strong floral scent, and a few people on the Mecca website have said it stings their eyes, so watch out for that. One really good thing about this is that there’s a mini 30 g version as well as a 75 g, so you can test it out thoroughly. If you’re in Australia you can also just go in store and try it on.

Ultraceuticals Ultra UV Protective Daily Moisturiser SPF 30 Mattifying

  • Australia (therapeutic, AUST L 251012)
  • SPF 30 (AU)
  • Broad Spectrum (AU)
  • No WR
  • Filters: Bemotrizinol (BEMT), Avobenzone, Ensulizole, Octinoxate, Octocrylene

Ultraceuticals Ultra UV Protective Daily Moisturiser SPF 30 Mattifying is the daily sunscreen that’s been on my recommendations list the longest.

It’s a mattifying sunscreen that absorbs quickly – there are silica microspheres in it that absorb excess skin oil and diffuse light to give a matte look, which is why it’s recommended for oily skin. But it also has a lot of moisturising ingredients in it too like my favourite hydrating humectant glycerin, as well as shea butter, hyaluronic acid, panthenol and niacinamide to give a boost of moisture to your skin. It doesn’t clog pores, sinks into skin quickly and there’s no whiteness. It comes in a handy pump tube.

Over the last 5-ish years I’ve been recommending this sunscreen, a lot of people have asked about the relatively low SPF 30. I think SPF 30 is fine for everyday use if you’re not getting a lot of sun, especially if you can apply a lot of it comfortably, since SPF depends on the amount. The biggest sunscreen study that discovered a lot of anti-cancer and anti-aging benefits was done using SPF 16 in the sunniest part of Australia (their kangaroo pouches actually have air con now). But it does feel a bit low, since everything else on the market is usually at least SPF 50.

So I was happy to see that there’s now an SPF 50 version of this, and it looks like it has a very similar ingredients list, and the reviews I’ve seen are very promising.

There’s also a hydrating version for drier skin.

Ultraceuticals products are on the expensive end, but I don’t mind as much because they’re a smaller brand, and they do a lot of clinical testing and original research – for example they published a paper which is one of the most heavily cited and ripped off papers about vitamin C. So the money is going to something better than, I don’t know, paying a celebrity to endorse it

Naked Sundays Hydrating Glow Mist

  • Australia (therapeutic, AUST L 370664)
  • SPF 50+ (AU)
  • Broad Spectrum (AU)
  • No WR
  • Filters: Avobenzone, Octocrylene, Homosalate, Octisalate

Naked Sundays Hydrating Glow Mist is a special use sunscreen I wanted to mention – Naked Sundays Hydrating Glow Mist. This is what I recommend for a quick sunscreen top-up over your makeup. It’s a pump spray – I’ve talked before about why I don’t like aerosol sprays – and it has pretty detailed instructions on how to apply it which I really like.

I have seen some people say that their spray packaging started leaking after they had it in their bag for a bit – but that hasn’t happened to mine.

This is non-sticky, non-greasy, has a bunch of hydrating ingredients in it, and it says it doesn’t need to be rubbed in. A spray wouldn’t be my top choice for reapplication if you’re getting a lot of sun, I’d recommend a proper reapplication of a regular lotion product – check out my sunscreen questions post for more about that.

Related post: Answering (Almost) All Your Sunscreen Questions (with video)

No longer recommended

Now it’s time for a moment of silence for the sunscreens that have exited my recommendations since last year.

Anessa Perfect UV Milk

The 2020 version was on my list, but I haven’t tried the newest 2022 version. The 2022 version has a blue label, and currently is even more expensive than the 2020 version for me.

The 2020 version was a bit heavy in texture for an Asian sunscreen but it worked well under makeup with no pilling despite being water resistant. People have said the 2022 version is a bit heavier and shinier.

Canmake Mermaid Gel Clear

I can also confirm that Canmake Mermaid Gel Clear was reformulated in 2020 – I think there were still some tubes of the old version floating around when I did my last list, but the new version apparently has more of a noticeable white cast, and is a bit more drying.

Azclear Action Day Moisturiser

Azclear Action Day Moisturiser also got reformulated and I haven’t tried the new version yet, but I’ve heard it’s quite different.

Honourable mentions

Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Watery Sun Gel

  • Korea (functional cosmetic)
  • SPF 50+
  • PA++++
  • No WR
  • Filters: Octisalate, Homosalate, Bemotrizinol (BEMT), Bisoctrizole (MBBT), Polysilicone-15, DHHB

Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Watery Sun Gel is what I recommend if you have drier skin, and you’ve found that Asian sunscreens aren’t necessarily moisturising enough.

This has a heavier texture and is designed for dry and sensitive skin – it’s been clinically tested to not irritate skin. There’s no white cast, no fragrance and no alcohol.

This hits on a lot of the same points as the Airy Sun Stick – manufactured by Kolmar, approved in Korea, brightening and antiwrinkle functional cosmetic with niacinamide and adenosine, multi-layered hydration from 8 types of hyaluronic acid. The SPF and PA ratings have also been independently tested.

Isntree recommends this for outdoor activities, but there’s no official water resistance rating, so I probably wouldn’t recommend it for hardcore exercise, but it might be a bit more durable than other Korean sunscreens. It’s also recommended for application over makeup. I think a lot of lightweight sunscreens are great for reapplication over makeup.

Related post: How to Reapply Sunscreen Over Makeup (with video)

Also note that they introduced new packaging for this, which is why it looks a bit different from the tube you saw in my previous reviews

Cancer Council Face Day Wear Matte Moisturiser

  • Australia (therapeutic, AUST L 299764)
  • SPF 50+ (AU)
  • Broad Spectrum (AU)
  • No WR
  • Filters: Avobenzone, Octocrylene, 4-MBC, Octyl Triazone

Cancer Council Face Day Wear Matte Moisturiser (Invisible) has a lightweight, easy-to-apply texture. It’s moisturising and gives a matte finish on skin, plus it’s fragrance-free. It’s really popular, and won an award from the website BeautyHeaven. It’s quite affordable at $15 for 75 g.

I’m quite surprised it uses avobenzone as the only UVA filter, since we do have newer ones available here, but the Fluid which has BEMT and MBBT was only launched last year so maybe they’re rolling them out gradually.

It seems to be a similar formula to the Aldi Ombra Daily Defence and the Natio Daily Defence – they all have the same filters at the same percentages, as well as the same inactive ingredients.

On the topic of Cancer Council, I want to shout out their BB Cream Light Tint which I love. This is technically a cosmetic sunscreen in Australia rather than a proper therapeutic sunscreen so it isn’t regulated strictly, but a lot of the sunscreens on this list from other countries are also regulated as cosmetics…

This seems to be a very similar formula to the matte moisturiser based on the ingredients list, but it’s tinted, and it’s lightly tinted enough that you can apply a full sunscreen sized amount but still look normal.

And this actually makes my skin look so nice and still so natural. But it stings my eyes, I think it’s the sunscreen actives combo – I actually liked it so much I kept trying it for a full week. I was in so much denial. But I’ve seen lots of reviews of this where people didn’t have this issue, so I think there’s some luck involved – this is a perfect candidate for the sunscreen stick trick.

Coles, Woolworths, Aldi Sunscreens

  • Australia (therapeutic, Coles = AUST L 251012, Woolworths = AUST L 288149, Aldi Ombra = AUST L 366630)
  • SPF 50+ (AU)
  • Broad Spectrum (AU)
  • 4 Hr WR (AU)
  • Filters: 
    • Coles and Woolworths: Homosalate, Octocrylene, Octisalate, Avobenzone
    • Aldi Ombra: Homosalate, Octocrylene, Avobenzone

Just for Australians (and if you’re visiting Australia) I’d recommend trying the Woolworths, Coles and Aldi $2.20 sunscreens. They’re ridiculously cheap, and much more lightweight than a lot of more expensive sunscreens I’ve tried. They leave a pretty shiny finish but you can powder over them to make them less shiny. They’re also 4 hour water resistant.

And if you don’t like them on your face, use them on your body – they’re super comfortable there too. Some councils actually give out free tubes of these in the public kangaroos.

Related post: Cheap Australian SPF Reviews: Coles, Woolworths, Aldi

Evy Technology Daily UV Face Mousse

  • Europe (cosmetic)
  • SPF 30 (EU)
  • Broad Spectrum (EU) / Boots 5 Stars
  • Filters: Octocrylene, DHHB, Avobenzone, Octyl Triazone, Bemotrizinol (BEMT)

I also wanted to mention Evy Technology Daily UV Face Mousse. Evy are a Swedish brand sold in the EU and they use a technology that gets the sunscreen to lock into the top layers of the skin so it doesn’t rub off easily, it’s very cool, I’ve talked about it and the data that backs up their longwear claims before.

Related post: Do They Work? Evy 6-Hour Sunscreen, Dermablend Drops in SPF

Sunscreens Available in the US

Now for my US viewers! I always get asked for recommendations for sunscreens you can actually buy in your stores, but your country hasn’t approved a lot of the newer sunscreen ingredients that are almost standard in Australian sunscreens now, and these ingredients make it a lot easier to formulate high protection sunscreens that are still lightweight and comfortable to wear. But you do have a few that I’d recommend:

Bondi Sands Fragrance-Free Lotion

  • Australia (therapeutic, AUST L 318112), US (drug)
  • SPF 50+ (AU)
  • Broad Spectrum (AU)
  • 4 Hr WR (AU) / 80 Min WR (US)
  • Filters: Avobenzone, Octocrylene, Octisalate, Homosalate

Bondi Sands Fragrance-Free Lotion was developed and approved in Australia, so it meets our higher standard for broad spectrum, which is the same as the EU’s. The US has a lower standard, so a lot of sunscreens that count as broad spectrum in the US don’t count here. It’s a fast-absorbing sunscreen and it’s 4 hours water-resistant. It’s available in the UK as well, and it had a big moment on social media when everyone was raving about it, and that sort of highlighted to me how lucky we are in Australia to have so many brands working on great sunscreens. From the ingredients the Face and Body versions look like they might be the same formula.

I should also point out here that a lot of international sunscreens are also approved in Australia so they pass Australian standards too – I think we sometimes forget this, so this is a lot of sunscreens from Neutrogena, Banana Boat, La Roche-Posay, Avene, Cetaphil, Nivea. So you might already be overlooking some “higher quality sunscreens” that meet Australian standards, although working it out can be tricky. A good sign is if the active ingredient %s and inactive ingredients match.

Related post: What’s the deal with Australian sunscreen?

EltaMD UV Clear

  • US (drug)
  • SPF 46 (US)
  • Broad Spectrum (US)
  • No WR
  • Filters: Zinc Oxide, Octinoxate

EltaMD UV Clear is a new entry. It’s probably the most popular Elta MD sunscreen – they’re a popular sunscreen brand sold in a lot of skin clinics. It’s very lightweight and silky, it’s meant to be good for sensitive skin, including skin prone to acne or rosacea, and applies clear with no residue.

I’m not sure it would meet the broad spectrum requirements for Australia or the EU with its filters, but it’s broad spectrum in the US, and it’s very wearable, so if you’re not getting a lot of sun it’s not a bad option.

Mineral sunscreens

Mineral sunscreens that use titanium dioxide or zinc oxide as the sunscreening ingredients usually have white cast and a thick paste-like texture that sticks to my fringe, especially as you get to higher SPF, which I don’t like, they also often clog my pores – I have a whole post where I just complain about zinc oxide, because I don’t know, I woke up one day and decided to piss off half the beauty brands that might potentially sponsor me. I’m not that smart, I just play a smart person on YouTube.

Anyway, some people prefer using mineral sunscreens – maybe they don’t have access to newer chemical filters that are recommended for for sensitive skin, some people actually like the white cast or the slightly drying effect. So here are my recommendations:

Ultra Violette Lean Screen and Naked Sundays 100% Mineral Collagen Glow – both are SPF 50+ here, which means over SPF 60

  • Australia (therapeutic, Ultra Violette = AUST L 332788, Naked Sundays = AUST L 356754)
  • SPF 50+ (AU)
  • Broad Spectrum (AU)
  • No WR
  • Filters: Zinc Oxide

Paula’s Choice Super-Light Daily Wrinkle Defense, which is SPF 30

  • US (drug), Australia (cosmetic)
  • SPF 30 (AU)
  • Broad Spectrum (AU)
  • No WR
  • Filters: Zinc Oxide

All three are fragrance-free, and have a tint to help hide the white cast – they still aren’t entirely invisible on darker skin though. For very dark skin, you’re going to need a chemical or combo sunscreen if you want high protection without white cast – there just isn’t a high SPF mineral sunscreen on the market that’s completely invisible yet.

Comment with any sunscreen suggestions for me to try!

Links to all of the products are here.

Many of these products were provided for editorial consideration or as part of sponsorships, which did not affect my opinion. This post also contains affiliate links – if you decide to click through and support Lab Muffin financially (at no extra cost to you), thank you! For more information, see Disclosure Policy.


Top Sunscreen Recommendations 2022

Skincare Guide

Related Posts

20 thoughts on “Top Sunscreen Recommendations 2022”

  1. Love reading your sunscreen updates! I’m interested to know what you think of the sunscreens by We Are Feel Good Inc. Someone left me some to try and I got wondering how effective they are.

  2. Hello Michelle,
    I appreciate your list of sunscreens and will take them into consideration.
    I would love to hear your opinions on the tinted mineral sunscreen by MDSolorsciences that I have been using because it is perfect for my sensitive skin. — Priscilla

  3. Love your detailed explanation on each sunscreen. Will it be possible to review Pyunkang yul, Kalie and the whole la roche posay sunscreen line?
    Have a great day and as always love your article❤️

  4. I will try Joseon or Biore. Thanks for the recs. I am using Anessa UV Gel which I like but I’m always looking for something better. The Anessa barely has any whitecast. But it makes me shiny and my hair sticks to it which is annoying. I have light-med oily skin.

  5. This is such a helpful post, thank you Michelle! Humble request: in future posts could you please say in your list of dot points whether a particular product is cruelty free? That would be most helpful!


    No white cast, no sting in the eyes, works good under makeup . But I’ll give the Beauty of Joseon a try

  7. Hi Lab Muffin,
    I’m confused about the Asian sunscreen efficacy. I understand they are not water resistant but I don’t usually get my face wet at the beach anyway, so is that the only issue?
    If the protection level is high (PA ++++), that implies it should be okay for all day at the beach in summertime, assuming I’m not perspiring…?
    BTW, thank you so much for your informative reviews. You rock!

    • Water resistance correlates roughly to overall longevity on skin – there are separate tests for sweat, rub and sand resistance, but they aren’t really standardised. So I tend to recommend water resistant products for any sort of activity beyond short moderately-paced walks (e.g. to the office from the train station).

      • Dear Michelle, I am confused as to why you recommend to buy the old EU fluid Anthelios version. Is the new UV Mine bad? I thought it would be better since it covers a broader range of UVAs? Thank you!!

  8. Hi Michelle,

    What do you think of Hamilton everyday face SPF50? It is very affordable so I wonder if this works. La roche-posay is my HG but it’s too expensive for my budget. If you can recommend some budget great sunscreen it would be great. Thank you for your amazing work and content.

  9. Hi Michelle,
    Thank you for this really helpful post! I recently escaped the US for England and got a tube of UltraViolette’s Supreme Screen. Please sanity check me here: the tube is 50ml, we’re supposed to use 1.23 ml every two hours…so are they actually selling a tube that’s only meant to last about a week? My very reactive/sensitive skin is _loving_ this sunscreen, so I’m hoping I’m just very confused or something.

  10. Hi Michelle,

    I would love to hear what you think about the Kanebo – Allie UV Gel sunscreen.

    I’m also curious how Japanese filters compare to Korean ones in general.

    Take care,

  11. About the mineral sunscreens: some people actually care about the environment and non human animals. Chemical sunscreens are killing marine wildlife, which is known for years and most people just don’t care.


Leave a Comment