Best Cruelty Free Sunscreens for Face

Do you have a sunscreen wardrobe? A menagerie of SPF options? Well if not, let’s get you one. What’s that, you say? That sounds boring?

Ok, well how old are you?
This is where you answer aloud.

Imagine looking the age you are, right now, in 20 years. Aside from surgery, SPF is one of the best ways to transcend time and give aging the middle finger.

You’ll notice the brands Supergoop and Colorescience a lot in this post because they do SPF products really well. The majority of the links are to as they carry all the brands mentioned here plus tons of other quality skincare brands I love. This post isn’t affiliated with or sponsored by them, btw. I just like as a retailer.

Sub out your primer

Treat this as a primer, applied after your regular moisturizer, before makeup. It has a silky, matte texture that wears well under makeup.

This is a great pore-filling primer with SPF from a pro-approved skincare brand. A little goes a long way too.

I really loved the texture of this anti-aging primer. Read more of my thoughts on this product in this post.

Moisturizer on steroids

I love this vitamin C powered daily moisturizer from Murad. You know, pretty much everything they do is great. Dr. Howard Murad: hey can you be my dad? Email me. Thanks.

This is what I’m currently using as a daily moisturizer and it has a really nice texture. It doesn’t feel heavy or sticky and I apply makeup over it with no problem.

Budget Pick

This is affordable, clean and has caused me no issues whatsoever.

Most Lightweight

Colorescience Sunforgettable Face Shield SPF 50
I like the really lightweight, almost fluid-like texture of this. It has an initial color that blends out but I do wonder if this could be problematic on deeper skin tones. I talked about it in this post.

Glossier Invisible Shield
I know this isn’t for those who want a mineral sunscreen, but I really love it. It has such a nice, thin texture that never pills under makeup. My full review can be found here.

SPF Extras


The lines around your eyes are one of the first signs of aging we notice so we definitely need to be giving that area some extra protection, especially since you may not be getting your spf all the way up there. There are plenty of options from eye creams to concealers to even eyeshadows now!


Mists are super great for reapplying. We love an spf mist around here. It’s quick and easy so you have no excuses now!

Pixi Sun Mist


I love a powder sunscreen for reapplication and touch-ups through out the day, as well as for getting SPF on the face in a super fast, non-sticky fashion.

Colorescience Sunforgettable Brush-On Sunscreen

Supergoop Invincible Setting Powder SPF 45


Your hands show your true age and I don’t think we want to have the face of a baby with the hands of a grandma, do we? Hand cream is something you reapply throughout the day anyways so this is a great way to make sure you’re protected from age spots and damage.

Deborah Lippmann Rich Girl SPF 25 Hand Cream


If you’ve ever had a sun blister, you know that this is no place to mess around. Your lips are some of the thinnest skin so don’t neglect them when protecting yourself from the sunshine.

COOLA Mineral Liplux Tinted Lip Balm SPF 30

Sun Bum Lip Balm SPF 30

Feel totally overwhelmed with SPF now?
Hey, it’s ok! Just start with something to apply over your regular skincare, then once you get comfortable with that, maybe add a powder or a spray for reapplying. You got this and your skin will thank you for years and years to come.


  1. Megan

    08/30/2019 at 11:48 AM

    This is such a helpful post! I know I should sunscreen more, but I never know what to buy to prevent my pores from getting all clogged (I’m very acne-prone). Thanks for all the great recs, and thanks for including a few chemical sunscreens too. I know they’re less popular, but they’re usually way better for blending into dark skin!

    1. Ivy Boyd

      10/09/2019 at 2:00 AM

      For deeper skin, I’ve heard great things about Black Girl Sunscreen and Unsun!

  2. Ketrn

    10/06/2019 at 7:21 AM

    I just discovered your blog and have enjoyed reading a bunch of your posts. I am also in the blustery, cold Midwest so I look forward to reading your recommendations as we head into another fall and winter. I appreciate all the SPF recommendations in this post, as I am always trying new ones. I have had good luck with some Korean ones too — have you tried any of those? It was also cool to read that you like Dermstore. I have been getting their Beauty Fix box for several months and that is probably the most exciting thing in my life right now. Thanks for all the great tips!

    1. Ivy Boyd

      10/09/2019 at 1:58 AM

      Thanks so much for being here! Midwest is best…MOST of the time, right? I’ve heard Korean SPFs are better but I’ve not tried any! I had no idea that Dermstore had a subscription box but I’m going to go look it up right now. Stop back, ok? 🙂

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