Some people prefer not to use sunscreen on their face because it has a tendency to be thick and greasy, or because it may run into their eyes and sting. The best face sunscreens, however, are lightweight and won't run, no matter how much you sweat or get wet.
Two facial sunscreens get top reviews: La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra-Light Sunscreen Fluid (Est. $30 for 1.7 oz.) and Clarins UV Plus HP SPF 40 Day Screen (Est. $41 for 1.7 oz.) . While La Roche-Posay relies on chemical sunscreens, including avobenzone and oxybenzone, Clarins protects with physical blockers, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.
Though most mineral sunscreens leave skin with a white tint, owners of Clarins UV Plus say this isn't the case with this product. They say it rubs in smoothly, absorbs quickly and leaves skin matte. The only time this product doesn't absorb well, according to owners, is when used over lotion. In addition to a sheer formula, Clarins also offers a tinted version of this product to match a variety of skin tones. One downside though to this matte finish is that it doesn't work well on dry skin.
The same is true of La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60. Owners say the product is great for oily or acne-prone skin, but can be too matte for dry skin. Like Clarins, owners rave that this product feels extremely lightweight, making it great for those who dislike wearing sunscreen.
One difference between the two is that La Roche-Posay has no fragrance and Clarins does, which can be irritating and may have other health hazards. A few owners also mention disliking the scent of Clarins sunscreen. On the other hand, some people may find the chemical sunscreen ingredients in La Roche-Posay irritating, making Clarins' mineral sunscreens a better option. Both factors considered, it may take some experimenting to find the best bet for those with sensitive skin.
When it comes to effectiveness, editors didn't find reports of burns associated with either sunscreen. Anthelios 60 is only available in SPF 60 (the SPF 50 product of a similar name is actually a different formula entirely) and Clarins UV Plus HP is only available in SPF 40, which is not a huge difference on the surface. However, Clarins doesn't state that it provides broad-spectrum protection, so it's possible it provides little to no protection from UVA, the rays that cause longer-term damage, like aging and skin cancer. La Roche-Posay does offer UVA protection.
Thanks to the added broad-spectrum protection and fragrance-free formula of La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra-Light Sunscreen Fluid, it comes out as our Best Reviewed over Clarins UV Plus HP SPF 40 Day Screen.