Of all the skin-care products we use, sunscreen is the most powerful — and perhaps the most scrutinized. To pass the basic buy test, it must be broad spectrum, SPF 30 or higher, and absorb without feeling greasy. One must decide between physical and mineral options and think about water resistance, too. And those considerations are just the start — after all, sunscreen is one of the only shields we have against premature aging from sun damage and skin cancer. But there’s one thing that even the most discerning of beauty nerds don’t know about SPF: which formulas beauty editors and top dermatologists use on their own complexions.
So we polled a few of our favorites, and we were surprised by what we found. For one, the priciest sunscreen isn't necessarily the best sunscreen. In fact, a few of our pros swear by easy-to-find drugstore brands. Another big reveal? Derms are just like us — they want tinted, quick-to-absorb formulas that look and feel as good as they perform. See their favorite picks, along with a few of our own, ahead.
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. The product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.