11 Best Clear Sunscreens For Every Skin Type – Top Picks Of 2024

Clean out those harmful UV rays effortlessly with these great sun blockers.

Reviewed by Cecelia Wong, Licensed Esthetician Cecelia Wong Cecelia WongLicensed Esthetician facebook_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach Shiboli Chakraborti MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
Edited by , MBA, Certified Skin Care Coach Krati Darak MBA, Certified Skin Care Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
Fact-checked by , Integrated MA Medha Deb Integrated MA linkedin_icon Experience: 5 years
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If you are someone who always slathers sunscreen all over the face and ends up having a chalking residue, well, you must start using the best clear sunscreen then. Licensed Esthetician, Cecelia Wong, says, “Clear sunscreens seamlessly blend into your skin care and makeup routine, ensuring that sun protection doesn’t feel like an extra step.”

Sunny days or rainy ones, sunscreens have proven efficacy in protecting us from the harsh ultraviolet rays of the Sun and reducing premature aging and the chances of skin cancer. Moreover, it can cause hyperpigmentation such as acne scars and uneven skin tone. And clear sunscreens are most recommended by dermatologists.

These are mineral-based formulas that are organic and natural. They improve the skin tone and don’t settle into a chalky finish. Zinc oxide is a key ingredient in these formulas that reflects and blocks harsh sun rays. We have got you the 11 best clear sunscreens to keep your skin safe and protected.

Top Picks

11 Best Clear Sunscreens

Best Overall:EltaMD Skincare UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 Facial Sunscreen

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4.6
EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen Image: Eltamd

This sunscreen from EltaMD is an oil-free broad-spectrum SPF 46 cream offering UVA and UVB protection. Its mineral-rich formula infused with niacinamide and transparent zinc oxide reflects sunrays and prevents sunburns and premature aging. The product is non-greasy and comes in two variants –tinted and untinted.


Item Weight: 1.58 Ounces | Product Dimensions: 1.63 x 1.63 x 1.5 inches

Pros
  • Dermatologically tested
  • Oil-free
  • Lightweight
  • Spreads easily
  • Ideal for everyday use
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Paraben-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Dermatologist-recommended

Cons
  • May cause allergic reactions.
protip_icon Pro Tip
Follow two finger rule, i.e., apply the sunscreen with your pointer and middle finger to evenly spread it on all the corners of your face and neck.

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Why We Think It's Worth Buying

With 6,387 positive reviews on Amazon, this product has become a bestseller.


Best Reef-Friendly Formula:Alba Botanica Hawaiian SunscreenÂ

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4.4
Alba Botanica Hawaiian Sunscreen Clear Spray, SPF 50, Coconut, 6 Oz Nourishing Coconut (SPF 50) Image: Alba Botanica

The fast-drying misty sunscreen spray from Alba Botanica contains broad-spectrum SPF 50. This silky, lightweight sunscreen with reef-safe ingredients is infused with organic ingredients like coconut extract, shea butter, chamomile, aloe vera, and avocado. These ingredients moisturize and nourish your skin while protecting it from harmful UV rays. The sunscreen spray is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. This sunscreen comes with high SPF to shield the skin from harsh sun rays and is also dermatologically tested and recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation. The product has not been tested on animals.


Product Dimensions: 2.13 x 2.13 x 7.5 inches | Weight: 0.8 Ounces

Pros
  • Water-resistant
  • Biodegradable formula
  • Reef-friendly
  • Lightweight
  • Cruelty-free
  • Synthetic fragrance-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Dermatologist-tested

Cons
  • Stains clothing
  • Might cause irritation.
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Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The product has received 10,857 positive Amazon reviews from its users, stating its numerous benefits.


Best Non-Comedogenic:Obagi Sun Shield Mineral Broad Spectrum SPF 50

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4.2
Obagi Sun Shield Mineral Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Image: Obagi

The Obagi Sun Shield Mineral Broad Spectrum SPF 50 is a physical sunscreen that contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to give UVA and UVB protection. While zinc oxide typically leaves a white film on the skin, this zinc oxide sunscreen dries transparent and is suitable for use under makeup. This sunscreen has been redesigned to provide higher protection against IR rays and HEV radiation, which can hasten skin aging. It also defends against the blue light emitted by our electronics, giving your skin defense that works indoors and outside. It is lightweight, oil-free, and non-comedogenic, so it would not clog pores or create breakouts and is water-resistant for up to 40 minutes.


Product Dimensions: 1.75 x 1.75 x 6 inches | Weight: 4 Ounces

Pros
  • Dermatologically tested
  • Oil-free
  • Lightweight
  • Spreads easily
  • Ideal for daily use
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Paraben-free
  • Fragrance-free

Cons

None

EltaMD Skincare UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 Facial Sunscreen
Best Overall
Alba Botanica Hawaiian SunscreenÂ
Best Reef-Friendly Formula
Obagi Sun Shield Mineral Broad Spectrum SPF 50
Best Non-Comedogenic
Weight 1.58 Ounces--
Dimensions 1.63 x 1.63 x 1.5 inches 2.13 x 2.13 x 7.5 inches 1.75 x 1.75 x 6 inches
Weight- 0.8 Ounces 4 Ounces
Rating
Reviews6,38710,857-
Price$41$10.48$53

Best Non-Comedogenic:Obagi Nu-Derm Healthy Skin Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 35 Sunscreen

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4.5
Obagi Nu-Derm Healthy Skin Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 35 Sunscreen Image: Obagi

The Obagi Nu-Derm Healthy Skin Protection Sunscreen is a broad spectrum UVA and UVB shield. This sunscreen is laden with anti-aging properties and micronized active agents like octinoxate and zinc oxide which deflect the sun’s harmful rays and protect the skin that has been freshly transformed with a youthful appearance. It provides a smooth cover to dull, rough, and aging skin. This non-comedogenic sunscreen brightens the complexion and reveals younger-looking healthier skin.


Product Dimensions: 1.95 x 2 x 6 inches | Weight: 3 Ounces

Pros
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Anti-aging formula
  • Leaves no white residue
  • Cruelty-free
  • Dermatologist-tested

Cons

None


Best Water-Resistant Formula:Sun Bum Clear 50 Broad Spectrum Sunscreen Lotion

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4.6
Sun Bum Unisex Clear Zinc Sunscreen Image: Sun Bum

This sunscreen lotion from Sun Bum contains SPF 50 and is enriched with zinc, aloe vera, and vitamin E. It provides broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection. These ingredients act as a barrier against the sun and intensely moisturize the skin. The reef-friendly formula is great for all skin types. It offers wide coverage and deep penetrating protection, and you are sure to enjoy a fun day beneath the sun. The product has not undergone any testing on animals.


Number of Items: 1| Product Dimensions: 4 x 6 x 2 inches | Weight: 1.76 Ounces

Pros
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Oil-free
  • Water-resistant
  • Reef-friendly
  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free

Cons
  • Off-putting fragrance
protip_icon Quick Tip
Wear the sunscreen 15 minutes before stepping out to prevent developing a white cast on your face and neck. Keep reapplying this product after 80 minutes for maximum sun protection.

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Why We Think It's Worth Buying

With over 5,313 Amazon acclaimed reviews, this product is sure to find a place in everyone’s shopping bag.


The spray sunscreen from Hawaiian Tropic not only protects your skin against UVA and UVB rays but also leaves it feeling supple and smooth. This lightweight formula is blended with a wide range of exotic island botanicals to hydrate your skin for up to 12 hours and give it a radiant glow. The coconut fragrance and mango fruit extracts in the formula pampers your skin and are perfect for tropical climates. This sunscreen comes highly recommended by The Skin Cancer Foundation and has not undergone testing on animals.

Number of Items: 1 | Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 2.1 x 7.75 inches | Weight: 8 Ounces

Pros
  • Deeply hydrating
  • Wide coverage
  • Lightweight
  • Water-resistant
  • Absorbed quickly
  • Dermatologist-tested

Cons
  • Leaves residue
protip_icon Remember
Do not spray the product directly on your skin. Instead, mist it on your hands, then apply it to your face.


This sunscreen cream from Badger with broad-spectrum SPF 35 and natural minerals offers all-around protection. While the clear zinc oxide deflects the harmful rays of the sun, this sunscreen comes with antioxidant benefits and contains organic ingredients such as sunflower oil which help to reduce acne. Other ingredients like organic beeswax, jojoba oil, and vitamin E form a protective barrier over the skin to prevent moisture loss. This clear sunscreen is water-resistant and suitable for all skin types and has not been tested on animals.

Product Dimensions: 2.28 x 2.28 x 5.71 inches | Weight: 3.17 Ounces

Pros
  • Water-resistant
  • Non-GMO
  • Reef-safe
  • Unscented
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Paraben-free
  • Dye-free

Cons
  • Does not blend easily.


Best Sweat-Resistant Option:Coppertone Sport Clear Sunscreen Lotion

Coppertone Sport Clear Sunscreen Lotion with SPF 30 is ideal for people who indulge in outdoor sports. This quick-absorbing sunscreen has a soft, silky texture and can resist heat, sweat, and water for up to 80 minutes. There are no residues or white marks left behind on the skin post-application.

Item Weight: 0.31 Pounds | Product Dimensions: 3.03 x 1.49 x 7.8 inches

Pros
  • Water-resistant
  • Sweat-resistant
  • Heat-resistant
  • Non-sticky
  • Absorbed quickly
  • Dye-free
  • No synthetic preservatives

Cons
  • Overpowering scent
  • Feels waxy


Best Oil-Free:Julep No Excuses SPF 40 Clear Facial Sunscreen

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4.3
Julep No Excuses SPF 40 Clear Facial Sunscreen Image: Julep

If you are tired of wearing heavy, greasy sunscreens that leave a heavy white cast on the skin, the Julep No Excuses Invisible Sunscreen Gel should be your pick. This sunscreen gel is infused with natural rosehip oil and aloe leaf extracts, which protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays and nourish it, leaving it soft and supple. It is a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 40, so you can enjoy outdoor activities without worrying about damaging your skin. This sunscreen gel is practically invisible and easy to blend into the skin. This sunscreen is sheer, lightweight, and absorbs quickly, making it the perfect base for your makeup or a daily sunscreen to wear on its own.


Product Dimensions: 5.94 x 1.96 x 1.54 inches | Weight: 1.6 Ounces.

Pros
  • Oil-free
  • No white cast
  • Lightweight
  • Spreads easily
  • Ideal for daily use
  • Offers good protection

Cons

None


Best Quick Absorbing Formula:ClearChoice Sport Shield Clear Sunscreen

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4.6
ClearChoice Sport Shield Clear Sunscreen Image: Dermastart

This high-performance sunscreen from ClearChoice is an active age protectant suitable for all skin types. It contains both hyaluronic acid and zinc to moisturize the skin while protecting it against the harmful rays of the sun. The hyaluronic acid repairs damaged skin and makes it look plump and hydrated. The botanical ingredients like aloe vera and grape seed extract stimulate healing and soothe damaged skin. This SPF 45 sunscreen deeply penetrates the skin to reduce dryness and irritation and protect it against environmental factors. It blends easily with skin correctors or lightning products.


Product Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inches | Weight: 4 Ounces

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Soothing scent
  • Quick-absorbing
  • Can be used under makeup
  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Mineral oil-free

Cons
  • Expensive
protip_icon Pro Tip
Apply this sunscreen after using the ClearChoice moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated for a long time.


The broad-spectrum UV protector from Shiseido with SPF 50+ is perfect for the face and body. It is available in stick form, which glides easily across the body to provide all-around protection. The sunscreen is water-resistant, sweatproof, lightweight, and easy to apply while you are on the go. It can be used over or under makeup.

Product Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inches | Weight: 4 Ounces

Pros
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Ophthalmologist-tested
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Water-resistant
  • Easy to apply

Cons
  • Expensive

When choosing a clear sunscreen for your skin type, there are several factors to remember. For example, you need to check if the formula is ideal for your skin without aggravating any issues it already has. Our comprehensive guide has compiled a list of things you should check before buying the best clear sunscreen for your skin.

How To Pick The Right Clear Sunscreen For Your Skin Type

  • Type Of Sunscreen

Firstly, select the kind of sunscreen you wish to use. Essentially, there are three different forms of sunscreen. While all three are equally effective, the difference lies in their ingredients and formula, which impacts their overall texture.

  1. Physical/Mineral: Mineral-based sunscreens are made with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. They work by reflecting the UV rays and preventing them from penetrating the skin. They are great for acne-prone skin as they do not cause any irritation. Because of the composition, they tend to leave a white cast. However, there are clear formulas with a gel and cream consistency that melt entirely into the skin and leave no white cast.
  2. Chemical: Unlike mineral sunscreens, chemical sunscreens work by absorbing UV rays and converting them into heat, which is subsequently dismissed from the body. Most chemical sunscreens are formulated to replicate a weightless lotion or cream. They are most suitable for dry skin types.
  3. Hybrid: Hybrid sunscreens, as the name suggests, combine both physical and chemical filters. It employs the broad spectrum protection of a physical sunscreen with the finishing and ease of application of a chemical sunscreen. They are suitable for most skin types.
  • SPF and PA Rating

SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, is the number that reflects how much UVB light the sunscreen can filter out. To get the most out of your sunscreen, opt for one with an SPF of 30 or higher and a PA+++ rating. It ensures your skin stays protected from UVA and UVB rays.

  • Skin Type

Choose a sunscreen based on your skin type. For instance, if you have dry skin, look for a hydrating sunscreen with ingredients such as ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin.

For oily and combination skin, look for a clear sunscreen that is oil-free and comedogenic to avoid clogging your pores. In addition, make sure to pick a sunscreen with a mattifying effect, one that is lightweight and does not contain any nourishing oils.

For sensitive skin prone to rosacea, eczema, or allergies, pick a clear sunscreen with ingredients that do not aggravate your concerns. For example, formulas with active ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are known to be less irritating to the skin.

  • Formulation Type

The formulation of a sunscreen differs in terms of its application and finish on the skin. For instance, water-based clear sunscreen lotions are lightweight and easy to spread, making them a popular choice among many. In addition, they suit the oily/combination skin type the most. On the other hand, creamy formulas have an oily finish as they have a rich formula, making them ideal for dry skin.

Sunscreen sprays are best for sunscreen reapplication when you are outdoors. In addition, they are good for oily skin, as they are more lightweight than lotions and creams. Another portable and convenient clear option, sunscreen sticks, have made it even easier to apply sunscreen without any reservations. In addition, it makes it easier to apply the product on hard-to-reach areas on the face.

  • Water-Resistance

The water resistance factor of sunscreen especially comes into play when you’re at the beach or swimming. Choose a sweat-resistant or water-resistant sunscreen to ensure that your skin stays protected for a longer time without having to reapply again and again.

The Bottom Line

Sunscreens are an important part of our skincare routine. Clear sunscreen is a chemical-based formula that is transparent and has a gel-like consistency. These absorb harmful UV rays and protect your skin from causing sun damage. They help reduce fine lines, skin laxity, sun spots, and wrinkles without giving off a white cast. They are usually lightweight, paraben-free, and non-comedogenic. However, some might have a greasy or waxy texture. So, do read the reviews before you purchase one. If you are looking for an unscented option, go for the EltaMD Skincare UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 Facial Sunscreen. For makeup-friendly protection for day-to-day use, try the Obagi Sun Shield Mineral Broad Spectrum SPF 50. Further, the water-resistant Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Clear Spray Sunscreen provides broad coverage to ensure you stay protected for up to 12 hours! Avoid chemical-based sunscreens if you have sensitive skin. And always perform a patch test before use.

Why Trust StyleCraze?

The author of this article, Shiboli Chakraborti, is a certified skincare coach. She enjoys experimenting with a wide variety of skincare products that are effective and safe for different skin types. She has reviewed many clear sunscreens to make a list of the best ones that are available for all skin types. The products in this list are natural and organic and keep the skin protected from the harsh rays of the sun.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is clear sunscreen safe for the skin?

Yes. Clear sunscreens contain organic ingredients that block UV rays and combat aging signs. In addition, these sunscreens are free of irritants that damage your skin texture. However, for children under 6 months of age, use doctor-recommended products or the ones endorsed by medical professionals.

How does clear sunscreen work?

Clear sunscreens sit on the skin without leaving a white cast and reflect the UV rays away from your skin.

How do I know if my sunscreen is mineral?

Sunscreens that contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as their active ingredients are mineral formulas.

Is clear zinc sunscreen safe?

Yes. Clear sunscreen containing zinc oxide is safe. It blocks both the UVA and UVB rays while moisturizing the skin. In addition, zinc sunscreens are also eco-friendly.

Can we use sunscreen every day?

Yes. Use sunscreen daily to block the UV rays, treat sun damage, and maintain the health of your skin.

Can we use sunscreen for oily skin?

Yes. Invest and use a sunscreen specially designed for oily skin free of comedogenic ingredients daily.

Cecelia Wong

Cecelia WongLicensed Esthetician

Cecilia is a licensed esthetician with over 15 years of experience in the beauty industry. She firmly believes that a holistic approach can truly transform the skin and focuses on nourishing the skin at a cellular level to make it healthy from the inside out. She combines TCM techniques with modern skin care practices to provide customized treatments to her...read full bio

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