10 Best SPF 50 Sunscreens To Keep Your Skin Protected All Day Long

Brand courtesy / EltaMD Skin Care
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Our ace in the hole to keep premature wrinkles (and skin cancer) away is wearing sunscreen 365 days a year — nothing new to you, but just as a refresher. Because the sun is responsible for 90% of facial wrinkles, being the first culprit that leads to the so-called photoaging, daily sunscreen is non-negotiable. And since most likely your skin is often exposed to sunlight, you need a sunscreen with 50 SPF to give it the best-in-class protection. However, hunting for the right sunscreen is not an easy task. How could it even be with so many formulas out there? Chemical or physical? Tinted or not? UVA or UVB, or both? Does it leave any white cast? And the never-ending questions can make the quest to find the ideal product an overwhelming task. That’s the reason we decided to make this roundup so that you can find the best SPF 50 sunscreen for you.

But first, it’s important to arm yourself with some facts.

SPF 30 vs. 50

Have you ever wondered what’s the difference between SPF 30 and 50? Well, sunscreen with SPF 30 blocks about 97% of UVB rays, and SPF 50 guards 98% of UVB rays. Consequently, a higher SPF is better at reducing sun damage and shielding against sunburn than a lower SPF value. Even if there is no tangible difference in the SPF 30 vs 50 battle, the 1% can be more effective at protecting and reducing sun damage in the long run.

Look out for broad-spectrum sunscreen as that means it shields against UVA rays (responsible for skin aging) too.

Another thing: you should never rely on your moisturizer or foundation’s SPF. The evidence is crystal-clear that you would need a ton of product to get the protection it claims. Yep, that’s mostly marketing. So, do yourself a favor and slather sunscreen beneath foundation and moisturizer.

The best SPF 50 sunscreens

Now, below are the best SPF 50 sunscreens that keep your skin guarded against UV damage all day long. Scroll on and pick your favorite:

EltaMD UV Sport Sunscreen Lotion, Broad-Spectrum SPF 50

EltaMD UV Sport Sunscreen Lotion, Broad-Spectrum SPF 50

  • 80 minutes water-resistant
  • UVA and UVB protection
  • Mineral and chemical

This expert-approved, sweat-resistant sunscreen performs excellently for those who like to spend time outdoors. It works like a charm for all skin types, including sensitive and breakout-prone, as it’s fragrance and paraben-free and non-comedogenic. More points because it contains vitamin E to help mend environmental damage, and it goes on smoothly thanks to the fluid texture, making it one of the best SPF 50 sunscreens ever. Hurry because it’s often sold out.

lorescience Sunforgettable

Colorescience Sunforgettable® Total Protection Brush-On Sunscreen SPF 50

  • Powder formula
  • Mineral protection
  • Broad-spectrum protection PA+++
  • For sensitive and acne-prone skin

If, until now, you had excuses for not reapplying sunscreen, they’re all in vain now that you have Colorescience Brush-On Sunscreen Mineral Powder. It’s so easy to apply it over makeup during the day, leaving you protected against harmful sun rays and a sheer matte finish. It comes in four true-to-skin tints to cover nicely without settling into fine lines.

Image Skincare Prevention+ Daily Ultimate Protection Moisturizer SPF 50

Image Skincare Prevention+ Daily Ultimate Protection Moisturizer SPF 50

  • Broad-spectrum
  • Chemical and mineral
  • Best for mature skin

With a mix of mineral and chemical UV filters, this sunscreen offers UVA and UVB protection to shield your skin against harmful rays, having a sheer finish and lightweight feel. Plus, sodium hyaluronate, two types of vitamin E, and hydrolyzed pea protein give hydration, soften and improve elasticity — that’s why it’s one of the very best SPF 50 sunscreens addresses mature skins.

PCA Skin Daily Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50+

PCA Skin Daily Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50+

  • Chemical and mineral
  • For combination skin
  • UVA and UVB protection

This sunscreen not only guards against sun rays, but it neutralizes free radicals with ectoin, caffeine, and vitamin E. The sheer, elegant finish acts like a primer, so it wears perfectly under foundation, CC, or BB cream, without the cakey look or heavy feeling. Bonus points as it’s made without oxybenzone and octinoxate.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Tinted Sunscreen

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50

  • Reef safe
  • For sensitive skin
  • Broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection

There’s a reason La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Sunscreen is so popular and has racked up a handful of beauty awards — it’s really good. As one of the best SPF 50 sunscreens, it’s created with a blend of minerals to shield the skin against UV damage while leaving a matte, non-greasy finish. Use it everyday as the last step in your skincare routine before makeup.

Avène Mineral Tinted SPF

Avène Mineral Tinted Compact SPF 50

  • Mineral, tinted formula
  • Cream-to-powder
  • Broad-spectrum protection

I often replace my foundation with this tinted formula that is part hydrating cream (thanks, squalane), part foundation, part SPF. The formula is non-comedogenic and made without fragrance, alcohol, or oils, plus it’s got a matte finish and a cream-to-powder formula — exactly what my oily skin needs.

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Sunscreen SPF 50

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Sunscreen SPF 50

  • Broad-spectrum
  • Chemical and mineral
  • Dewy glow finish

This is one of the best SPF 50 sunscreens because it blends sun protection with skincare. In addition to UV protecting actives, the formula is loaded with amino acids, hyaluronic acidniacinamidelactic acid, watermelon, and aloe extracts. It’s incredibly lightweight, non-greasy, non-comedogenic, and won’t leave a white cast or any residue on your skin either. The watermelon scent is an added bonus. 

Tatcha The Silk Sunscreen: Broad Spectrum SPF 50 PA++++

Tatcha The Silk Sunscreen: Broad Spectrum SPF 50 PA++++

  • Mineral protection
  • Hydrating
  • Skincare-infused

Mineral sunscreens have the reputation of leaving a white cast, but not this one. It protects against UVA and UVB rays with a weightless yet hydrating formula, leaving the skin to appear plump and glowy. That is because it contains a slew of heavy-hitting moisturizing and hydrating agents, such as niacinamide, silk, allantoin, sodium hyaluronate, and tocopherol.

Paula's Choice Extra Care Non-Greasy Sunscreen SPF 50

Paula’s Choice Extra Care Non-Greasy Sunscreen SPF 50

  • Matte finish
  • Broad-spectrum protection
  • Chemical 

Mark my words: this is the best SPF 50 sunscreen if you’re on the budget. First, the non-greasy formula makes this sunscreen ideal for everyone, no matter the skin type. Secondly, the lightweight, silky texture absorbs instantly and is infused with retinyl palmitate, vitamin C and two forms of vitamin E to nourish and protect some more. In a nutshell, it’s where skincare meets sun protection.

Purito Daily Go-To Sunscreen

Purito Daily Go-To Sunscreen

  • Chemical and physical protection
  • UVA +UVB
  • Sans fragrance

Massage a quarter-size amount of this sunscreen into your skin every morning if you want to spoil your skin. In addition to broad-spectrum protection, it contains a slew of antioxidants (from cica and its compounds) to neutralize free radicals. The formula is lightweight, with a sheer finish that makes a great primer too.

Read next: How to Prevent Wrinkles and Premature Skin Aging

Who wrote this?
Ana Vasilescu
Ana Vasilescu
Ana Vasilescu is the founder and editor-in-chief of Women's Concepts. She has over 5 years of experience working in the beauty editorial industry and dermatological research and was an acne sufferer for over a decade. Ana is now an IAO and CPD-accredited skincare consultant keen to teach others about the importance of a consistent routine. She covers a wide range of topics in skincare—from buzzy ingredients to anti-aging and acne advice. She holds a BA in Sociology and Political Sciences from the National School of Political and Administrative Studies. Find her on LinkedIn or Instagram.
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