5 Innovative Sunscreens For Pale Skin That Do Way More Than Offer Sun Protection


There are three reasons why I'd consider myself an authority on sunscreens for pale skin. One, I'm a naturally pale person; two, I test and write about beauty products for a living; and three, having lived in Asia — where the sunscreen selection is absolutely unparalleled — I've tried about every innovative sunscreen under the sun. Though I could list dozens of sunscreens that all hold a special place in my heart, the best sunscreens for pale skin will have an SPF of at least 30 to prevent burning and long-term skin damage. Beyond that, choosing the right sunscreen for you will mostly come down to skin type and formula preference. Whether you have super sensitive, redness-prone skin or hate the feeling of traditional sunscreens, I guarantee you'll find at least one intriguing option ahead.

Just a few quick sun-safety notes before you get to shopping. If you plan on spending time outside, it's crucial that you reapply your sunscreen every two hours. Also, don't forget those oft-neglected areas (like your ears, your eyelids, and the tops of your feet), and if you've gone swimming, reapply your sunscreen as soon as you step out of the water. Follow those steps, and your skin should stay properly protected from the sun.

With that in mind, scroll on to shop five of the best pale-skin-approved sunscreens on the market right now.

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Editor's Pick: The Best Facial Sunscreen For Pale Skin

I am obsessed with this sunscreen, and it's probably my favorite Asian beauty discovery thus far. Primarily because I hate the feeling of thick, greasy sunscreens — and this formula, being an "essence," is so lightweight that you immediately forget you're wearing anything at all once it's absorbed (and it absorbs quickly). The other thing I love about it is its subtle illuminating effect. It has a slight pinkish, purplish tint that makes your skin look like a pearl: iridescent and glowy. To top it off, it has a nice, high SPF of 50+ PA++++ — the highest possible, in fact — to keep your skin protected from both UVA/UVB rays. Truly, what more could a pale girl want from a sunscreen?


The Best Mineral Sunscreen For Pale Skin

For fair-skinned folk who prefer mineral sunscreens, this Colorescience Total Protection Face Shield in 'Original' is a must-try. It's a great choice for pale skin types in particular because it imparts just the slightest hint of radiance with its peach-hued formula — it's not quite tinted, but almost. Amp up the glowy factor even more by trying the 'Glow' shade, or fake a natural-looking tan with 'Bronze.' Also, it has a high SPF of 50, so you don't have to worry about burning.

In addition to protecting skin from UVA/UVB rays, it also provides blue light and pollution protection. Other highlights include its reef-safe, non-nano formula and ability to resist sweat and water for up to 40 minutes.


The Best Facial Sunscreen For Redness-Prone Skin

Full disclosure: this sunscreen only has an SPF of 25, which isn't really enough if you plan on spending the day outside. However, if you mostly spend your time indoors, Avène's Antirougeurs Day Soothing Cream should be sufficient — you could also layer another sunscreen on top, since technically this is a moisturizer anyway. What makes it special is its green-tinted formula that works to neutralize redness as it simultaneously soothes skin and fights sun damage. It can even help prevent future redness from forming throughout the day, making it a great daily moisturizer for people with rosacea-prone skin.


The Best Body Sunscreen (With Bronzer) For Pale Skin

Pale skin types tend to be especially vulnerable to burning and skin damage, so it's best to avoid tanning — but you can still achieve an all-over (albeit temporary) glow with this bronzer-infused sunscreen from Australian Gold. It protects skin with an SPF of 50 and imparts a subtle hint of color using Kona coffee and caramel, which will wash off once you shower. Other key ingredients include antioxidant-rich Kakadu plum, moisturizing cocoa butter, hydrating aloe leaf juice, and skin-soothing allantoin.


The Best Face & Body Sunscreen For Pale Skin

If you don't want any glow in your sunscreen, pick up a tube of La Roche-Posay's Anthelios Cooling Water Lotion Sunscreen. Fragrance-free, sensitive skin-friendly, and enriched with free radical-fighting antioxidants, it can be used on both your face and body (though I reserve it for my body only). La Roche-Posay makes several excellent sunscreens, but what I love about this one is its refreshing, water-light feel: Upon application, it delivers a slight cooling sensation — an especially nice feature when it's particularly humid outside. It's a great alternative to traditional thick, creamy sunscreen lotions, due to its lightweight feel. Choose from two levels of SPF protection: 30 or 60.