- Readers' Choice
- 2019, 2018
TL;DR:A water- and sweat-resistant sunscreen with a sky-high SPF that provides broad-spectrum sun protection and a soft, matte finish
One would think that in my five or so years as a beauty writer, I'd have a whole treasure chest full of favorite sunscreens. The truth is, I can actually count on one hand how many formulas I've loved enough to keep in my collection. And believe it or not, four out of five of them are from the good ole' drugstore, including one of my all-time favorites: Neutrogena's Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch SPF 100+. From the first day I slathered it on my sensitive skin, I knew I was in love with the sweat-resistant formula, which is both creamy and super-easy to blend, never leaves a white cast, and features a soft matte finish that's neither drying nor irritating.
I'm not alone, either — dermatologists swear by the lightweight sunscreen lotion, too, seeing as it consists of the brand's patented Helioplex technology, which includes a blend of several UV-fighting ingredients like avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, and oxybenzone. It also contains silica (a powerful anti-inflammatory) and beeswax, the latter of which is responsible for its milky, ultra-blendable texture.
While it's been quite some time since I first tried the drugstore classic, it's remained a staple in my routine for a few reasons: It doesn't dry out or irritate my fragile skin, it blends in quickly and seamlessly, and it doesn't have an overpowering scent, which I find is usually the case with most affordable sunscreens on the market. I also have to point out the packaging, which might seem like nothing special but is actually quite amazing because it's super-sanitary (no finger-dipping action needed) and allows me to dispense the perfect amount of product every time.
Another aspect that makes this sunscreen a top contender in my book is how well it wears under makeup, which is not something to take for granted when it comes to sunscreen, as there are so many out there that have a tendency to pill-up or cause makeup to separate and get cakey. Oh yeah, and it never feels heavy on the skin — hence the name Ultra Sheer.
To see how it worked for skin tones and types other than my own, I had Allure editorial assistants Gabriela Thorne and Angela Trakoshis give it a try. After testing it a few times, Thorne kindly reported back with her thoughts: "A little definitely goes a long way, and it melts into your skin and won’t leave you feeling greasy," she says. "However, you do have to make sure you blend it in really well to avoid a white cast or it dulling your skin."
As for Trakoshis, she's a huge fan of the drugstore classic because it's featherlight and never makes her skin look greasy or slicked with oil. "For me, there is nothing worse than a sunscreen with an oily finish, so the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock is the exact SPF my skin needs," she says. "The lightweight and hydrating formula makes you feel like you have nothing on and leaves skin looking dewy and hydrated."
All this to say: If you've been on the hunt for your sunscreen soulmate, I highly recommend giving this award-winning, dermatologist-recommended option a shot. For just $9, how can you go wrong?
For more on sunscreen:
- We Reviewed the 25 Best Sunscreens of 2019
- The 14 Best Tinted Sunscreens for Your Face
- The Best Reef-Safe Sunscreens to Protect Your Skin and the Ocean This Summer