Although the list of summer essentials is fairly extensive (floppy hat…jean shorts…espadrilles…sunglasses…you get the point), sunscreen definitely tops it. Quite simply, this item is a total non-negotiable. While we know we need it, finding the right one isn’t always that easy.
Here we breakdown the best options for your specific skin needs, because the last thing you want is for your sunscreen to cause more harm than good!
When our editor Sarah says she lives and dies by a product, you listen. Eltamd UV Clear ($30) is the only sunscreen she’ll use. If you’ve previously struggled with sunscreen causing breakouts, this is the product for you.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Clear Skin Dry Sunscreen ($20) has a remarkably dry finish, but also works to absorb oil with perlite (naturally occurring volcanic glass) and silica.
If the 2PM oil-slick is an everyday occurrence, rely on Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Spray ($28) for an afternoon pick-me-up.
Murad Invisiblur Perfecting Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($65) can really work on all skin types. Better yet, the formula blurs imperfections while simultaneously protecting. A win-win product.
If your skin is dry regardless of season, try Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47 ($32) to protect while also hydrating.
To fight signs of aging (in addition to the sun!), look to Kiehl’s Super Multi-Corrective Cream SPF 30 ($82). It promotes elasticity and firmness, thanks to jasmonic acid and beech treat extract.
Even gentle formulas can contain irritating chemicals. If you’ve fallen victim to this while attempting to protect your face, try Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Defense ($38).
While relying on retinols and acids can do wonders for your visage, it can make skin seriously sensitive. Although far from glamorous, my dermatologist recommended Vanicream Sunscreen ($16) a few years ago and I haven’t looked back since.
Did we miss any of your favorites for your particular skin type?
Let us know in the comments below.
-Casey Sharbaugh is the blogger behind www.comfortablycasey.com
We get it: Slathering your face everyday with something that may cause a negative reaction is anything but pleasant. However, the long term damage of not wearing sunscreen is far worse than whatever short term damage may be caused by the formula. Before we start sounding preachy, let’s just get right to it and acknowledge the fact that if you’re avoiding wearing sun protection for fear of irritating your face, you’re probably just using the wrong formula!
Renée Rouleau, celebrity esthetician and founder of Renée Rouleau Skin Care Collection, is here to help us get this straight once and for all.
Beauty Banter: What types of sunscreen should be used on various skin types?
Renée Rouleau: For acne-prone skin type, I recommend physical sunscreen as it’s less likely to clog pores and irritate the skin. Sensitive skin-types and those prone to rosacea should use strictly physical sunscreens to minimize risk of irritation.
BB: Lots of sunscreens can cause breakouts—ugh. Any advice?
RR: Choose a sunscreen formula with Zinc Oxide. Of all the categories of skin care products, sunscreens are the most likely to cause negative skin reactions on the skin, but the good news
is there have been a lot of advancements in sun protecting ingredients. The Renée Rouleau Daily Protection SPF 30 is ideal because it offers broad spectrum UVA/UVB sun protection that is lightweight and completely greaseless.
BB: What is the difference between physical and chemical anyways?
RR: Physical sunscreens contain active mineral ingredients, such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, which work by sitting on top of the skin to deflect and scatter damaging UV rays away from the skin. They are often referred to as physical blockers.
Chemical sunscreens contain organic (carbon-based) compounds, such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate and avobenzone, which create a chemical reaction and work by changing UV rays into heat, then releasing that heat from the skin.
BB: Should a stronger face wash be used at the end of the day to make sure that sunscreen is removed?
Here are some of our favorites:
For sunscreen haters: Tatcha Pore Perfecting Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 35 ($68)
For multi-tasking: Supergoop! Anti-Aging City Sunscreen Serum ($42)
For dry or irritated skin: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Pure Mineral Sunscreen ($30)
For coverage: MDSolarSciences Mineral Tinted Creme SPF 30 ($32)
For on-the-go touchups: COOLA Suncare Classic Face Makeup Setting Spray ($36)
-Casey Sharbaugh is the blogger behind www.comfortablycasey.com
Coppertone sunscreen was originally invented in 1944 to darken tans, not as a sunscreen (learning interesting tidbits of information on the daily!). Who can forget that adorable advertisement pictured above? The brand also helped launch Jodie Foster acting career; she played the Coppertone girl in a TV spot at the ripe age of three. Coppertone followed many of us through our childhoods, the smell just as much so as the trademark Pepto-Bismal-pink bottle.
Over 70 years later, people are much more concerned with protecting against a tan rather than enhancing it. Unless you’re a fan of wrinkles, sunspots, and uh… skin cancer… it is time to start slathering on these top formulas. Plus, hyper-tans are kind of played out, no? Pale is the new golden (kinda).
Only someone who lives under a rock disregards the importance of wearing sunscreen every.single.day. Yes, even when it’s cloudy or cold. With Kiehl’s Since 1851 Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+ ($38), you can no longer use the excuse that sunscreen makes you too greasy or doesn’t sit well under your makeup. It’s ultra-lightweight and has an undetectable matte finish.
Applying sunscreen while already out in the sun can be a total mess. No matter how careful you try to be with your application, you end up with sand sticking everywhere and hairs cemented to your face. Not a cute look. La Roche Posay Anthelios Cooling Water Lotion ($36) is, as the name attests, a water-like formula that is idiot-proof in its application, but also cools the skin on contact. A beach bag must-have, so stock up now!
Ruining an expensive head of highlights in the sun is a one-time mistake that you never forget… sort of like a bad date. Unfortunately, there is no product for the latter problem, but for the former there is Phyto Phytoplage Protective Sun Oil ($30). It’ll protect your locks against UV damage, while simultaneously softening.
Natural skincare is all the rage recently, and for good reason! Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Defense SPF 30 ($38) protects your visage with zinc, but is formulated without any irritating chemicals. Bonus points for being a universally flattering tint, since the idea of applying a face of makeup at the beach is anything but appealing.
A common mistake among even the most dedicated sunscreen appliers is forgetting their lips. It seems so obvious to protect your entire face, but the pout is all too often completely overlooked. Sun Bum Lip Balm SPF 30 ($4) provides a sheer shield for your lips while also lightly moisturizing.
Overachievers can be a bit off putting, except when it comes to beauty products. Unlike an annoying know-it-all sibling or cousin, the do-it-all tendencies of First Aid Beauty 5 in 1 Face Cream SPF 30 are more than welcome. In addition to protecting from harmful UV rays, this product soothes and evens out your skin while fighting free-radical damage and aging.
For your dermatologist’s piece of mind as well as your own, please apply these products liberally to avoid your bum looking like the Coppertone girl’s. And remember, reapply, reapply, reapply!
Casey Sharbaugh currently resides in New York City and works in the fashion industry. In her spare time, you can find Casey spinning, trying new beauty products, or browsing the city for the best ice cream cone. Find her on Twitter at @caseyhshar
Summer, summer everywhere… Hopefully, you spent the fourth of July holiday basking in the sun. Beach or poolside, lounging or actively participating in a plethora of water sports, I’m betting you’ve got a pretty nice tan to show for your weekend whereabouts. And while you need to be applying SPF from head to toe, protecting your face is vital. Let me repeat that: vital.
Don’t you dare slack on the SPF… at least a nickel-sized amount to the face alone, and let it absorb 15 minutes prior to sun exposure. Reapply every 2 hours, more frequently if swimming or sweating even if your sunscreen is waterproof – and double up by wearing a hat and sunglasses! Try to avoid direct exposure to sun between peak hours (10-3), or at least limit the amount of time you spend tanning during these hours.I hear parasol’s are making a comeback – invest in one and hide your face under it.
Alas, here is a current list of my favorite sunscreens. After all, summer’s just begun:
Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen & Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($45) – “ A non-greasy, chemical-free face sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection against damaging UVA and UVB rays. Infused with youth promoting antioxidants and astaxanthin, this 3-in-1 product is a face moisturizer, sunscreen and makeup primer all in one.” *Safe for oily or problem skin.*BB Favorite!
Murad Essential-C Sun Balm Broad Spectrum SPF 35 ($25) – ” Powerful SPF protection in a portable package provides broad spectrum protection from aging UVA/UVB rays, free radicals, and dehydration. It glides on for easy application and locks in moisture, leaving skin smooth and supple. Broccoli extract stimulates skin’s natural defense against UV damage while antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E defend and protect skin’s health.” *Best for dry and mature skin. Convenient and easy applicator, also ideal for applying to hands, chest and neck.
The Healthy Sunscreen SPF 30 Body Cream SPF 30 ($38) – “An all-natural sunscreen with SPF 30 UVA/UVB protection. This body cream uses a new generation of mineral sunscreens for broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection. Infused with green tea, organic shea butter, and soothing cucumber, this luxurious formula works to hydrate, nourish, and protect.” *Safe for oily or problem skin.*BB Favorite!
Alba Botanica Natural Very Emollient Sunscreen SPF 40 ($11) – “Durable, 80 minutes water resistant (very water resistant) sunscreen for active, rugged use now in a convenient, non-greasy, milky spray lotion.” *Safe for all skin types. *BB Favorite!
Arcona Reozone 40 ($28) – “This full spectrum daily sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays. At the same time, it soothes and restores skin and neutralizes free radicals. Reozone 40 is lightly tinted with a light texture and offers a non-greasy formula to transform sunscreen application from a chore to a simple luxury. Water-resistant and oil-free Protects against UVA and UVB rays Soothes skin and neutralizes free radicals.” *Safe for oily or problem skin.
Own Renewing Dual Protecting Day Lotion SPF 30 ($23) – “Offers the protective power of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to create a mineral UV shield that protects skin from damaging elements throughout the day. Enjoy the benefits of a light, non-greasy formula that absorbs quickly and works to boost your skin’s natural defenses for a healthier, UVA/UVB protected complexion.” *Safe for oily or problem skin.
MyChelle Dermaceuticals Sun Shield SPF 28 Coconut ($19) – “An environmentally-safe, full spectrum UVA/UVB sun defense that offers powerfully effective protection, yet is gentle enough for infants and non-irritating near the eyes. Translucent Zinc and Titanium Dioxides provide a safe alternative to harsh chemical sunscreens. The addition of soothing Aloe and Vitamin E help reduce signs of sun induced irritation.” *Safe for oily or problem skin.*BB Favorite!
MD Solar Sciences Mineral Lotion for Face & Body Broad Spectrum SPF 50 ($34) – “Features a gentle, mineral formula infused with micronized zinc and titanium to refract harmful UVA and UVB rays away from your skin, preventing sun damage and photoaging. Its water-resistant formula glides on with ease and absorbs quickly for an effortless application and long-lasting, comfortable wear.” *Safe for all skin types, although if you’re oily, I’d stay away. Made my skin a bit too greasy but gives great protection!
Note to Self: I love zinc – it is the only ingredient that actually protects completely from UVA and UVB rays.