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Not sure what sunscreen brand to reach for? Don’t worry. We have you — and your skin — covered! Here’s the ultimate breakdown of the best sunscreens for all skin types and budgets.
UV radiation (UV) from the sun can cause premature aging, skin cancer, and other health conditions. Using sunscreen on the daily can prevent this. But keep in mind, not all sunscreens are created equally.
The best sunscreen for you depends on your unique needs. Look out for a brand’s SPF, water resistance, allergens, and active ingredients.
The price range uses the following scale. It’s based on the cost of product per ounce (oz.):
$ = under $5 per oz.
$$ = $6–$10 per oz.
$$$ = $11–$20 per oz.
$$$$ = over $20 an oz.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Lotion
For the best bang for your buck it doesn’t get much better. This thin, water-based sunscreen soaks in fast and won’t make you greasy. Plus it has a nice, light floral scent that won’t overwhelm.
It’s a killer choice if you have dry or sensitive skin. Your skin should feel fresh and dewy after every use thanks to hyaluronic acid.
Supergoop! Play Antioxidant Body Mist
Protect your skin on the go with this broad-spectrum spray. It’s SPF 50 and boasts a bunch of antioxidants like vitamin C. Studies show vitamin C can reduce UV-induced photodamage.
More good news: You don’t need to ask someone, “Can you get my back?” The spray makes it easier to get hard-to-reach spots.
Keep in mind it can be tough to figure out how much spray sunscreen to use. Make sure you apply it evenly and often before you roll out.
Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Zinc Oxide Sunscreen
Bébés and kiddos need more protection from Mr. Sun than adults. This lotion offers excellent protection from the sun and is perf for sensitive, delicate skin.
Note: It’s not recommended to apply sunscreen on kids younger than 6 months old. Keep ’em out of the sun and protect with clothing/carriers/hats!
Bare Republic Mineral Face Sunscreen Lotion
This mineral-based sunscreen offers protection against UVB and UVA rays. It also has natural extracts — like raspberry, grape and carrot seed — which can help fight free radicals. If you want something lower than SPF 70 it also comes in SPF 30 and SPF 50.
A minor note: Some reviewers said they didn’t dig the vanilla-coconut scent.
MDSolarSciences Mineral SunScreen Stick
This lightweight, oil-free sunscreen comes in stick form. It offers solid UV protection and is easy to use. It goes on smooth and shouldn’t aggravate sensitive skin. This sunscreen stick also has shea butter which is calming and nourishing.
Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Body Shield
This silky formula is a creamy way to protect your skin. Reviewers say it spreads on smoother than a lot of other zinc oxide formulas. It should blend nicely into any skin tone without leaving white residue.
It’s also on the Skin Cancer Foundation’s list of recommended products to prevent skin cancer. Woot!
Sorry, Flipper — some sunscreens can hurt marine life.
Chemical sunscreens often have oxybenzone and octinoxate which can damage coral. It doesn’t matter if you splish-splash far from reefs. The chemicals in sunscreen can eventually make their way into vulnerable marine ecosystems.
Stick to mineral-only sunscreen when you swim with the fishes.
Note: You don’t have to only stick to sunblock. You can also wear a rash guard, T-shirt, or other protective clothing to block out UV rays.
Thinksport Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+
Thinksport Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+ is terrific because it uses non-nano zinc, which is reef-friendly. The lotion rubs into the skin with little effort. It won’t leave you feeling greasy either. It’s also pretty darn affordable compared to other reef-friendly brands.
La Roche Posay Anthelios Melt-In Milk Sunscreen
This product is lush AF. The formula is fantastic for folks with easily-irritated skin. It’s an awesome way to protect yourself from sunburn while keeping your skin hydrated.
Dermalogica Super Sensitive Shield SPF 30
Dermalogica Super Sensitive Shield doesn’t just protect you from sun damage. It can also help reduce itching, burning, and flaking skin. It’s formulated with oats and botanical extracts and contains no artificial colors or fragrances. Oh la la!
It’s on the pricier side but a little bit goes a long way.
Black Girl Sunscreen
A lot of sunscreens (mostly the mineral-based kind) leave behind a white residue. Thankfully Black Girl Sunscreen has you covered 😉. The black-owned company is known for their amazing formula. It has a sheer, silky texture that dries clear.
Another perk: it’s infused with jojoba and avocado 🥑. Yum.
Just keep in mind SPF 30 isn’t the strongest stuff on the market. Reapply throughout the day for the best protection.
Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-on Shield
This handy-dandy all-mineral sunblock comes in a cute little tube. It’s 100 percent chemical free and has a built-in brush for easy application. Its antimicrobial bristles keep it fresh.
Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-on Shield comes in four different shades. It can compliment a wide range of skin tones. It’s also paraben-free, sulfate-free, and vegan.
EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen Broad Spectrum
Acne is bad enough. You def don’t want to look like a lobster on top of that
It has lactic acid, a chemical exfoliant, which can help curb pore crud. Meanwhile, hyarlonic acid helps draw moisture to the skin. Gotta love a twofer! On top of that it’s also loaded with niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3 that may reduce redness.
Australian Gold Botanical Tinted Face Sunscreen
Gotta respect a product that multitasks. This sunscreen offers SPF 50-level protection while giving you a nice tint. It can help even out your skin tone without feeling thick or greasy.
More goodness: It’s formulate with natural botanicals like eucalyptus, kakadu plum, and red algae. It doesn’t have any alcohol, dyes, or phthalates.
Glossier Invisible Shield Daily Sunscreen
This bad boy is an actual superhero. It’s power? Total invisibility. The light-weight formula is fantastic for any skin tone. It’s more like a serum than an actual lotion and easily absorbs into skin. It’s also full of microcapsules that protect and hydrate.
CannaSmack Ink Guard Sunscreen
Tattoos are an investment, friends. Protect your skin art with a sunblock designed to prevent color fade and dehydration. CannaSmack Ink Guard Screen uses hempseed oil, beeswax, and plant oils to keep your pieces looking fresh.
Pick a sunscreen you really like. That way you’ll be stoked to use it everyday! Keep a spare bottle in your bag, car, or work station just in case. Your skin will definitely thank you for it. 😎