Finding the perfect sunblock involves considering a lot of factors: chemical vs. physical sunscreens, formulation, texture, wearability, water resistance, smell, and so forth. We test a ton of sunscreens every year, so we thought we'd share our favorite products. We all have different skin types and product needs, so whether you're looking for something all natural and high SPF or an easy fix you can throw in your bag for keeping safe poolside, we've got a product that we love and use ourselves.
Source: Flickr User Yuppie922
The Science of Sun
I love swimming and snorkeling, but some sunscreens contain ingredients that can harm the coral reef. Not so with
MD SolarSciences Ultra-Sportstick SPF 40 ($16), a PABA-free sunblock that kicks away UVA and UVB rays while being incredibly water-resistant. It's especially handy for outdoorsy types, since the packaging is compact enough to take anywhere: on a hike, to a lake, or on a boat.
—Annie Tomlin, Senior Editor
1 / 10
If someone were to give me $125 to spend on a mineral sunscreen, I'd snatch up a bottle of
Sunday Riley Cashmere lotion. Plenty of other products have SPF 30 like this one, and some also do it without chemical sunscreens, but Sunday Riley's lightweight texture is incredibly luxurious. It makes applying sunscreen feel like some fancy-lady ritual, and what am I if not an aspiring fancy lady? I've tried Cashmere only once, at an in-store event at Barneys, but if I win the lottery someday, this just might be on the skincare splurge list.
2 / 10
I have oily skin, so I try to use as little lotion and grease on my face as possible, especially during hot weather.
Bare Minerals SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen in Tan ($28) is great because it doesn’t break me out or clog my pores. Plus, it goes on perfectly over my regular makeup.
— Britt Stephens, Editorial Assistant
3 / 10
Coppertone is a classic for a reason, and I love their
Sport SPF 30 Sunscreen Spray ($7) for beach or pool days. It’s easy to apply, doesn’t make a mess, and best of all, is waterproof.
4 / 10
Would It Kiehl You?
I’ve been using
Kiehl's Crème de Corps Lightweight Body Lotion SPF 30 ($21) for years, and I’m totally addicted! It absorbs quickly, smells great, and is lightweight and hydrating enough to use every day.
6 / 10
Have Some Suntegrity
Greetings from your resident paranoid vegan! I have sensitive skin and almost everything breaks me out, so
Suntegrity All Natural Moisturizing Face Protection ($45) has been a lifesaver for me. I use it every morning, and don't get any breakouts or irritation at all, which is basically an impossibility for me with other high SPF sunscreens. It also doesn't have any micronized particles, it's chemical sunscreen free, and it smells like orange blossom.
— Miriam Lacey, Associate Editor
6 / 10
Fan de Soleil
I'm one of those people who actually
does re-apply sunscreen every few hours, so I've become fond of Environmental Defense Daily Moisturizer For Face SPF 20 ($55). It's not a high enough SPF for long-term wear (I use my Suntegrity for that), but it's titanium dioxide-based, has a great texture, doesn't break me out, and smells natural and herbaceous. If you're looking for something that moisturizes and gives you light protection in one go, it's a great product.
7 / 10
The Real McCoy
For as long as I can remember, when my mom has wanted something portable, effective, and inexpensive, she'd grab a jar of
Ocean Potion Suncare Clear Zinc Oxide Face Potion, SPF 45 ($3). I got periodic shipments of this stuff all throughout college, and I've always been grateful. It's a heavy-duty sunscreen, you can rub it on any exposed area and it protects you in a flash, and even though it's a "face" formula, it's great on arms, legs, and chests, too. It's my old standby and still my favorite body sunscreen.
8 / 10
It's definitely a splurge at $79, but Bliss's new
Youth Lotion SPF 30 provides much more beyond UVA/UVB protection. As its name suggests, this facial moisturizer is formulated with antiaging properties. And even though it's lightweight in texture, a little goes a long way for this one — all without a greasy feel.
— Jaime Richards, Associate Editor
9 / 10
Soft and Sweet
Avon launched Skin So Soft in 1961, and since then, there's been a wide array of products within the line. Take the Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Pump Spray ($14), for instance. The great thing about this multitasking product is that it repels bugs without a stinky odor, all while providing a SPF of 30. It seems a bit oily at first, but wait a while for it to settle; you're left with softened skin and a subtle scent.
11 / 10