The days of blue skies and warm weather are here—rejoice! I know we are all ready to head outside to soak in some much deserved vitamin D, but before you do it’s important to prepare your skin with sunscreen.
Sound annoying? It’s totally not! There’s a ton of different SPF products to choose from to help protect your face, body, scalp and even your lips. If you don’t know where to start, or don’t know which sunscreens are most suitable for your own personal needs, let me help you out!
As someone with very pale skin that burns quickly, I am well-versed in the art of sunblock. If you’ve heard of a sunscreen brand or sunblock product, please believe that I’ve tried it over the years. Luckily for you, all you have to do is read on to find the best sunscreen to lather on all summer long.
Table of contents:
Finding the Product for Your Skin Type
Oily: If you have skin that tends to get oily, go for a sunblock that won’t add a ton of oil to your skin or is made of natural ingredients.
Dry: For dry skin, it’s vital to layer on a thick layer of moisture that will withstand any irritation and dryness from wind or sun.
My recommendations: Tarte Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen ($36 at Sephora) and EleVen by Venus Williams Unrivaled Sun Serum SPF 35 ($50 at Ulta)
Mature Skin: For those who are concerned about aging, you need a sunscreen that will protect against wrinkles, fine lines and dark spots caused by sun exposure.
My recommendations: ISDIN Eryfotona Actinica Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50+ Zinc Oxide ($60 at Amazon) and Elizabeth Arden PREVAGE City Smart Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Hydrating Shield ($72 at Ulta, back in stock soon)
Acne-prone: It’s important to use a clean (paraben-free and organic) sunblock if your pores clog and get irritated easily to avoid any more breakouts.
My recommendations: Tizo 2 Non-Tinted Facial Mineral Sunscreen SPF 40 ($43 at Amazon) and No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Day Cream SPF 30 ($24.99 at Ulta)
Sensitive Skin: If you’re prone to irritation and redness, these products will protect you from the sun without causing issues.
My recommendations: Olay Complete Moisturizer with SPF 15 for Sensitive Skin ($10.49 at CVS), Neutrogena Healthy Defense Sensitive Moisturizer SPF 50 ($15.49 at Walgreens) and Elevé Vitamin Sea Mineral Antioxidant Sunscreen SPF 28 ($52 at Elevé Cosmetics)
Highest SPF: Time to pull out the big guns! It might seem wacky to have sunscreen with a SPF over 100, but if you have pale skin (raises hand) and will be going outside in the sun all day, it’s the only choice.
My recommendations: Neutrogena Age Shield Face Oil-Free Sunscreen Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 110 (3 pack for $26.91 at Amazon) and La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-in Milk Body & Face Sunscreen Lotion SPF 100 ($26.99 at Ulta)
Makeup with SPF
I will always recommend putting your facial sunblock on before any makeup, but some foundations and makeup products have enough SPF for all day protection! Here’s some of my all-in-one favorites that I swear by.
My recommendations: Bobbi Brown SPF 15 Foundation ($60 at Sephora), Supergoop! CC Screen 100% Mineral CC Cream SPF 50 ($42 at Sephora) and Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense SPF 30 ($36 at Sephora)
Spray: Spray sunblocks are great because they’re easy to apply and reapply throughout the day, especially when you’re at the beach. Just remember to apply them to your entire body to avoid any missed spots!
My recommendations: L’Oreal Paris Advanced Suncare Sunscreen SPF 50+ ($9.88 at Amazon), Alba Botanica Hawaiian Coconut Sunscreen Spray ($9.49 at Target) and Supergoop! PLAY Antioxidant Body Mist SPF 50 with Vitamin C ($15-$21 at Supergoop)
Lotion: Lotion sunblocks are my go-to, at least at the beginning of the day, because you can really work it into your skin and avoid awkward sunburn patterns (we’ve all been there).
My recommendations: Ultra Sun Protection Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ WetForce ($42 at Sephora) and SheaMoisture Vitamin E & Jojoba Oil Mineral Sunscreen SPF 35 ($11.99 at Target)
Tanning Oil: If you’re trying to get a tan but still want to keep your skin safe from damage, you’ll want to use a tanning oil with SPF.
Sport/Waterproof Sunscreen: If you’re hitting the pool or heading out to play an intense game of soccer, you’ll need a long-lasting waterproof sunscreen.
My recommendations: Blue Lizard Active Australian Sunscreen SPF 30 ($35.50 at Amazon) and Banana Boat Ultra Sport Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 ($6.12 at Amazon)
Lip & Scalp Sunblock
Chapsticks with SPF: Yes, your lips can get sunburnt! If you look around, many chapsticks offer SPF to help protect lips from the sun. They add another layer of protection and comfort.
Scalp Spray: If you’re not going to be wearing a hat, it’s a great idea to apply some SPF to your scalp before heading outside. It may seem silly, but a sunburn on the scalp really hurts, so it’s best to avoid it!
My recommendations: Supergoop Poof 100% Mineral Part and Scalp Powder SPF 45 ($34 at Amazon, back in stock soon) and Sun Bum Scalp and Hair Mist SPF 30 ($14.99 at Target)
My Overall Three Favorite Sunblocks
These are the real MVPs on sunblock! I use these three products everyday to avoid sunburns and swear by them.
Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 ($44 at Sephora)
I wear Supergoop products a lot, and the Unseen is one of my favorites. I use it instead of a primer under my makeup, and its great for minimizing pores while keeping my skin protected. It goes on so smoothly!
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen Lotion SPF 55 ($7.97 at Amazon)
I’ve been using Neutrogena Ultra Sheer for over a decade now and it never disappoints. I have a few of these 3 oz. ones around my house and a mini one in my purse at all times for on-the-go application.
Super Fluid Daily UV Defense SPF 50+ ($62 at Kiehl’s)
This sunscreen is amazing! The lightweight formula helps protect skin from environmental aggressors including UVA/UVB rays and pollution which can cause the first signs of aging. Plus, it smells so good!
Bonus! If you want more protection than just sunscreen, try out Heliocare! It’s a dietary supplement, and each daily dose of Heliocare is packed with 240mg of a proprietary antioxidant, Fernblock PLE Technology, which aids in eliminating free radicals in the body. Together, a topical SPF and Heliocare can work to defend skin from damaging free radicals produced by UV rays, both internally and externally. Try it out and stay protected!
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