Remembering to apply sunscreen when you’re spending the day outside in the sun and heat is usually pretty easy. Fear of a painful sunburn and terrible tan lines waiting for you at the end of a fun beach day act as enough of a reminder to reapply every two hours. But sunscreen is needed beyond the sand and surf.
Sun damage can happen anytime, even on cloudy days when your exposure to the sun is minimal. Slow and sometimes inconspicuous sun damage can add up over time, making skin appear wrinkled, creating dark spots, and prematurely aging skin.
That’s why it’s important to find a sunscreen that works for your skin and is easy to apply every day. We’ve rounded up four of our favorite sunscreens, including options that are designed for users with sensitive skin, users who don’t like the feel of lotions, and users who need a sunscreen that can be applied quickly. Whichever sunscreen you choose, make sure you apply it (and reapply it) regularly.
1. Sun Bum Original SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion
Moisturize your skin and protect it at the same time with the Sun Bum Original SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion. Safe for sensitive skin, Sun Bum is hypoallergenic, oil-free and non-comedogenic, which means it won’t clog pores and cause breakouts like other sunscreens. Sun Bum is coral reef-friendly and made without oxybenzone, octinoxate, gluten and parabens. Providing UVA/UVB protection, the water-resistant sunscreen will last up to 80 minutes when swimming or sweating and should be reapplied every two hours.
Pros: Dermatologist-approved Sun Bum is made with vitamin E and leaves skin feeling moisturized.
Cons: Sun Bum goes on thick and can be difficult to rub into the skin. It also has a strong coconut smell.
2. CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30
If you’re looking for an option specifically for your face, CeraVe’s AM moisturizing lotion is one of the best options to get, and it’s affordably priced. It comes with an easy pump top, and it’s designed for morning use. It moisturizes your face while providing broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection throughout the day.
Pros: Good option for face moisturizing. Doesn’t leave an oily sheen. Designed for all skin types.
Cons: Not the best option if you’re looking for a body lotion.
3. Blue Lizard Mineral Sunscreen
Mineral sunscreen is a good option for those with sensitive skin. This sunscreen from Blue Lizard uses zinc oxide as its mineral ingredients to deflect the sun’s harmful rays without causing irritation. The strong SPF 50 protection makes it great for long days in the sun. It’s sweat and water-resistant to keep up with workouts and ocean adventures.
Pros: Mineral formula makes it good for sensitive skin. 80 minutes of water resistance. Broad-spectrum SPF 50 protection.
Cons: Small 5 oz size.
4. EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen
The EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen is one of the best options for users with sensitive skin. The oil-free, non-comedogenic sunscreen is made with zinc oxide and reflects the sun’s rays away from the skin, but unlike most zinc oxide sunscreens, the EltaMD goes on clear and doesn’t leave a flaky white finish. EltaMD protects users from harmful UVA and UVB rays and helps to calm the skin. EltaMD also contains hyaluronic acid, which pumps moisture back into the skin, helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and making skin appear more youthful.
Pros: The EltaMD is ideal for users with sensitive skin.
Cons: Best for the face and not the entire body.
5. Coppertone Sunscreen Sport Spray
This spray from Coppertone is a sport option if you’re at the beach or outdoors and looking for something easy to apply. It comes in spray form, making it easy to get full coverage and protection. It comes in a pack of two, and the formula offers SPF 50 protection and 80 minutes of water resistance.
Pros: Convenient option for sports activities. High SPF for protection. Comes in a pack of two.
Cons: Not ideal for the face.
6. Banana Boat Ultra Sport Sunscreen Lotion
Banana Boat is a summer staple for a reason. Their sunscreen is formulated to provide protection for a variety of conditions, including beach days, pool days, extreme heat and wind. The sunscreen has 80 minutes of water resistance and broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection. It comes in a lotion form.
Pros: Designed to resist sweat and water and work for pool and beach days. Broad-spectrum protection.
Cons: 8 oz size is somewhat small.
7. Sun Bum Mineral SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion
In addition to their classic original formula, Sun Bum also makes a great mineral sunscreen option that’s formulated to be friendly to sensitive skin. It’s friendly to ocean health, too. It’s formulated without chemicals that are known to damage coral reefs. The zinc-based formula provides 80 minutes of water resistance and SPF 50 protection for long, sunny days.
Pros: Mineral formula is good for those with sensitive skin. Formulated without chemicals that damage coral reefs.
Cons: 3 oz size is small.
8. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Water Resistant and Non-Greasy Sunscreen Lotion
Protect your skin with Neutrogena and their Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Water Resistant and Non-Greasy Sunscreen Lotion. Ideal for anyone who doesn’t like the feel of lotion, the matte finish of the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer sunscreen dries quickly and leaves no greasy residue. Safe for use up to 80 minutes in water, the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer is formulated with Helioplex for superior sun protection. Safe for use on the face (it’s non-comedogenic) and body, Neutrogena Ultra Sheer offers UVA and UVB protection.
Pros: At 100 SPF, the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer has the strongest sun protection of all the options on our list.
Cons: The small container can be used up quickly and the sunscreen may be too heavy for users with oily skin.
9. Alba Botanica Sunscreen Spray
For an affordable sunscreen that is easy to apply, try the Alba Botanica Sunscreen Spray. The SPF 50 sunscreen is recommended by the Skin Care Foundation and is made with coconut extract, shea butter and avocado oil for a sunscreen that leaves skin smelling fresh without drying it out. Alba is free from oxybenzone, octinoxate, gluten or synthetic fragrances and is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.
Pros: Like Sun Bum, Alba markets itself as coral reef-friendly and is biodegradable.
Cons: It can leave a sticky residue on hands and must be reapplied more often than other sunscreens.