Looking For a New Sunscreen For Summer? Here Are 23 Editor-Approved Options

Jun 29 2020 - 1:30pm

Like most beauty editors, we're passionate about sunscreen — and you should be, too. Very few skin-care products are as important, or personal, as sunblock. Everyone has their likes and dislikes when it comes to beauty, but nothing compares to the love you develop for a quality sun-protection product [1] that fits your unique needs. The level of performance we expect from our sunscreen formula is unmatched.

As we head into the peak sun months when most of us will either be outside, at the beach, or by the pool for long hours at a time, it's important that you have an SPF product that will keep you protected [2] from the sun's harmful UV rays. The alternative is painful sunburns [3], premature signs of aging, and worst case scenario, skin cancer — all of which are completely avoidable with proper sun-protection measures.

If you're someone who hasn't quite found their perfect sunscreen match, or have coined yourself "not a sunscreen person," we rounded up a list of our editors' most beloved sun-protection products [4] that's 20 options deep. Whether you're looking for a body sunscreen that's easy to apply, a face sunscreen that wears well under makeup, or an option that's suitable for acne-prove skin, there's an editor-approved product out there for you. In other words, even the pickiest of beauty shoppers are sure to find a great sunscreen to try ahead.

Glossier Daily Sunscreen +: Invisible Shield

"I have a handful of favorite sunscreens, but the Glossier Daily Sunscreen +: Invisible Shield [5] ($25) may be the most powerful. It's not sticky, or greasy, or chalky, and I've never once been burned while wearing this." — Samantha Sasso, associate beauty editor, Native

CoTz Face Primer & Protect Tinted SPF 40

"I never would have thought that a sunscreen could replace my need for foundation, but the CoTz Face Primer & Protect Tinted SPF 40 [6] ($27) has accomplished just that. This is my holy grail facial sunscreen product. It acts as a primer and has a soft-matte finish that layers amazing under makeup. The sheer tint is light enough that it looks like you're not wearing anything at all, but still blurs imperfections." — Jessica Harrington, associate beauty editor

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40

"Show me someone who hates sunscreen, and I'll show them the Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 [7] ($34). It goes against all the negative preconceived people have about SPF — white casts, chemical smells, thick or hard-to-smear formulas — and instead goes on completely translucent and feels like nothing on skin, so you can stay protected without feeling like you did anything at all." — Kelsey Castañon, senior beauty editor

Versed Daily Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 35

"I recently switched my face sunscreen to the Versed Daily Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 35 [8] ($22) and it's quickly become part of my morning skin-care ritual. I apply it after my serums and moisturizer, and it's incredibly lightweight. (It can be challenging to find a good face sunscreen that doesn't feel heavy on your skin.) The sunscreen is SPF 35 with over 17 percent zinc oxide and has a superlight tint to it — much lighter than my skin tone — but it disappears instantly." — Rebecca Brown, senior editor

Kinship Self Reflect Probiotic Moisturizing Sunscreen

"The Kinship Self Reflect Probiotic Moisturizing Sunscreen [9] ($25) is my go to every day protection. I love mixing this with my regular face moisturizer. It smells dreamy and has a reflective shimmer that is invisible once applied but reflects the sun and makes me feel protected." — Lisa Sugar, editor-in-chief

Image Skincare Prevention+ Daily Hydrating Moisturizer SPF 30+

"I randomly pocketed the Image Skincare Prevention+ Daily, Hydrating Moisturizer SPF 30+ [10] ($44) during a beauty sale at a past job and it surprisingly turned out to be one of the best skin-care decisions I've ever made. This sunscreen is thick, creamy, and hydrating, but it doesn't feel super thick on my skin. As a bonus, it also doesn't leave behind a white residue, a common issue people of color tend to deal with when using sunscreens." — Danielle Jackson, assistant beauty editor

La Roche-Posay Anthelios AOX Daily Antioxidant Serum SPF 50

"Having both acne and sensitive skin made finding the right sunscreen hard. I finally came across the La Roche-Posay Anthelios AOX Daily Antioxidant Serum SPF 50 [11] ($43) a few years ago, and now I can't live without it [12]. The lightweight texture doesn't feel heavy, greasy, or have one of those awful scents. I put it on right before my liquid foundation and its actually a great base primer, too. It feels like I'm wearing nothing at all, which I think is the ultimate goal when it comes to face sunscreen." — Krista Jones, associate editor, shop

CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen SPF 30 Face Sheer Tint

"During the summer, I love any makeup product that offers a dewy glow and is lightweight. I recently fell in love with the CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen SPF 30 Face Sheer Tint [13] ($16) because it serves double duty as a facial sunscreen and a tinted moisturizer. This formula has a smooth and rich consistency that seamlessly melts into your face and offers a dewy, hydrating finish. The universal shade blends in with my medium skin tone and offers a light layer of coverage that's breathable and comfortable to wear despite the hot, humid weather. The best part though is the included SPF 30, which keeps my complexion protected from harmful UV rays." — Genesis Rivas, assistant beauty editor, Makeup.com

iS Clinical Extreme Protect SPF 30

"The sun is my worst enemy in the summer. I love being outside, of course, but with super sensitive skin and rosacea, I have to be extremely diligent with my SPF. The past few months I've been using the iS Clinical Extreme Protect SPF 30 [14] ($78), and to say I'm obsessed would be an understatement. The physical blocker is formulated with zinc oxide and antioxidants to provide advanced sun protection from UVA and UVB rays. It has a superhydrating formula that soothes and softens my skin. My personal favorite feature about this sunscreen is how amazing it works under makeup. I've found it tricky to get a zinc formula that doesn't leave a white residue or feel gunky under my foundation, but this iS Clinical formula rubs in completely (with no white cast!) and provides a nice, dewy base for my makeup, too." — Samantha Holender, assistant beauty editor, Makeup.com

Supergoop! Superscreen Daily Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 40 PA+++

"I am in a deeply committed relationship with my Supergoop! Superscreen Daily Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 40 PA+++ [15] ($38). I have fairly dry skin and other SPF/moisturizer hybrids just don't cut it. This moisturizer actually hydrates my skin, leaves me feeling dewy, plus protects me from UVA/UVB rays." — Amanda Elser Murray, associate style director, native content

"This may be my most beloved skin-care product — ever. In fact, I love this sunscreen-infused moisturizer so much that, last summer, the thought of finishing the pot sent me into the kind of panic that inspired me to hide the half-finished jar so I could rediscover it later. It worked. I found it in a drawer a few weeks ago and was delighted to realize I had so much product left to reuse this summer." — SS

La Mer The Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Daily UV Protecting Fluid Sunscreen

"I love the La Mer The Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Daily UV Protecting Fluid Sunscreen [16] ($95) because it quickly absorbs into my skin, and it includes the brand's signature Miracle Broth that keeps my complexion smooth and even, I can wear this under my makeup without any weird foundation pilling." — Macy Cate Williams, editor, shop

Sol de Janeiro My Sol Stick SPF 50

"I typically stick to SPF 30 when it comes to my face and body sunscreen, but I like to use a higher SPF on my tattoos to keep them protected and the ink from fading. For that, I use the Sol de Janeiro My Sol Stick SPF 50 [17] ($26). Because it's in a stick, it's easy to strategically apply to specific areas of the body and it blends into nothing — no white cast or sticky residue. It's also formulated with coconut oil and cupuaçu butter, making it insanely hydrating. But I think my absolute favorite part is the delicious caramel scent." — JH

"I always travel with the Dr. Barbara Sturn Sun Drops SPF 50 [18] ($145) so I can make sure wherever I go, I know I have a high level SPF to dab on while running around town or relaxing on vacation." — LS

Supergoop! Mattescreen Sunscreen SPF 40

"I love the Supergoop! Mattescreen Sunscreen SPF 40 [19] ($38) as it actually feels like a three-in-one product. First, it is a sunscreen, second it mattifies my skin, and third it acts like a primer before I apply any foundation. It provides a matte finish for my slightly oily skin that last throughout the day with makeup or without." — Lauren Hendrickson, head of shop and affiliate growth

Paula's Choice Calm Redness Relief Mineral Moisturizer SPF 30

If I could only use one face sunscreen for the rest of my life, it would be Paula's Choice Calm Redness Relief Mineral Moisturizer SPF 30 [20] ($29). Why do I love it? Let me count the ways: 1) It's mineral based, which means it's gentle and won't sting my sensitive eyes, but it rubs in easily. 2) It's as hydrating as an SPF-free moisturizer and great under makeup. 3) It calms redness so I can slap it on right after a workout-hot-shower combo. 4) The texture is creamy yet light. 5) It comes in a minimalist tube that doesn't scream "beach day". I could go on, but by now you probably understand my obsession." — Dawn Davis, senior editorial director, Group Nine Media

Banana Boat Hair and Scalp Defense SPF 30

"Sometimes, you just want a sunscreen that smells like like sipping piña coladas (and getting caught in the rain) to make you forget you're probably not going on that summer vacation you were so excited about, and that's exactly what you get from the new Banana Boat Hair and Scalp Defense SPF 30 [21] ($11). It's not exclusively for your hair — in fact, I use it all over — but it's nice to know it won't weigh mine down any time I decide to remember my scalp is skin, too." — KC

Biossance Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30

"Finding a face sunscreen that doesn't pill under my makeup has been like finding that one shiny needle in a grassy, abundant haystack — most formulas just don't play well with my foundation. So, when I applied the Biossance Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 [22] ($30) for the first time and noticed that it didn't pill in the slightest, I knew I'd struck gold. This ultralightweight formula is creamy, sheer, and has a combination of squalane and water lily to lock in hydration and soothe the skin. My favorite part is that it literally melts into my complexion with little rubbing required and gives me a buoyant, supple surface to slide on my primer and foundation. Is this the proverbial needle in the haystack when it comes to nonpilling sunscreen? I would absolutely say so." — Alanna Martine Kilkeary, associate beauty editor, Makeup.com

EltaMD UV Elements Tinted Broad-Spectrum SPF 44

"I'm a longtime fan of Elta MD sunscreen, and on prelockdown days I'd slather on the clear formula under my makeup. Since we've been working from home these last few months, though, I've made the switch to the EltaMD UV Elements Tinted Broad-Spectrum SPF 44 [23] (36$). It completely evens out any redness and adds a kiss of color, but with that real-skin effect." — KC

Australian Gold Botanical Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50

"I prefer inexpensive body sunscreens because I'm more likely to use them liberally (vs. rationing a pricier option), and Australian Gold Botanical Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 [24] ($15) is my drugstore go-to. It's a mineral formula that rubs in easily, feels silky like a body lotion, and has a hint of a summery smell. I'm pretty petrified of the sun, but I feel protected when I wear it." — DD

Supergoop! Glowscreen Sunscreen SPF 40

"I really love the Supergoop! Glowscreen Sunscreen SPF 40 [25] ($36) because it doesn't break me out, a problem I've found with lots of sunscreens. It also gives my skin a pretty, summertime glow that allows me to skip foundation. It's a new favorite." — India Yaffe, assistant editor, Shop

"I instantly knew that the Supergoop! Glowscreen Sunscreen SPF 40 [26] ($36) would become a staple in my beauty routine back when it launched, and I was very right. Sometimes I wear it under foundation for an all-over glow [27], but the lit-from-within radiance that it gives your complexion really begs to be worn makeup-free." — JH

Sun Bum Mineral Spray Sunscreen SPF 30

"When it comes to body sunscreens, I absolutely despise rub-in lotion formulas. (Maybe it's because I don't have the patience to rub it in thoroughly, but I find it doesn't cover as well as a spray.) My solution: the Sun Bum Mineral Spray Sunscreen SPF 30 [28] ($18). The zinc-based, mineral spray has a matte finish that doesn't feel the least bit greasy on the skin. Because of its easy-to-use bottle, I don't mind applying and reapplying it over and over again when I'm out in the sun (which, of course, is key to not burning)." — JH

Supergoop! Glow Oil SPF 50

"I recently started using the Supergoop! Glow Oil SPF 50 [29] ($38) and I love the glow, the smell, and the fact that my legs are protected with 50 SPF while also looking moisturized. Supergoop has always been a favorite sunscreen brand but this oil is my new favorite product of theirs." — LS

Anthelios Ultra Light Face Sunscreen SPF 60

"Drugstore brand La Roche Posay has some of the most efficacious sunscreens in the game, and they have something for just about everyone. For me, I lean heavily toward the so-light-you-can-barely-feel-it formulas, and you can't get much better than the brand's Anthelios Ultra Light Face Sunscreen SPF 60 [30] ($30)." — KC

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