These effective options protect and perfect.
Step into the honesty circle. Have you ever contemplated skipping sunscreen on a partly cloudy day because you know you will look shinier than a freshly waxed bowling lane? Did you justify not applying your SPF because someone posted a picture of you where your skin tone looked akin to Morticia Addams?
It’s easy to find 400 easy excuses to not wear sunscreen from “not wanting to smell like my grandpa on a sunny day” to “feeling like I covered my face in ranch dressing.” But while you may not see the effects of giving into those passes quickly, they add up into a much bigger problem down the road paved in regrets and melasma.
Thankfully, sunscreen technology has moved far past the gluey, stinky formulas of yore. But with so many different brands, protection types, and SPF counts, it’s still difficult to wade through the sea of new-school options.
Your biggest concern should always be efficacy. Consumer Reports found that many sunscreens, especially natural or mineral-based formulas, fail to meet their SPF claims so its important to cross reference any bottle you plan on buying.
These five sunscreens not only effective ingredients that will protect you from UVA/UVB rays that cause everything from not-cute premature signs of aging to serious matters like skin cancer, but they also combat all the common complaints sunscreen haters have.
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Perhaps the best face sun protection we’ve ever found, Paula’s Choice combines an antioxidant-packed moisturizer with SPF 30 and a subtle tint that doesn’t cancel out warmth in your skin tone. We also swear it imparts a soft-light glow and subtly blurs imperfections so much so that we routinely wear it alone for a your-skin-but-better, casual look.
While spray sunscreens can vary in efficacy, Consumer Reports gave high marks to this Neutrogena formula. With a budget-friendly price tag, glowy not greasy sheen, and subtle, summery scent, this is the kind of sunscreen that will finally get you to protect more than just your face everyday. Because it’s so fast and easy to apply, you might just be able to get your whole family to use it without complaint.
This clear gel may look more like a serum, but for those who struggle with the chalky cast some sunscreens impart, Glossier’s sunscreen is undetectable whether worn by itself or under makeup. While it isn’t water-resistant, this is the kind of product that will get you in the habit of wearing sun protection everyday. Those runs from your car to the grocery store, quick lunches at the table outside, and porch swing breaks count for sun exposure too.
Consumer Reports rated this as the most effective sunscreen, but it’s long been beloved by skincare aficionados and others with sensitive, reactive complexions. While it may have a pearl-clutching price point, the luxe, velvety texture means you can to swap it in for your body lotion for a two-in-one, water-resistant application of moisture and sun protection.
We love this sunscreen for its ability to keep skin looking matte for hours. And if you’ve found it difficult to apply under makeup in the past, Drunk Elephant’s new and improved formula stays put under tinted moisturizer or foundation. Although it is a physical formula, meaning it uses minerals like zinc, to protect against sun rays, it’s effective for everyday use. On days where we know we’ll be out in the sun for long stretches, we layer it with a chemical formula like Glossier or Paula’s Choice.