Whether your plans include sun, snow or just commuting to work, sunscreen needs to go where you go.
When doctors and dermatologists are asked about one of the top things you can do to protect your skin from premature lines and wrinkles — and skin cancer — it’s ample daily applications of sunscreen.
We think you and your skin deserve the best, and that means daily sun protection. To make this easy self-care habit even easier, we asked several experts to share their favorite sunscreens at every price.
Aesthetic nurse specialist Melissa Berg in Spokane, Washington, loves CeraVe as a basic lotion that works for almost everyone. Containing both moisturizer and sun protection with SPF 30 and up, this sunscreen is a steal.
Aesthetic physician assistant, Erin Jensen, in Claremont, California opts for this sunscreen that is paraben, chemical, and fragrance-free. The coolest thing about Blue Lizard? The bottle turns blue when exposed to harmful UV rays, so you’ll always know.
Dr. David Shafer, a New York plastic surgeon, likes these fine body mists that come in a variety of SPF strengths and are easy to reapply.
$20 to $50
For a mid-range sunscreen, Berg likes La Roche-Posay’s Melt-In Sunscreen Milk because it’s fast-absorbing, non-greasy, and can be applied to the face and body without causing breakouts.
For active individuals, this lightweight, water-resistant, and fast-absorbing SPF is a top choice from Dr. Jason Emer, a Los Angeles dermatologic surgeon.
This aloe vera-based sunscreen gives “intense hydration without a heavy feel,” says Dr. Emer. It’s also great for all skin types.
“I typically don’t recommend spray sunscreens because most people do not apply them correctly,” says Jensen. “For the spray to be effective, you need to spritz a liberal amount of it in a non-windy area, rub it in, and allow it to dry and soak in before any sweat or water exposure.
“I love this product because it is a physical sunscreen, which most sprays are not,” she continues. “It’s lightweight and dries quickly to a sheer, dry-touch finish on all skin tones.”
Dr. Shafer likes this formulation because “it’s medically based and has rejuvenating and protective ingredients in addition to the blocking effects of SPF.”
$50 and up
“ZO Skin Health by Dr. [Zein] Obagi makes the best sunscreens,” says Berg. “His SPF + Primer is still to this day my favorite because it evens out my skin tone when applied, and I know I am getting protection from UVB, UVA, and HEV rays.”
“The other sunscreens from ZO Skin Health are all equally as good depending if you like a more chemical or physical SPF and/or a matte or dewy finish,” she continues. “The ZO Skin Health products can only be purchased through medical clinics.”
For men, Berg likes ZO Skin Health Oclipse Daily Sheer SPF 50 ($70) because it provides a non-greasy, matte finish.
“Extreme Protect SPF 30 shelters healthy collagen from sun exposure and aging,” says Dr. Emer. “The formula provides hydration, sun protection, and free radical protection. It contains powerful DNA protectants that combat the tendency toward skin cancer caused by sun damage.
“It also provides broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection for the ultimate in protection and is proven to help protect against skin damage,” he continues. “This moisturizing sunscreen also helps repair solar damage by reducing redness and inflammation associated with sunburn. This formula is zinc-based, but blends flawlessly into the skin without leaving a chalky white residue.”
Jensen is obsessed with this brush-on sunscreen powder and says she keeps multiple tubes of it everywhere. “If I was stranded on a deserted island and could only take three items with me, this would be one of them,” she says. It’s non-greasy and can easily be brushed on over makeup.
Dr. Shafer likes this medically based sunscreen that has rejuvenating properties and feels nice on the skin.
Stay protected with these expert tips:
- Makeup alone won’t cut it. “Many people think that since their makeup contains sunscreen that they are protected. This is not the case,” says Dr. Emer. “The amount of foundation applied isn’t equal to the amount of SPF that you’d apply. I always recommend a sunscreen to be applied before foundation and a mineral SPF to touch up with during the day, if needed.”
- For complete protection, you’ll need more than sunscreen. Dr. Emer recommends hats, sunglasses, and other protective clothing to keep your skin free of damage.
- Don’t succumb to a false sense of security. “It’s not OK to apply once and then go bake in the sun all day,” says Berg. “Sunscreen needs to be applied hourly if outdoors.”
- Make reapplying easy. “I recommend keeping a brush-on SPF on hand,” says Berg. “My favorite is Sunforgettable brush-on SPF 50 by Colorescience.”
- Waterproof formulas need to be reapplied. Dr. Shafer recommends reapplying sunscreen when you get out of the water even if it’s waterproof.
- Most importantly: “Don’t leave home without it!” says Dr. Emer.
Take our #SPF365 pledge to wear sunscreen every day and enter to win a $2,500 Visa gift card.