If you’ve been disappointed by sunscreen in the past, prepare to be pleased. These innovative formulas make UV protection no problem.

By Genevieve Monsma
May 18, 2020
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Skin cancer is the most common cancer in America and among the most preventable. “Want to minimize your skin cancer risk? Wear sunscreen,” says Neal Schultz, MD, a New York City dermatologist. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 30% of women regularly use sunscreen when outside for more than an hour. "Even incidental exposure—5 minutes here, 10 there—cumulates," Schultz explains. "Ten minutes a day is more than an hour by week’s end." If you haven't added an SPF to your daily skincare routine, it's never too late to start. Here are eight options to try.

Credit: Courtesy of Ulta

Dealing with a squirmy kid or windy day? Foam sunscreen glides on easily, isn’t goopy, and dries quickly.

Buy It: Sun Bum Mineral Whipped Mousse, ($18, Ulta)

Credit: Courtesy of Target

A physical block is a wise option if your skin is sensitive or prone to pigmentation issues like melasma, Schultz says. This mineral option works by sitting on top of the skin and deflecting UV rays.

Buy It: Bare Republic Mineral Face Sunscreen Lotion, ($15, Target)

Credit: Courtesy of Ulta

Despite what you might have heard, a dark skin tone doesn't shield you from skin cancer. "Melanin provides natural sun protection, but some UV light may penetrate and cause damage," says Michelle Henry, MD, a New York City dermatologist. "To reduce the chalky finish of many physical formulas, look for those with a tint or micronized ingredients, which may enable better blending with deeper skin tones in particular," she adds. This option from Australian Gold comes in three shades: far to light; medium to tan; and rich to deep.

Buy It: Australian Gold Botanical Tinted Face Sunscreen, ($16, Ulta)

Credit: Courtesy of Target

Get a healthy glow with your sun protection. (It’s swimsuit season, after all.) The light-reflecting particles in this sunscreen give your skin a subtle sheen. The oil-free formula also delivers long-lasting hydration.

Buy It: Coppertone Glow With Shimmer Sunscreen Lotion, ($9, Target)

Credit: Courtesy of Kinship

If you’re worried about breakouts, this gentle probiotic formula contains zinc oxide to block UV rays and turmeric to calm skin. This version from Kinship also has a sheer matte finish.

Buy It: Kinship Self Reflect, ($25, Kinship)

Credit: Courtesy of Walgreens

Boost UV protection without messing your makeup. This mist from Neutrogena makes SPF touch-ups super convenient.

Buy It: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Face Mist, ($16, Walgreens)

Credit: Courtesy of DermStore

Although the chemical oxybenzone will be phased out of many formulas this year, this one is already oxybenzone-free and rates SPF 100.

Buy It: La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-In Milk Sunscreen, ($25, DermStore)

Credit: Courtesy of Walgreens

Formulas that stand up to sweat and sun often feel heavy or greasy. But you might forget you have on this spray from Banana Boat. The weightless formula provides water-resistant protection and absorbs excess oil and moisture, a bonus on hot, sticky days. Rub in thoroughly after spraying so you don’t miss a spot. Pro tip: To avoid inhalation, hold your breath when spraying your body and spray into your hands to apply to your face.

Buy It: Banana Boat Light As Air Spray, ($12, Walgreens)


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