Having a hard time deciding which sunscreen is right for you? Follow this healthier skin–approved road map.
If you want something that goes on silky-smooth (who doesn’t?), has a high SPF and promises to reverse past damage…
ISDIN Eryfotona Actinica ($55)
Expert Take: “This is, no-doubt, my favorite SPF, ” says Fort Lauderdale, FL dermatologist Dr. Matthew Elias. “It feels great, offers generous protection and has DNA repairsomes to help reverse some of that damage. ”
Expert Take: This is my life-sustaining sunscreen, ” says Bloomfield Hills, MI dermatologist Linda C. Honet, MD. “I love it for multiple reasons: Not only is it cosmetically elegant, even under makeup, but it’s also mineral-based and has an SPF 50. All around, it provides powerful daily protection against the sun’s damaging UV rays. ”
If you want something super hydrating…
EltaMD UV Elements SPF 44 ($35.50)
Expert Take: “This is my absolute favorite sunscreen, ” says Davie, FL dermatologist Marianna Blyumin-Karasik, MD. “It’s chemical-free—zinc and titanium only—and also has iron oxide, which helps with blue light, and hyaluronic acid, which gives a little plumping hydration. ”
If you want a hint of color…
Expert Take: “I love these two because they both add a hint of color and carry all three oxides—zinc, titanium and iron,” Dr. Honet says.“These are ideal because not only do they help block the sun’s rays, but this trifecta also protects against indoor light, a major trigger that can exacerbate and worsen difficult conditions like melasma.”
It is important to reapply sunscreen on a regular basis— especially if you are swimming or perspiring.
Expert Take: “I love this one for my face,” says Louisville, KY dermatologist Tami Buss Cassis, MD. “It gives just the right amount of color and it’s super moisturizing.
Celebrity Fans: La Roche-Posay also claims recent convert Constance Wu and Heidi Klum as fans. Klum calls the sunscreen the “greatest beauty discovery” that isn’t “too heavy” and has a lightweight formula that’s “perfect for everyday wear.” Kelly Ripa praises this broad-spectrum, UVA–UVB protector for “giving her a sun-kissed glow.”
If you want some “extra insurance” for your under-eye area…
Celebrity Fans: While all the derms we interviewed for this story stressed that makeup with SPF is not a suitable substitute for broad-spectrum SPF 30, this makeup-meets-skin care is a favorite among celebs like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Chrissy Teigen, Jenna Dewan, Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Aniston, and Nicole Richie.
If you want something in stick form…
Celebrity Fans: Beautycounter has many A-list followers (Kate Hudson loves the Lotion), and Busy Philipps is reportedly a fan of this cocoa butter– infused concoction.
Expert Take: “This is a really convenient option for reapplying. It’s also chemicalfree, and in my opinion, one of the most elegant stick sunscreens out there,” Dr. Blyumin-Karasik says.
If you want something simple to incorporate into your a.m. routine…
Expert Take: “I love Neutrogena Hydro Boost broad-spectrum sunscreen SPF 50. It goes on smoothly, smells great and gives great protection. I use it and my family uses it,” says Eagan, MN dermatologist Charles Crutchfield III, MD. “I recommend applying before leaving the house and reapplying every two hours. Reapply even more frequently if actively perspiring or swimming.”
Celebrity Fans: According to the brand, Rebel Wilson uses this lightweight, zinc–powered SPF 30 and pegs it as a part of her morning skin-care routine.
Expert Take: This face-body SPF is beloved by celebrity aestheticians. Danuta Mieloch, founder of Rescue Spa, layers on the SPF daily as part of her morning routine, while celebrity aesthetician Joanna Czech ranks it as one of her all-time favorite sunscreens.
If you want something easy-to-apply to the body…
Expert Take: If you’re going to be out in the sun (think more like a day at the beach, and less like a quick trip to the mailbox) Dr. Buss Cassis recommends wearing a hat, UPF clothing and seeking shade, in addition to lots of sunscreen. “I love EltaMD UV Lotion for my face, but this pick is fantastic for the body, and it’s water-resistant.”
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