I wouldn’t be able to call myself a beauty blogger if I didn’t write a post about summer sunscreens, right? Cliché, but whatever. My obsession with sunscreens is no secret. I collect them like women collect lipstick, or how I used to collect beanie babies… pretty sure I lost money on that middle school investment. Let me clarify: this is only part of my stash. I narrowed it down to my favorites for the sake of not writing about 10,000 sunscreens you need for summer.
ACTIVE LIFESTYLE SUNSCREENS
So, I only have one I use for this category. That makes me feel uneasy…
EltaMD UV Sport SPF 50 can be used for face or body, but I reserve this one for my face/neck/décolleté only. This is my go-to for runs or days I expose myself to water and sun. UV Sport’s formula is reminiscent of traditional sunscreen: thick, heavy, ain’t goin’ no where for 80-minutes kind of coverage. Smells like sunscreen, feels like a sunscreen, but without the chalky residue. A thorough double cleanse is needed after wearing.
The formula includes Vitamin E providing additional antioxidant protection to fend off free radicals. Fragrance-free, oil-free, paraben-free, sensitivity-free and noncomedogenic. Can be applied to wet or dry skin and stays put even when perspiring. A no-frills, high performance sport sunscreen for summer days at the beach.
Product: EltaMD UV Sport Broad-Spectrum SPF 50
Size: 3 oz.
Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 9%, Octinoxate 7.5%, Octisalate 5%
Inactive Ingredients: Bees Wax, Butylene Glycol, Cetyl Dimethicone, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Disodium EDTA, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Isopropyl Palmitate, Octyldodecyl Neopentanoate, Purified Water, Sodium Chloride, Tocopheryl Acetate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane
Where to buy: Dermstore $22, BeautyStoreDepot $23
NO MAKEUP DAY SUNSCREENS
Dr. Moy’s DNA Defense SPF 50 is a sunscreen splurge but OH SO COOL. The formula utilizes technology that awarded a trio of winners the 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for mapping out how human DNA repairs itself from damage caused by UV rays. When we reach 30 we begin declining in our own DNA repair enzymes. Replacing them decreases skin aging and most magical of all, decreases the chance of skin cancer. Using a sunscreen with antioxidants will help prevent cancer, but using a sunscreen with DNA repair enzymes up the ante and works better than sunscreen alone.
What a glow this sunscreen gives! Truly, it illuminates the skin so much I hate using it under makeup, I feel like it’s a waste of a good skin day. Overusing can causing pilling, so be aware of how much you use. Fast absorbing, not heavy or greasy, and nourishes the skin. In addition to DNA repair enzymes the formula is infused with antioxidants for additional protection. Micro-fine Zinc Oxide goes on sheer and reflects damaging UV rays.
Product: DNA Defense SPF 50+
Size: 4 oz.
Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 6.4%, Octinoxate 5.9%, Oxybenzone 4.7%, Octisalate 3.8%, Titanium Dioxide 1.6%
Inactive Ingredients: Deionized Water, Zinc Oxide, Octinoxate, Glyceryl Stearate (and) PEG-100 Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol (and) Ceteareth 20, Oxybenzone, Octisalate, Titanium Dioxide, 2-Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Ethylhexyl Stearate, Propylene Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hexylene Glycol, DEA Oleth-3 Phosphate, Tocopherol Acetate
Where to buy: DNAEGF Renewal $75
Hydropeptide Solar Defense SPF 30 is my second go to sans-makeup. This formula is unique, I’ve yet to meet another sunscreen like it! When dispensed it has a purple hue, these are little color spheres that match your skin tone. ANY skin tone. No chalky residue. Ladies with dark skin tones may need a few extra seconds to work it in, but otherwise it’s a perfect match. Plus it smells amazing, like sweet melon.
Application is specific, otherwise you won’t like it. Apply a little between your fingers to break up the color spheres and press into your skin. Just check out my Instagram and you’ll see how it looks weird on my skin without taking the extra step. The finish gives you a fresh, matte no-makeup glow that camouflages mild hyperpigmentation and redness.
Non-greasy, flawless coverage with ingredients to hydrate, protect and help clarify the skin. A moisture-binding peptide reactivates epidermal lipids and allows for long-lasting hydration, plus it decreases oil leaving a non-shiny appearance.
Product: Hydropeptide Solar Defense SPF 30
Size: 1.7 oz.
Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 6%, Titanium Dioxide 2.5%
Inactive Ingredients: Acrylates/Ammonium Methacrylate Copolymer, Allantoin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Alumina, Biotin, Boron Nitride, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Calendula Officinalis Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Caprylyl Methicone, Cetyl Alcohol, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Citric Acid, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Cyclomethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexy Palmitate, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Fruit Extract, Fragrance, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Hydrolyzed Yeast Protein (Moisture-Binding Peptide), Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Iron Oxide, Kaempferia Galanga Root Extract, Lauryl PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Methylisothiazolinone, Niacinamide, Panthenol, PEG-100 Stearate, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Polysorbate 60, Propanediol, Propylene Glycol, Pyridoxine HCL, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium PCA, Titanium Dioxide, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Triethoxysilylethyl Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Hexyl Dimethicone, Triethyl Citrate, Water, Xanthan Gum
Where to buy: Nordstrom $44, Dermstore $44
Supergoop Skin Soothing Mineral Sunscreen with an SPF 40 is ideal for sensitive skin types. Compromised, irritable skin will love this formula. It was perfect during my personal skin traumas a while back. Applies like a moisturizer, but it’s not… so don’t skip it. Lightweight, absorbs quickly, and it’s hypoallergenic. The formula contains olive polyphenols, antioxidant rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, are known to calm redness, irritation and inflammation.
Product: Supergoop Skin Soothing Mineral Sunscreen SPF 40
Size: 1 oz.
Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 10.1%, Octinoxate 7.5%
Inactive Ingredients: Water, Ethylhexyl Stearate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Propanediol, Butylene Glycol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Adipic Acid/Diethylene Glycol/Glycerin Crosspolymer, Isohexadecane, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Ceteareth-20, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Squalane, Xanthan Gum, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower), Seed Oil, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Chlorphenesin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Oleth-3, Phosphate, Punica Granatum Seed Oil, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Polysorbate 60, Citric Acid, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Extract, Euterpe, Oleracea Fruit Extract, Methylisothiazolinone, Tocotrienols
Where to buy: Beauty.com $28, Dermstore $28
You know I need an exotic, hard to get my little hands on sunscreen in my stash. I first heard of La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF 50 from a client, then Jenny mentioned it, and then… well, it was love at first application.
Why is it such a big f’n deal? Well, the formula uses Mexoplex, Mexoryl and Tinosorb S found in all Anthelios sunscreens made by La Roche-Posay. Not all Anthelios formulas contain the trifecta, but this one does. Which makes it better than products not containing all three. It gets better. Anthelios products sold in the USA are different from products found internationally. So, you need to stalk eBay for a reputable seller, stock up while traveling, or beg a friend to bring/ship some back to you.
Remember: UVA rays age, UVB rays burn. The Mexoplex trifecta is particularly good at blocking UVA rays for a long period of time, much longer than your typical American sunscreen. They have excellent photostability, effectively blocking both UVA and UVB rays well past one hour.
Here’s a comparison of UV filters used in sunscreens, thanks to Skinacea:
In addition to it’s UVB protecting SPF 50 rating, it also has an Ultra UVA rating of PPD 38, meaning it does a really, really good job of protecting your skin from damage. The American version only has a PPD 28, so be aware of the difference when shopping.
The formula is light-weight but still feels moisturizing and absorbs fairly well. There is a light fragrance that lingers, and I do like it. I can’t tell you what notes I smell in wine, don’t expect me to know what I’m smelling in this sunscreen! ha. Designed for sensitive skin, combination and oily but I think even dry skin types would enjoy the formula. Paraben free, water resistant, noncomedogenic. Ideal for summer days you’re spending an extended amount of time outside.
Product: La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF 50 Ultra-Light Sunscreen
Size: 1.7 oz.
Active Ingredients: Mexoplex, Mexoryl and Tinosorb S
Inactive Ingredients: Aqua, Diisopropyl Sebacate, Alcohol Denat, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Isohexadecane, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Octocrylene, Silica, Drometrizole Trisiloxane, Isononyl Isononanoate, Zea Mays Starch/Corn Starch, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Ethylhexyl Triazone, Peg-30 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Isododecane, Phenoxyethanol, Isopropyl Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Terephtalydilene Dicamphor Sulfonic Acid, Silica Silylate, Lauryl/Peg-8 Laurate, Caprylyl Glycol, Triethanolamine, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Tocopherol, Disodium Edta, Dodecene, Propylene Carbonate, Poloxamer 407, Zinc Gluconate, Perlite, Fragrance
Where to buy: eBay, price varies
Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 is easily one of the most popular sunscreens, right up there with EltaMD. This particular formula is always highly rated by the EWG. A weightless fluid with a universal tint for all skin types, although oily skin may find it to be a little much. It’s great for no-makeup days as well, but I prefer it under my makeup. Very lightweight, applies and absorbs easily.
Formulated with transparent Zinc-Oxide, aka Z-Cote, and translucent color spheres that adapts to all skin tones. Be sure to shake your bottle before applying to mix the ingredients well. Paraben-free, non-comedogenic, water resistant, sheer, improves radiance and tinted. What’s not to love?
Product: Skinceuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50
Size: 1.7 oz.
Active Ingredients: 6% Titanium dioxide, 5% Zinc oxide (Z-Cote®)
Inactive Ingredients: water, dimethicone, isododecane, c12-15 alkyl benzoate, undecane, triethylhexanoin, isohexadecane, nylon-12, caprylyl methicone, butyloctyl salicylate, phenethyl benzoate, styrene/acrylates copolymer, silica, tridecane, dicaprylyl carbonate, dicaprylyl ether, talc, dimethicone/peg-10/15 crosspolymer, aluminum stearate, pentylene glycol, peg-9 polydimethylsiloxyethyl dimethicone, alumina, polyhydroxystearic acid, phenoxyethanol, magnesium sulfate, caprylyl glycol, iron oxides, peg-8 laurate, disteardimonium hectorite, triethoxycaprylylsilane, tocopherol, propylene carbonate, artemia extract, benzoic acid, c9-15 fluoroalcohol phosphate, peg-9
Where to buy: SkincareRX $34, Dermstore $34
Now that I’ve shared my summer favorites, share yours! I’m always looking for a new addition…