Best Sunscreens & Sun Care Essentials

Best Sunscreens and Sun Care Essentials

I have an updated sunscreen roundup today! I’ve tried so many formulas over the years but I often proceed with caution as I have sensitive skin. My top 2 go-to brands for sunscreen have been Shiseido and Supergoop! and for Andrew it’s Jack Black but I have quite a few formulas reviewed in today’s post.

You can always click on the SUNCARE tab to read past reviews and round ups. I’ve also shared my favorite self-tanner, after sun care loves and some misses in this post.

Best Clear Sunscreens – Face

Best Summer Sunscreen

When it comes to face sunscreens I usually try to find something that is lightweight in texture with a high SPF and that layers well with makeup. However there are days when I’m at the beach or on the boat where I go makeup free so those days I opt for something that will adhere well to the skin and hold up well under sweat/protect from heat.

Best Face Sunscreens (clear)

Most of the sunscreens I’ve reviewed are chemical sunscreens. In general mineral formulas usually don’t work well with my skin type unless it’s a tinted option (like a CC cream).

The Chanel UV Essentiel with SPF 50 ($60) is one of my favorite clear sunscreens. Chanel reformulated it this year and I 100% love the new formula. It’s not as fluid/liquid so it doesn’t creep into the corners of my eyes as easily. It has a lightweight almost gel like formula and blends in easily. Doesn’t leave any white cast. Also works well with the Chanel foundations. The UV Essentiel is scented (similar to their previous sunscreens) so if you have fragrance sensitivities do a patch test first. Active Ingredients: Avobenzone 3.0 % | Homosalate 10.0 % | Octisalate 5.0 % | Octocrylene 5.0 %

Shiseido Vita-Clear Sunscreen with SPF 42 Vitamin C ($38) is another great formula. This is a clear liquid and has a lightweight texture. It has Vitamin C to help with brightness and target dark spots. Active Ingredients: Avobenzone 2.3%, Homosalate 10.0%, Octisalate 5.0%, Octocrylene 5.0%

In general I think Shiseido makes the best sunscreens I’ve tried. If you’re looking for other options, they make one for oily skin and mineral options too.

Cle de Peau Beaute UV Protective Cream SPF 50+ ($140) is a newer launch and quite the splurge. It has an ultra-luxurious texture unlike any formula I’ve tried. This one has a completely clear finish. It’s hydrating but has a nice dry down. It’s described as suitable for all skin types but I still think it’s best for normal/dry skin. That being said my skin tends to become very dry when it is exposed to a lot of heat outdoors so this one is still really good. It is scented with a floral fragrance, so if you have sensitives to scented sunscreens, do a patch test first. Do I think it’s work the steep price? I don’t know. Will use it up entirely but I don’t know that I will repurchase. Active Ingredients: Avobenzone 2.3%, Homosalate 10%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 5%

I also bought the Cle de Peau Refillable UV Protective Lip Balm with SPF 25 ($65) to try. I’m undecided on this. I really need to wear sunscreen on my lips but I can’t stand the taste or feel of most. This one definitely has a taste to it and I don’t really like how it feels (it has a waxy feel).

The Charlotte Tilbury Invisible UV Flawless Primer with SPF 50 ($55) is a great sunscreen that doubles as a primer. It works well under foundation and has a clear invisible finish. Love that it’s hydrating but lightweight. Active Ingredients: Avobenzone 3%, Octinoxate 6.7%, Octisalate 4.5%, Octocrylene 2.0%

Shiseido Clear Sunscreen Stick

The Shiseido Clear Sunscreen Stick with SPF 50 ($30) is one of the best face sunscreens I’ve tried. It has a sticky finish so it adheres really well to the skin. I like this for touch ups on the go on makeup-free days. It is easy to reapply. Since it adheres well make sure you wash your face really well at the end of the day. I recommend double cleansing with an oil cleanser first and then following with a regular cleanser. Active Ingredients: Avobenzone 2.5%, Homosalate 10.0%, Octisalate 5.0%, Octocrylene 10.0%

Vacation Inc. Super Spritz SPF 50 Sunscreen Face Mist

Vacation Inc. Super Spritz SPF 50 Sunscreen Face Mist ($24) is pure love. It’s the easiest way to touch up your sunscreen if you wear makeup, although be sure to spritz liberally. It smells incredible and did not irritate my skin. Doesn’t feel heavy and refreshes the skin. Active Ingredients: Avobenzone (2.9%), Octisalate (4.9%), Octocrylene (9.5%)

Tinted Sunscreens

Best Tinted Sunscreens Supergoop!, Chanel, Tower 28

I have quite a few foundations that also have sunscreen, but today’s roundup focuses more on products that are primarily sun care.

The Supergoop! Glowscreen with SPF 40 ($38) is one of my favorites. I really love that they added more shades. I alternate between Sunrise (the original champagne shade) and Golden Hour (bronzey). I love using this all over the face alone or under foundation to give a natural radiant glow. The Glowscreen also has hyaluronic acid and niacinamide to hydrate the skin. Active Ingredients: Avobenzone 3%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 10%

The Supergoop! CC Screen with SPF 50 ($44) is one of the few mineral cc creams I like. I’m currently out of this as I used mine up but I like it when blended with a sponge. If you blend with fingers it will feel too thick. Has good medium coverage that stays put and lasts.

The Chanel CC Cream SPF 50 gets a shout out as one of my all time favorite tinted sunscreens but it’s currently being reformulated. It’s nearly impossible to find this now. The Chanel counters near me told me it will be back in 2024. I will 100% be trying out the new one.

Tower 28 SunnyDays Tinted Sunscreen with SPF 30 ($32) is another mineral formula I actually can wear and like. It has a balmy texture more like a sunscreen and blends in easily on the skin. I wear 35 Point Dume but they added some newer shades I need to check out. Active Ingredients: Zinc oxide, 12.6%

Best Sunscreens – Body

Best Summer Sunscreens Shiseido

Best Sunscreens Shiseido

For the body the Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protector Lotion SPF 50 ($50) is hands down the best of the best in terms of offering the most effective protection from the sun and heat. You still need to reapply frequently but this one holds up the best against sweat, water and heat. I love that it is easy to reapply even on sweaty skin. It’s easy to apply and blend. I highly recommend getting the Value Size Duo ($66) because it comes with a mini you can put in your purse.

Best Body Sunscreens and Oil

Vacation Inc. makes the best smelling sunscreens on the market. I’m thrilled they added SPF 50 versions of the Classic Spray and Classic Lotion. I generally do not recommend body spray sunscreens because it’s so easy to miss areas with the mist dispenser. Also sprays typically don’t last you more than 1-2 days if you’re truly applying sufficient product and reapplying every 2 hours.

I really love both sunscreen oils from Vacation Inc although I do wish they had a higher spf. The Chardonnay Oil with SPF 30 feels heavenly on the skin and the Baby Oil with SPF 30 smells just like baby oil. I would say these are best for days you’re in a shaded area or for non-water days.

I tried the Soleil Toujours Antioxidant Sunscreen Mist SPF 50 ($36) and really like it. (There is an SPF 30 option too.) Has a slightly sticky feel but adheres well and has a shiny look on the skin. I would 100% try the body lotion if it came with an SPF 50 option. I like this enough to use up and consider repurchasing, but it just doesn’t have enough product to justify the price. Sprays get used up really fast! (Andrew tried it and says he is not a fan) Active Ingredients: Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 10%, Octisalate 5%

Supergoop! Glowscreen Body

Supergoop! Glowscreen Body with SPF 40 ($42) gets another shout out from me. I love this formula and love the added shimmer to it. It can feel a bit thick when you apply so you really need to work it in the skin to blend it, but it adheres well and never fails me. Active Ingredients: Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 7%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 10%

Jack Black Sun Guard Sunscreen

The Jack Black Oil-Free Sun Guard SPF 45 ($22) gets a shout out as this is Andrew’s favorite formula and the one he wears daily. It’s thick and takes some work to blend in but it’s the most effective and easy to re-apply. It’s the best water resistant sunscreen we’ve both tried. The only downside is that it also takes a lot of work to remove in the shower but in terms of protection, it’s one of the best. The Turbo Wash is the best at removing it. Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 8%, Octinoxate 7.5%, Octisalate 3%

Aftersun Balm

We’ve tried a lot of aloe and after sun care products. At the end of the day any good aloe vera gel is great to help soothe the skin. We often get a bottle of Banana Boat or Sun Bum Cool Down After Sun Gel. Two other formulas I’ve tried include ones from Dior and Vacation.

Vacation Inc. After Sun Gel with Aloe Vera

The Vacation Inc. After Sun Gel with Aloe Vera ($12) is one of our recent favorites. Love that it does not have any alcohol and soothes the skin.

Dior Solar After-Sun Balm

The Dior Solar After-Sun Balm ($52) is another really nice hydrating balm that I love. Has a lightweight texture and cooling effect. It does have alcohol in the ingredient list but it did not irritate my skin.

Self-Tanner

Loving Tan Self Tanners

Last but not least many of you have asked if I self tan and I usually don’t. I really don’t like the way self tanners smell or feel on the skin but I finally tried Loving Tan this year and loved it. I tried the 2 Hour Express Formula in Medium and it gave really impressive results. The tan looked very natural in color (no orange tones), did not streak and did not transfer. I was 100% impressed! I will say that any self tanner (even this one) can dry out the skin so my only added tip is to moisturize daily. You can see the before/after transformation here.

 

Misses

Here are a few recent misses in sunscreen. A lot of these have positive reviews out there, they just did not work for me.

Kosas DreamBeam – I’m not sure I would call this a total miss because it blends out nicely, doesn’t pill or cake. I give this a miss because I just think there are better formulas out there and this felt exceptionally thick on my skin. So thick that I could not wait to wash it off.

Beauty of Joseon Matte Sunscreen Stick – I had such high hopes for this but it went on streaky, felt thick, had a noticeable white cast and clogged my pores.

Kopari Sun Shield Body Glow – another one I had high hopes for, but left my skin a greasy mess. I felt like everything stuck to me. The shimmer wasn’t really noticeable on my skin. It is hydrating and gives your skin a glow, but there is zero dry down and it feels very slippery.

First Aid Beauty Weightless Liquid Mineral Sunscreen – I had such high hopes for this as I really love First Aid Beauty. There is an overwhelming number of positive reviews so if you’re looking for a mineral sunscreen, I still think it’s worth checking out. It sank into my pores and did not blend easily (I made sure I gave the bottle a through shake).

Prada Raffia Tote Tan Poolside

 

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I know I covered a lot here! If you’ve been wanting more details on any of these formulas I hope you found this roundup helpful!