5 Best Sunscreens for SPF Haters

Confession: I hate wearing sunscreen.

I realize that as a beauty editor, I should be fired for this statement. And to be clear, I do wear sunscreen. Lots of it. I know as well as the next girl that sun protection is the single best way to avoid look ing like a ruddy, wrinkled lady in my older age. And of course, it's the only way to prevent skin cancer.

Related: The 15 Sunscreen Mistakes You're Making

But here's the thing: I've tried every make and model of SPF 15 and higher over the years and I've yet to find one I actually want to wear under my gorgeous makeup. They all feel so thick. Or oily. Or they're loaded with chemicals that make me break out.

On a mission to shoot down my litany of excuses for why all sunscreens suck, my co-workers dared me to try these new picks for the season. Every time I'd utter a sunscreen gripe over the last few months, they'd toss me a new bottle that they promised would wow me.

Related: Our Editors' Favorite BB Creams


And you know what? Their mission to make me find a few sunscreens I'd love wearing worked. Here they are. Do you have a favorite sunscreen that's not on this list?

IF YOU'VE GOT ACNE ...

The combination of sweat, oil, and greasy sunscreen can be the perfect storm for someone with acne-prone skin. But there are good options out there. "Breakouts are caused by thick sunscreens with extra oil," says L'Oréal Paris Consulting Dermatologist Gervaise Gerstner, MD. "Look for the words 'non-comedogenic' and 'oil-free' on the tube." You should also avoid titanium dioxide, an SPF ingredient that is known to exacerbate breakouts.

SPF Rx: L'Oréal Paris Sublime Sun Advanced Sunscreen for Face SPF 50 , $10.99

Related: How to Get Your Skin Bikini-Ready


IF YOU USED TO LOVE GETTING A TAN ...

Downie suggests looking for a sunscreen that contains antioxidants like green tea, vitamin C, or pomegranate. Not only will the antioxidants protect your skin from free-radicals (which are created when chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays), some of these ingredients can help lighten existing sunspots. Vitamin C in particular has been proven to lighten hyperpigmentation.

SPF Rx: Supergoop SPF 50 Antioxidant-Infused Sunscreen Day Cream , $37

Related: 9 Worst Summer Skin Care Products


IF ORGANIC IS IMPORTANT TO YOU ...

A great organic, chemical-free sunscreen is hard to come by -- and finding one that rubs in easily is especially tricky. That's because these formulas are made with the minerals zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide -- ingredients that are thick and white. Keep in mind that the consistency and color are actually good things -- they provide physical sun protection by reflecting (rather than absorbing) UV rays. Coola is one of our favorite organic sunscreen brands -- they make organic, mineral formulas that blend in surprisingly well.

SPF Rx: Coola Mineral Sport SPF 30 Citrus Mimosa Sunblock , $34

Related: 7 Oils That Can Transform Your Skin



IF YOU SPEND MOST OF YOUR TIME INSIDE ...

If you think the SPF in your makeup is enough, you're in for a surprise: "Sunscreen in makeup is just an added bonus," says Gerstner. She says that you should always wear a lightweight moisturizer with sunscreen underneath your makeup -- even if you won't step foot outside all day. We suggest trying a tinted formula -- like a BB Cream -- if you want to multitask.

SPF Rx: Willa Skin Care Face the Day SPF 30 Tinted Face Protection , $14.50



IF YOU WANT ONE THAT'LL WORK ON YOU AND YOUR KIDS ...

Don't think your kids' gentle sunscreen is strong enough for you, too? Don't worry: Because kids are more active, sunscreens formulated for babies and children tend to be extra durable, water-resistant, and thicker. New Jersey dermatologist Jeanine Downie, MD, suggests looking for a sunscreen that's both hypoallergenic and fragrance free. "Plus, you want something that's broad spectrum with UVA and UVB protection," she says. "And it has to glide on easily." So choose a kids' formula you like and then slather it all over yourself as well.

SPF Rx:
Aveeno Continuous Protection SPF 55 Sunscreen for Babies, $11.49

Want to see more sunscreen picks for scalps, dark skin, and sensitive skin? Click here.


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11 Best Sunscreens for Your Face
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