Best Sunscreens Reviewed for Protection

With the dangers of summer always lurking, the sun is one of the biggest long-term dangers out there. The sun can cause many painful issues to the skin in a short amount of time or on a long-term basis. Sunscreens are created to prevent these issues from happening, as long as you are using the sunscreens as directed.

Featured Recommendations

EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum
  • EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Dermatologist Recommended
  • Price: See Here
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch
  • Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Helioplex
  • Price: See Here
Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration
  • Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Hydrating Ribbon
  • Price: See Here

At one point or another, everyone will experience at least one bout of sunburn. With so many sunscreens available on the market, there should be no reason that you cant be protected. More often than not, there are sunscreens that still allow you to get sunburnt, so we’ve compiled a list of the best sunscreens available on the market, so you know what works!

 

10 Best Sunscreens

 

1. EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum

1. EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum
This is a great option for all your sunscreen needs. Each and every bottle is packed full of great nutrients for your skin and is also a great protection against the sun. Dermatologist recommended, this sunscreen is bound to not clog pores and cause other irritations that normal sunscreens can cause. Making the top list for the best sunscreens available, this one sure has a lot to offer you.
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Dermatologist Recommended
This amazing sunscreen is a great sunscreen for the skin. With known benefits, this sunscreen does not clog pores and cause breakouts like other sunscreens can. One of the best benefits is that this sunscreen assists in promoting healthy skin that looks and feels great!

Oil Free
Having a sunscreen that is oil free is another benefit to a top-rated sunscreen. Every time you apply this sunscreen, you no longer have to worry about having oily looking skin. Nothing is more embarrassing than a face full of oil, but with this product, you no longer have to worry.

Cost and Value
With a product so great for the skin, and even approved by dermatologists, there is no reason to turn away from this product. This sunscreen assists in boosting a healthy skin appearance and is known to not clog pores. Great for anyone, this is by far one of the best sunscreens on the market.
Pros
  • Dermatologist Recommended
  • Oil Free
  • Promotes Clean and Healthy Skin
  • Easy to Apply
Cons
  • Not Water Resistant

2. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch

2. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch
This is a sunscreen that could be mainly for personal use or the use of children. Offering a high SPF of 100, this is best used on the face and small children, to prevent damage from the sun. Lightweight and non-greasy, this sunscreen is full of great benefits and features to allow you an enjoyable and pain free day in the sun.
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Helioplex Technology
This sunscreen contains the helioplex technology that assists in protecting your skin against the harmful sun rays. While other ingredients run out, this technology takes over when the weaker materials give out.

Ultra Sheer
There is a technology put into place to assist in all of the unwanted problems that regular sunscreens cause. The Ultra Sheer technology leaves your skin grease free and is not slippery and oily like regular sunscreens.

Cost and Value
The benefits and value of this product definitely outweighs the price. With this sunscreen being great for the skin, it is really made for anyone and everyone in the family.

Pros
  • Helioplex
  • Ultra Sheer
  • Non-Greasy
  • Soft for Sensitive Skin
Cons
  • Sunscreen needs to be applied frequently.

3. Blue Lizard Australian

3. Blue Lizard Australian
This sunscreen is great across the board for anyone. This sunscreen has been made for those with sensitive skin and easy to apply. Say goodbye to the thick and sticky mess of traditional sunscreens, this one has you covered and protected from the sun, all hours of the day.
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Sensitive Skin
If you remove the harsh chemicals out of a sunscreen, this is what you would get. This sunscreen is made for those with the most sensitive skin. Being that it is dermatologist approved, you should feel at ease knowing your skin is protected on all levels, and not just from the sun.

Fragrance Free
Fragrances can be incredibly strong and cause a lot of issues and damage to those with sensitive skin. This sunscreen is completely scent free and will care for your skin like no sunscreen ever will.

Cost and Value
As safe as this sunscreen is, it is hard to pass up. Each and every ingredient is great for the skin and will assist in protection from the sun. Easy to apply and non-greasy, this sunscreen is a win for the whole family.
Pros
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Dermatologist Approved
  • Easy to Apply
  • Non-Greasy
Cons
  • Not Water Resistant

4. Biore Sarasara Aqua Rich Watery Essence

4. Biore Sarasara Aqua Rich Watery Essence
This beautiful, water-based sunscreen is an all time favorite for several people, for several reasons. Most popular for its amazing protection properties, this sunscreen is also well liked for the fresh and fruity smell that it gives off. Take action against the sun with this amazing sunscreen.
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Water Resistant
This sunscreen is well known for its resistance to water. Being that it is water resistant, you can wear this sunscreen for the whole day at the beach and bank on being protected for long periods of time, without the hassle of having to reapply.

Easy On
Unlike cheaper and traditional brands of sunscreen, this sunscreen is easy to apply into the skin and will not take long periods of time to rub in. The biggest complaint that consumers have is applying a thick based sunscreen and that will not be an issue with this product.

Cost and Value
Having a sunscreen that has a pleasant smell and one that is water resistant is great to have around. Everyone loves a sunscreen that is easy to apply and doesn't leave a chemical smell behind. Light on the skin, this sunscreen is great for anyone, even those with sensitive skin.
Pros
  • Water Based
  • Water Resistant
  • Easy to Apply
  • Pleasant Scent
Cons
  • Oily

5. Sun Bum Moisturizing

5. Sun Bum Moisturizing
Here is a sunscreen that is like most sunscreens, ideal for anyone. Made with specialized materials for the most sensitive skin, this sunscreen is bound to protect all areas of your body from sun damage. Having a sunscreen this good, you will feel confident in knowing that you can go into the sun or to the beach and protect yourself from damaging sun rays.
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Vegan
As a vegan sunscreen, you can be sure that you are using some of the best materials for your skin. Paraben free, this sunscreen also kicks all of the other materials to the curb, that are harsh and harmful.

Hypoallergenic
Many sunscreens contain different materials that those with sensitive skin can be allergic too. With this sunscreen, you do not have to worry about what is in it because it is vegan and hypoallergenic, leaving you happy and satisfied when it comes to soaking in the sun.

Cost and Value
As incredible and safe as this sunscreen is, you cant miss out on it. Offering all the properties you need to keep your skin safe, plus more, this is a great option for sunscreen, not just for you, but the entire family too!
Pros
  • Vegan
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Non-Greasy
  • UVA/UVB Protection
  • Water Resistant
Cons
  • Difficult to Rub in

6. La Roche-Posay Anthelios

6. La Roche-Posay Anthelios
This sunscreen has been designed to give your face maximum protection against the sun. This sun screen is not thick like other sunscreens and is designed to absorb into the face fairly quickly. Made with few oils, this sunscreen is good to protect the skin without leaving that greasy feeling or look behind.
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UVA/UVB Protection
This sunscreen is one of a kind and has been formulated to block and protect your face from any sun burn or sun damage. With long time use the UVA/UVB protection will help with long term damage that the sun can cause.

Sensitive Skin
With as many people that there are out there with sensitive skin, this is the sunscreen for you. Lighter based ingredients are in place to assist with any breakouts or damage that low quality sunscreens can cause.

Cost and Value
As one of the top-rated sunscreens, this one has a lot to offer the skin as far as protection. Made with a lighter material, this sunscreen does not leave the greasy after feeling or look and has a nice finish that is matte.
Pros
  • Matte Finish
  • Light Materials
  • UVA/UVB Protection
  • Quick Absorbing
Cons
  • Must wait 15 mins before entering sun.

7. Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration

7. Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration
Here is another great sunscreen that promises to protect your skin from sun damage for long hours at the beach, or long hours in the sun. With specialized formula, this sunscreen will protect and moisturize, while assisting in constant protection from the harsh rays that the sun puts off.
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Hydrating Ribbons
This sunscreen has specialized hydrating ribbons that are built into the ingredients list. These special hydrating ribbons will moisturize your skins, for long lasting protection from dryness and is non-greasy at that.

Light Scent
This sunscreen is not like any other sunscreen on the market. The majority of sunscreens on the market have a strong, potent smell, but this one has a light smell that reminds people of tropical lands. It is very refreshing, especially for a sunscreen.

Cost and Value
Made for families that spend a lot of time in the sun or at the beach, this sunscreen has a lot to offer as far as protection of the skin. Not only do you get protection if harmful sunrays, but you also maintain a healthy, non-dry skin feeling with moisture ribbons infused. Easy to apply, this sunscreen offers a faint smell of the tropics and is non-greasy.
Pros
  • Non-Greasy
  • Not Thick
  • Easy to Apply
  • Moisture Ribbons
Cons
  • Not Water Resistent

8. Neutrogena Beach Defense

8. Neutrogena Beach Defense
This amazing sunscreen has a lot to offer the buyer! Each bottle contains special ingredients to help protect against the suns harmful rays while promoting beautiful skin! Having a sunscreen that is ideal for the whole family has never been better with this product!
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UVA/UVB Protection
This lotion offers a helioplex technology that stands tough against the suns harshest rays. This formula is dermatologist recommended and withstands a bigger fight than normal sunscreens, promising protection for extended periods of time.

Water Resistant
Here is another sunscreen that is incredibly water resistant. Ideal for families and the great outdoors, this sunscreen is great for everyone playing by the water. There is no need to worry about the family beach days any longer, this sunscreen has you protected.

Cost and Value
With all the great qualities that this sunscreen has to offer, it definitely ranks high next to its competitors for its helioplex protection. Great for days at the beach, this sunscreen offers optimal protection and will keep you satisfied all day long.
Pros
  • UVA/UVB Protection
  • Helioplex Technologies
  • Absorbent
  • Water Resistent
Cons
  • Some Complaints of Smell

9. Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Face

9. Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Face
This smooth and easy to apply sunscreen is good for just about anyone. Both great for the skin, and good at protecting the skin, this sunscreen is great for any use for outdoor fun. This sunscreen can be used on anyone and is great for the fair and sensitive skin types. Put sunburn in the past with this great product.
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Helps Skin
This sunscreen is incredible for your skin. The oats that are put into this sunscreen assist in nourishing the skin and keeping you fully protected in the sun. So not only does it prevent sunburn, but it also prevents dry skin!

Easy to Apply
Several sunscreens are very difficult to put on and are incredibly thick. As soon as you apply these sunscreens you are rubbing for long periods of time, trying to get them to rub into the skin. With this product, you can be sure that you will not run into issues and it will soak right into your skin, nourishing every inch.

Cost and Value
With a sunscreen lotion that serves two purposes, you cant go wrong. This sunscreen will not only protect your skin but will also assist in nourishment with its added oat ingredients. With a soft, delightful smell, this lotion is a sure buy!
Pros
  • Nourishment
  • Oat Ingreidients
  • Easy to Apply
  • Not too Thick
Cons
  • Not as strong as most sunscreens

10. Banana Boat Sport Performance

10. Banana Boat Sport Performance
Here is a sunscreen that is great for the family and promises to shield and protect against the suns harmful rays. This sunscreen is both gentle on your skin and has the ability to keep you safe during the hottest days. With many added benefits, this sunscreen is great for you and your loved ones.
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Non-Greasy
Unlike traditional sunscreens, this sunscreen goes on smooth and soaks into the skin for the ultimate non-greasy protection. Put greasy sunscreens in the past and use this for the optimal skin feeling.

Water Resistant
Having a sunscreen that is both water and sweat resistant has never been more wonderful. Most of the time, sunscreens are used on hot days and days at the beach. You no longer need to worry about your sun protection coming off of your skin due to sweat or water from the beach or pool.

Cost and Value
With such a valuable sunscreen, you protect all areas of your body for a fun filled summer day. No more suffering a horrible sunburn due to having a sunscreen that can come off in the water or from sweat. Just sit back, relax, and let this sunscreen soothe you.

Pros
  • Non-Greasy
  • Good for the Whole Family
  • Water Resistant
  • Soaks into Skin
Cons
  • Difficult to Rub in

After reviewing the list for the best sunscreens available, you will learn a lot about what sunscreens are good and what kind of qualities that they have to offer. If you are looking for a sunscreen that can give you a solid protection against the sun while at the beach or on a fishing trip you will most definitely need to find a water resistant sunscreen. Sweat and pool or lake water can remove sunscreen the second it hits the skin so it is important to read directions for water use.

Using some of the best sunscreens will prevent sun damage and assist in healthy and safer skin. A lot of skin cancers can be caused by the sun, so be sure that you get a sunscreen that will protect you throughout the entire time that you are in the sun. SPF’s are incredibly important in this manner and those with fair skin should consider a higher SPF, just to play it safe. Now, it’s time to decide which sunscreen is best for you!

 

Criteria for Choosing the Best Sunscreen

 

UVB/UVA Protection

When out in the sun, it is incredibly important to know what and where you need to protect. Sun has major dangers that lurk, causing skin cancers, sun damage, sun burn and much more. When you are in a situation where sun can be potentially threatening, it is wise to choose the right sunscreens to protect your body from these hazards. Long term damage from the sun leads to long term damage of your skin that can be life threatening.

UVA and UVB rays are the most damaging for your skin. When you are sitting in the sun for prolonged periods of time, these rays will penetrate the skin and can cause life long or life threatening damage. Skin cancers, aging skin, and cataracts are some of the damages caused by these rays. With these rays being strong enough to rip through the earths ozone layers, there is only a matter of time before they do the same to your skin. Being ahead of the game by choosing a great sunscreen will assist you in becoming more aware of the dangers that these rays can cause you.

With the UVA and UVB rays being so damaging, it is wise to take precautions, especially between certain hours of the day. Between the hours of 10am and 4pm, these rays are at their strongest. During this time, you will want to apply the sunscreen and remain in the shade as much as you can. It doesn’t matter if you are wearing clothes or not, these UV rays are so strong they can get through the material of your clothes and cause the same amount of damage to your skin. With the amount of great sunscreens on the market, you can purchase some with higher SPFs for the times of the day that are more dangerous than others. Always be aware that even if it is a partially cloudy day, these rays can still reach and penetrate you skin.

Choosing SPF

The SPF that you will find on all sunscreens on the market stands for Sun Protection Factor. The SPF that is offered is incredibly important when choosing the right sunscreen to protect you and your family. No matter how much sunscreen that you put on at the beginning of the day, there is still a chance that these harmful rays can penetrate and cause damage. Pay close attention to detail when choosing the right SPF.

The Sun Protection Factor number that you see after the words SPF, on a bottle of sunscreen, stands for how much and how long you will receive protection from the sun. The lower SPF indicates a lesser time of protection, and the higher SPF indicates the longer length in protection. When you are looking for a sunscreen to help with protection for longer periods of time, you will want to go with a higher SPF.

No matter what sunscreen that you buy, you will never have a full protection against the UVA&UVB rays. The way that the higher SPFs work is based off of a percentage of protection from the sun. Even your SPFs that sit around a 15-30, you will get a 95% protection from the sun, with 15-30 mins of non penetration from the harmful rays. That being said, a lower SPF you will have to apply more than a higher SPF.

While shopping around for a sunscreen, you will want to look at what your outside activity consists of, how long sunscreens last, and lastly, the protection length of these sunscreens. Grabbing a lower SPF of sunscreen will not only give a lesser protection from harmful rays, but will also need to be applied at a more frequent rate than a higher SPF.

Waterproof Sunscreens

While no sunscreen is waterproof for sure, there are water resistant sunscreens available on the market. When you are searching for sunscreens, it is wise to find one that is water resistant while you are out and about near, or on the water. Another important factor to consider is sweat. Sweating will help diminish a non water resistant sunscreen. While the FDA doesn’t allow a sunscreen to say waterproof, it is said that they must list the time that they are water resistant, if they claim that they are.

Many people mistake that statements on the bottles of sunscreens and think that just because they state that they water resistant for 40 minutes, doesn’t mean that you need to re-apply and get out of the water within that amount of time. What this means is that you will be protected from the sunscreen actually declining in the SPF for that 40-80 mins. After that time, you run the risk of losing the amount of SPF protection that the bottle claims.

With sweat playing a large factor in the reduction of SPF protection, most people do not consider this. There is a lot of times where people will be out in the sun and are drinking more and more fluids, and reducing the protection that they are expecting. Remember that sweat declines your SPF, so choosing a water resistant sunscreen is one of the better options, especially if you are working hard out in the sun.

Sport Sunscreen vs Regular Sunscreen

With sport sunscreens becoming more and more popular over the course of the last couple of years, there is a common mistake when people are shopping for sunscreens. It is said that sport sunscreens are more protective than your average, everyday sunscreen, and that may not be the case.

Sport sunscreens are said to have a higher UVA&UVB protection than a regular sunscreen. What is most common is that you see more and more sports sunscreens becoming available that are water resistant. These sport sunscreens have been highly tested to see where their strengths are at and how long they last, versus a regular sunscreen.

Sunscreens that are claimed to be a sports sunscreen are more popular as time goes on due to their eco-friendly make up. With sports sunscreens being used in the ocean and on the lake, it is said that they are more protective to the atmosphere, making marine life safer and happier, over a long period of time. With sports sunscreens having a better make up for aquatic life, it has become incredibly popular for use, especially on the ocean and the reefs in the oceans.

Regular sunscreens can still be made safe for the atmosphere and also water resistant. The major difference between the two is going to be the material makeup. If you are looking for something in particular, it is wise to look at the ingredients that these sunscreens use, and compare it for yourself, while making a choice.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who Needs Sunscreen?

A: It doesn’t matter if you are out in the sun for a hour or all day long, everyone will need sunscreen. Have you ever said I don’t need sunscreen, I want to tan? We all have. Then we slowly regret it as our sunscreen creeps in. If you think of what was previously mentioned about the UVA&UVB, for something that can penetrate our earths ozone layer, you want to be protected against. If these harmful rays reach your skin, for long periods of time, this can cause severe damage, including burns, cancer, and eye damage, which is why it is good to wear sunglasses, too!

Q: What do you look for when shopping for babies and adolescence?

A: Sunscreens that are made for children are specially designed to protect against the suns harshest rays. With the special ingredients that are used in this sunscreen, they will block the rays and keep the sunscreens from absorbing into the skin. Not only are these sunscreens designed to prevent the absorption, they also contain a higher SPF content so you can apply less and feel secure knowing that your baby is protected, as long as you follow the usage instructions, very well.

Q: Can sunscreen damage your skin?

A: When putting sunscreen on for protection, you never consider that it could potentially cause damage. When you put sunscreen on the skin, it is made to protect the skin, if you follow the instructions on the bottles. Sunscreen that is applied to the skin incorrectly can potentially cause damage, new studies show. With the lack of sunscreen going on your skin, the UV filters that are in sunscreen can cause an increase of UV damage, to penetrate the skin. It is highly important to remember to follow the instructions on the bottle to maintain safety to your skin.

Q: Will sunscreen prevent tanning?

A: Sunscreen or sunblock is designed to prevent harmful UV rays from damaging the skin. While the sunblock is in place to prevent the damage and the pain caused by sunscreen, it does not prevent melanin. Melanin means a darker pigment, therefore meaning that your skin will tan. Saying that sunblock will prevent tanning is incredibly false, so whether you are looking to block sun burn, or tan, sunscreen is the best route to take.

Q: Can sunscreen prevent long term sun damage?

A: While sunscreen is designed to protect you from the sun, it does not prevent the damage that the sun can cause. It is incredibly important to take precautions while out in the sun to help prolong or prevent any type of cancers. What is equally important is to know that sunscreen does not prevent cancer, but can protect you from potentially getting it. Sunscreen was created to protect you from long term damages, but if you choose not to use sunscreens until later in life, the damage may already be done. Keep in mind that sunscreen does protect again sunburn, as long as you follow the instructions on the bottle.

Sources

Skin Cancer, UVA & UVB, September 20, 2017

Consumer Reports, What does SPF Stand For?, May 15, 2015

Badger Balm, Water Resistant Sunscreens and Waterproof Sunblocks

SOLRX, Difference Between Sports Sunscreen & Regular, September 5, 2016

Everyday Family, Sunscreen- Facts, Myths, Tips and Warnings

Live Science, Sunscreen Can Damage Skin if Applied Infrequently, August 9th, 2006