Surfers, Derms and Bathing Suit Designers Share Their Favorite SPFs

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Summer may be winding down, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to skip the sun protection. From cutting-edge derms to women who’ve made their careers working in the sun, these are the SPFs they say work.

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Elmer, NJ dermatologist Ingrid Warmuth, MD:

“I really love SkinMedica Total Defense + Repair ($68). It offers broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays and infrared rays, which especially cause skin cancer. This protection is essential when deciding on a sunscreen. Using this product and reapplying every two hours can avoid cancer-causing sunburns and protect against fine lines and wrinkles. This sunscreen also has a tinted option, which can be worn with or without a foundation or makeup. Its luxurious feel goes on light and nongreasy—an attractive feature to both my male and female patients.”

Neutrogena Clear Face ($13) is a go-to. It is oil-free, water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, won’t cause breakouts and offers broad-spectrum protection. I like the convenience of it and every corner drugstore sells it. Acne patients get great use of it as well because it is noncomedogenic.”

“Jan Marini makes a product called Physical Protectant ($51), and it stands out because of its use of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide—minerals found naturally occurring in the earth. These two physical sunscreen ingredients are a good option for patients with sensitive, redness-prone skin. The formula is gentle, nonirritating and effective sun protection.” 

“I always recommend La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral SPF 50 Tinted Sunscreen ($34). It’s mineral-based, it goes on light and airy, and leaves a nice glow—with or without the use of foundation or makeup.” 

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New York dermatologist Dendy Engelman, MD:

“My current favorite is ISDIN Eryfotona Actinica ($50). It not only provides the physical UV protection of zinc oxide in a cosmetically elegant, absorbable formula, but it also has a DNA repair enzyme that helps correct damage caused by UV exposure.”

Colorescience Sunforgettable ($65) is a powder block that I love for providing broad-spectrum, UV protection with micronized titanium dioxide particles. It is so great for reapplication throughout the day, especially over makeup where liquid sunscreens are less than ideal.”

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Montclair, NJ dermatologist Jeanine Downie, MD:

Total Defense + Repair by SkinMedica ($68). It is anti-UVA, anti-UVB AND anti-infrared. It rubs right in, even on my dark skin, and it doesn’t leave a whitish or grayish residue. It is also oil-free and doesn’t clog. I am crazy about this product because it also provides antioxidants and anti-aging ingredients, which decrease my fine lines and wrinkles. I use it on my face, my neck and the backs of my hands every single day. And then I reapply it. I love this product!”

“For body sunscreen, I love Neutrogena CoolDry Sport SPF 70 ($12). I put this on when running—all over my body, the back of my neck, my ears, the tops of my knees. These areas are very frequently forgotten and sunburned while people are out jogging. Then I can go for miles. This is a consistent sunblock that really can extend the length of my runs.”

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Greenwich, CT dermatologist Kim Nichols, MD:

“Fort the face, I like SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion ($34). For the body, EltaMD UV Aero ($32).”
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Richmond, VA plastic surgeon Ruth Hillelson, MD:

“My personal favorite sunscreen is Physical Fusion by SkinCeuticals ($34). I like it because it gives me great protection and goes on smoothly.”
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San Antonio dermatologist Vivian Bucay, MD:

SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 ($34) because it has a fluid consistency that spreads evenly and absorbs quickly. Its universal tint works on almost all skin types, so it can be worn alone or under makeup. It is a broad-spectrum, mineral-based sunscreen, so it’s well-tolerated by those with sensitive skin.”

Colorescience Total Eye 3-in-1 Renewal Therapy SPF 35 ($69) is my new addiction. The peachy tint works on everyone, and it’s hard to believe that the creamy formula contains an all-mineral sunscreen. It has a unique applicator that feels cool and soothing and makes for easy application to the delicate skin around the eyes. It can even be applied on the upper eyelids!”

Forever Young Body Butter with Sea Buckthorn SPF 40 PA+++ by Supergoop! ($34) I apply it to my body after showering. It’s moisturizing, absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave a white residue.”

“For prolonged sun exposure, beach vacations, desert or high altitudes, my go-to is Elta MD UV Sport SPF 50 ($24). Nothing gets through this. It has a thicker consistency that requires a little more work to make it disappear into the skin, but it really does a great job protecting from harmful UV rays.”

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FELLA Swim founders Rosie Iffla and Christine Tang:

“For daily use, we love Cosmedix Sunscreen Spray ($47) in Australian standards because it doesn’t clog pores.”

“For a stronger-use sun cream for weekends spent at the beach, we love We Feel Good Inc. for Sensitive Skin 50+ ($28).”

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Georgia Huddart, founder of Hunza G:

Piz Buin! I love the smell and the packaging is so 70s.”

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Brittany Kozerski, designer and owner of Jade Swim:

EltaMD UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46 ($33). I’m completely obsessed with this sunscreen. Not only is it one of the few sunscreens that doesn’t irritate my extremely sensitive skin, but it also has skin-improving ingredients like niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and lactic acid so my skin feels amazing with daily use. Also, since it dries completely clear and leaves no residue, I can layer any makeup look on top of it.”

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Risa Hoshino, Honolulu-based makeup artist and hairstylist:

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream SPF 50 ($38). It’s basically a full-coverage foundation that glides on like butter. I like to use this on beach shoots because it has a matte finish.”

Clarins UV PLUS Anti-Pollution Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Tinted Sunscreen Multi-Protection ($45). This is my everyday sunscreen. After I put my skin care on, I apply this and it doubles as sunscreen and a light, everyday tint. I have tried everything, but I always go back to this product.” 

Bioderma Hydrabio Eau De Soin SPF 30. I found this product when I was working in Paris. It’s a mist sunscreen. It is the best thing to use when I want to reapply sunscreen on-set, but I don’t want to mess up the makeup.”

Mineral Fusion Mineral SPF 30 Brush-On Sun Defense. It’s an amazing touch-up product. It’s a powder sunscreen so it leaves skin shine-free.”

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Oleema (former professional surfer) and Kalani Miller, founders of MIKOH swimwear:

“Sunscreen is by far the most important part of my beauty and beach routine, and a daily essential. There are so many great options these days—natural, plant-based, chemical-free, or those extra-potent ones for long days in the sun. I’m a believer in all of them for different purposes and have discovered my favorites over the years. I am obsessed with Elta MD sunscreen. I turned Kalani onto it a few years back after my dermatologist introduced me. I apply it rain or shine and double down on it when I’m beach bound. It’s the perfect consistency for under makeup, and they make a waterproof version.” –Oleema Miller

Fresh makes an amazing lip balm with SPF 15 ($24) that I use every single day (love the Rose color). It’s the perfect sheer berry shade and the SPF is an added bonus.” –Oleema Miller

Suntegrity makes great options for sunscreen—I love that it is all-natural and can be used with or without makeup and has other good elements. I always love a good two-for-one product!” –Oleema Miller

“When we are out where it is full sun exposure (like Tavarua Island in Fiji), I always use Shade Sunscreen. It is a thicker formula that I know will stay on.” –Kalani Miller

“I am always up for trying a new sunscreen and I always make sure my chest/neck/face are fully covered. Also, a good coverage hat and polarized sunglasses help!” –Kalani Miller

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