Getting outdoors when the weather warms up is a no brainer, but what to use to protect your skin, your partner’s and your child’s can take some thought and pre-planning. Davie, FL dermatologist Marianna Blyumin-Karasik, MD says as a first choice, look for mineral-based, sensitive skin sunscreens. “These are safe for babies and older skin,” she explains. “Look for products with zinc as the main ingredient of protection. Be generous, reapply every hour and pair with other sun protection techniques, like seeking shade, and wearing hats, sunglasses and rash guards.” If chemical sunscreens are your preference, try ones that are both reef safe and include ingredients that absorb UV rays to reduce how they penetrate the skin. Here, our top picks that help protect young and old and everyone in between.
For the Environmentally Friendly
Project Reef Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 ($26) has a “nano-zinc” formula that absorbs quickly without leaving a ghostly white cast. Aloe vera, coconut and sea buckthorn oil help to condition and nourish dry skin.
For the Fidgeters and Sunscreen Dodgers
Bare Republic Clearscreen SPF 100 Sunscreen Spray ($13) falls under the category of a chemical sunscreen and with a transparent finish and a sophisticated spray mister, you’ll be able to get full coverage on even the wiggliest of family members.
For the ’80s Baby
If you love the nostalgic brand’s creamy lotion, you’ll love the easy-to-use, lightweight Vacation SPF 30 Classic Spray ($20). It’s reef-safe, non-aerosol and every bottle comes with a dose of memories and its own radio station.
For Those with Sensitive Skin
Moisturize, hydrate and refresh reactive skin with Thrive Natural Care Daily Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin ($27). Non-nano zinc oxide serves as the main ingredient and its balm consistency soothes as it protects.
For Those Needing Double Duty
With larger, non-nano zinc protection to offer greater UV protection, Brush on Block Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 ($20) can be used on the face and body, and can be applied alone or underneath the brand’s mineral brush-on sunscreen.
For the Minimalist
With only four ingredients—titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, mica and iron oxides—this dermatologist-developed line provides a fuss-free way to brush on layer after layer of protection. With 7 shades and a clear option, the A Method Protection Powder Sunscreen ($44) makes for the perfect sunblock to keep in both your purse and your beach tote.
For the Anti-Ager
With antioxidants that fight free radicals, Replenix Hydrating Antioxidant Sunscreen SPF 50+ ($45) combats signs of aging with the same ferocity as it blocks the sun’s harmful rays for healthier, plumper-looking skin.
For the Glow Getter
The Sol de Janeiro Bum Bum Sol Oil SPF 30 ($38) is only available for a limited time when the weather heats up and keeping it stocked can be challenging as it always sells out. Acai and coconut oil as well as Cupuaçu butter helps keep skin taut and nourished.
For the Skin Condition Prone
Always a dermatologist’s and skin expert’s approved pick, Elta MD UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46 ($36) calms compromised skin and helps to protect and treat acne, hyperpigmentation and rosacea-prone skin. With zinc oxide that disappears upon application, it also contains a skin-care benefit with niacinamide and hyaluronic acid to hydrate thirsty skin.
For the Smallest Sunbathers
The stick form of Attitude Baby & Kids Mineral Sunscreen Face Stick SPF 30 ($14) makes it easy to apply a necessary block on ultra-sensitive skin. This super-safe option simplifies the sun prep and allows for easy reapplication as the day goes on.
For Your Gen Z Beauty Expert
Florence by Mills Sunny Skies Facial Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($24) provides mineral-based protection, is lightweight, dries to a smooth, transparent finish and has vitamin E to moisturize and prime.
For the Stickiness Averse
Sweat- and water-resistant with SPF 50 and a thin consistency that feels more like a serum than sunscreen, Supergoop! Play Everyday Lotion ($32) lives up to its name as it becomes undetectable and blends in quickly and easily on all skin tones and types.
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