The Best Sunscreens With SPF 30 or Higher
Best for Swimmers
Neutrogena Beach Defense Sunscreen SPF 70
With the optimal level of broad-spectrum protection and water- and salt-resistant properties, this will keep skin healthy despite multiple dips.
To buy: $11, at drugstores.
Featured June 2013
Best for the Face
Dermalogica Oil Free Matte SPF 30
This featherweight, nonchalky formula left testers’ skin smooth and shine-free. It can even double as an under-makeup primer.
To buy: $48, dermalogica.com.
Best for Sensitive Skin
Yes to Cucumbers Natural Sunscreen SPF 30
This mineral-based formula has nonirritating blockers, like titanium dioxide, plus soothing aloe and cooling cucumber. Good from forehead to feet.
To buy: $12, yestocarrots.com.
Best for Touch-Ups
CeraVe SPF 50 Sunscreen Stick
Use this titanium- and zinc-based roll-up stick (which dries clear) to coat those tiny hot spots—tip of the nose, tops of the ears, cheekbones—that catch the most sun.
To buy: $10, at drugstores.
Best for Every Day
Aveeno Protect + Hydrate SPF 30
With a slightly sweet scent and a light, nongreasy formula that will stay put through any activity, this oil-free, noncomedogenic pick is ideal for face or body.
To buy: $10, at drugstores.
Best SPF With Bronzer
Australian Gold Sheer Coverage Continuous Spray SPF 30
This quick-drying formula contains coffee pigments that provide color, which lasts until you rinse it off.
To buy: $12, australiangold.com.
Coola Body Classic Sunscreen in Plumeria
Extra incentive to apply your daily dose: Plumeria (a.k.a. frangipani) fragrance makes this sunscreen smell like a vacation in the tropics.
To buy: $32, coolasuncare.com.
Best New Formula
Vichy Capital Soleil 50 Lightweight Foaming Lotion
This frothy mousse spreads like butter. And it’s chock-full of hyaluronic acid, which adds moisture to skin.
To buy: $28.50, vichyusa.com.
The Latest on Labels
You probably know to look for broad-spectrum protection, which blocks both UVA rays (the ultraviolet light that is carcinogenic and prematurely aging) and UVB rays (also carcinogenic, as well as capable of burning skin). “Using broad-spectrum protection is as important as using a minimum of SPF 30 daily,” says Beverly Hills dermatologist Ronald L. Moy. Now there are new U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations to back this up: As of December 17, 2012, any sunscreen from a big company that claims broad-spectrum protection must have passed the FDA testing requirements to ensure that it shields equally against both types of rays. (Smaller makers have until December 2013 to comply.) For maximum defense, and regardless of how long you think your SPF will let you stay in the sun, apply at least a golf ball–size amount to your whole body. Reapply every three hours—more often if you’re in and out of the water. “There’s no such thing as a waterproof sunscreen,” says Moy. “At best, they’re water-resistant.”
Go to realsimple.com/skintech to read about a painless new way to detect skin cancer.