The Beauty Memo

These are the sunscreens our beauty editors swear by

Any good SPF provides essential broad-spectrum protection, but the best ones are supercharged with advanced skincare benefits and offer lightweight textures, flattering tints and reef-safe filters. Here are our beauty team’s favorite formulas to rely on all year round


BEST FOR SPORTS Shiseido WetForce Expert Sun Aging Protection Cream SPF30

Shiseido’s WetForce technology is top-notch sun protection for beach and adventure holidays, outdoor workouts and all types of water activities. This is not simply due to its incredible sweat- and water-resistant properties, but because the formula works even harder to protect skin from UV rays when it comes into contact with either. The downside? The formula is tenacious and can be tricky to remove, so it’s best rinsed away with a mitt or scrub in the shower.


Dr. Barbara Sturm’s sunscreen in a dropper format is a game changer. If you’re not a fan of product layering, you can simply spike your favorite moisturizer or foundation with this high-factor SPF50 booster. Blend two to three drops into a face cream or, for full SPF50 protection, smooth it undiluted over bare skin. Added vitamin E and beta-glucan (a type of sugar) protect and help damaged skin cells to regenerate, too.

BEST FOR FAMILIES Soleil Toujours SPF30 Mineral Sunscreen

For sharing on sun-soaked family vacations, this physical UV-blocker is ideal. The all-mineral formula uses zinc oxide, which is recommended by dermatologists for children and unlikely to irritate sensitive skin. Meanwhile, more mature skin will benefit from the added antioxidants (green tea leaf and vitamin C) and anti-aging ingredients like ubiquinone, which helps to stimulate both collagen and elastin production. It applies white but disappears quickly once rubbed into skin – and won’t leave a sticky residue, even after multiple applications.

BEST BODY SPF Ultra Violette Extreme Screen Hydrating Body & Hand Skinscreen SPF50

This hand and body edition of Ultra Violette’s all-star sunscreen lineup doubles as a skin-smoothing moisturizer, so it’s easy to incorporate into your daily summer body-care routine. Pentavitin, a plant-derived mega-hydrator, pairs with aloe vera and vitamin E for a water- and sweat-resistant formula (up to four hours), which plumps, calms and smooths sun-exposed limbs and oft-neglected hands. It also has a hint of shimmer to give a subtle, super-flattering glow, so add an extra layer to shins and collarbones for added definition and luminosity.

BEST FOR EVERY DAY Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF40

If you’re after a universally flattering SPF, you can’t get better than this cult classic. The oil-free formula dries matte and completely clear, so it blends into all skin tones seamlessly. It’s ideal if you like to layer your skincare, too – the gel-like consistency feels utterly weightless on skin and serves as a velvety primer for foundation. What’s more, it uses reef-safe filters to protect against UVA, UVB, IRA and blue light, and pairs complexion-plumping hydrators (meadowfoam seed oil and shea butter) with a slew of antioxidant heavyweights to shield skin from future damage.

BEST FOR PROBLEM SKIN REN Clean Skincare Clean Screen Mineral Mattifying Face Sunscreen SPF30

Powered by non-nano zinc oxide, this ocean-friendly, silicone-free mineral sunscreen is a great choice if you have oily skin or are prone to breakouts. First, it blocks out all forms of light and protects against pollution. Then, it utilizes passion fruit to fight free-radical damage, and rice starch to mattify skin and control heat-induced shine without clogging pores. While it comes out of the tube nearly opaque white, once massaged in, it sinks into skin without leaving any residue.

BEST FOR TOP-UPS Sisley Tinted Sun Care Stick SPF50+

Ideally, sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours – and this purse-friendly stick packaging gives ample incentive to adhere to this safe-sun rule. The waterproof, ocean-conscious formula is mineral-based with a sheer tint, so you can seamlessly blend it over makeup on the high points of the face, and over collarbones and other areas of the body, for a natural tan finish. It’s a good choice if you want an SPF that works really hard, too – sweet white lupin extract and wheat germ oil protect against photoaging, while a trio of oils (camellia, mango butter and shea) hydrate skin that is parched from UV exposure.

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