It’s no longer 2009, and thank god, because there were a lot of terrible fads back then, namely, over-tanning. Whether it be from a shitty spray tan or spending too much time in the sun, it’s no longer cute for your skin to look orange and/or like a leather hide. Blessings. However, if you’ve been using the same spray can of Coppertone Sport for the past six years, first of all. throw that shit away. Second of all, it’s time to rethink your strategy. You wouldn’t want a skin care product to be one-size-fits-all, so why should you expect that of your sunscreen? Here’s the best sunscreen for you based on your skin tone, summer goals, and general lifestyle choices.
If You’re Dark-Toned: Moroccanoil Sun Lotion
If you think you’re safe from UV rays because you have a darker skin tone, you are not. Just because it may not always be obvious when you burn, you’re still at risk for fun things like skin cancer and wrinkles. The most important thing when shopping for sunscreen with darker skin (you know, besides SPF) is whether it will leave a disgusting white or blue film all over you. This sunscreen by Moroccanoil goes on clear and doesn’t leave any kind of film on your skin, so you’ll just look moisturized and not chalky. Plus, it’s SPF 50 which means it lasts a lot longer than like, the completely useless SPF 4 tanning oil I used to buy as a teenager. I would tell you how many times longer, but that is math I cannot do.
If You’re Pale AF: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen
Hello, my people. I’m naturally so pale that I am translucent. And if I haven’t been in the sun in a while (which is always), I am guaranteed to burn. I get sunburnt just driving. Like, through my car windows. If you want to make sure those UV rays don’t touch your porcelain skin, get a high SPF (at least 50) and reapply often. That way there is just no chance of it wearing off. Also, wear a hat. And long sleeves. And never go outside.
If You’re Active: Coola Mineral Sport Sunscreen Stick
First of all, why? You like, move on purpose? Sounds fake, but k. If you are extremely active and swim or sweat (gross) or like, run around in circles on the beach chasing some sort of ball (again, I ask you, why???), you need a sunscreen with staying power. Anything that says “sport” in the title is probably a safe bet, like Coola’s Sport Stick. The thicker texture of a sunscreen stick helps it stay on better, plus it’s easier to apply on the go. Also, Coola’s entire brand smells incredible (see below).
If You Hate The Smell Of Sunscreen: Coola Classic Sport Organic Suncare
So this is actually my favorite sunscreen, and I recommend buying the entire kit because it all smells to-die-for amazing. These products don’t have the texture of sunscreen at all—they feel just like lotion, but you won’t burn. You can buy each item individually and they have a few different scents, none of which will make you smell like a baby prostitute. Or like a sunburnt frat-boy surfer like the shit from the drugstore, which is equally important.
If You Always Wear Makeup: Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist
Did you guys know the SPF actually has nothing to do with strength, but with how long the sunscreen lasts? #science. So, if you need to reapply your sunscreen because you’re outside for an extended period of time, there is no larger guarantee that you will not fucking do this than wearing a full face of makeup. Makeup is expensive. It takes time. There is no way I am taking all of this shit off and reapplying just so I can protect my skin. Especially if you’re like me and don’t wear foundation on the reg, your face skin is exposed and at risk. Enter: Makeup Setting Spray with SPF. I fucking love this product. I used it at an entire day of Disneyland to refresh my SPF and for the first time ever, I did not burn. Also, it smells like rosemary and mint and it’s refreshing. 11/10.
If You Wear CC Cream: IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream
If you already use a BB or CC cream and you want to speed up your skin prep routine, get one that has sunscreen built in like this SPF 50 CC cream from IT Cosmetics. This has your sunscreen, primer, foundation, and moisturizer all in one. Now you can sleep in an extra, like, what, four minutes? But at least your skin will be protected and you don’t have to buy 50 different products to keep your face in line.
Images: Erii Gutierrez / Unsplash