For the 2016 outdoor season, here are the best sunscreens recommendations for you, based on our knowledge from living in sunny Southern California. In order to protect your skin from the harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays, you need the perfect sunscreen.
As we get closer and closer to summer, dreams of endless beach days will soon become reality. But lounging in the sand isn’t completely carefree. Without proper protection, you could walk away from summer with more than a tan. Unprotected sun exposure leads to increased aging effects as well as possible skin cancer. The best way to achieve a golden tan is with the best sunscreens on the market.
Top 10 Amazon Best Sellers
Updated Twice Daily! For your convenience, here are the current Best Seller ranked sunscreens on Amazon in the Sunscreens category. This gives you a great idea of what customers consider to be the best top 10.
- First sunscreen to pass whole foods premium care requirements
- Top rated by ewg with a "1" rating in 2010, 2011 and 2012, 2013 - baby, beach and sport
- Highest spf 50+ (per fda 2012 rules - any sunscreens boasting higher are falsely marketing)
- Highest level of water resistance (80 minutes) (per fda 2012 rules)
- Free of biologically harmful chemicals, no avobenzone, oxybenzone or uv chemical absorbers
- First Sunscreen to pass Whole Foods Premium Care Requirements
- Top Rated by EWG with a "1" rating in 2010, 2011, and 2012, 2013 - Baby, Beach and Sport
- Highest SPF 50+ (per FDA 2012 Rules - any sunscreens boasting higher are falsely marketing)
- Highest level of water resistance (80 minutes) (per FDA 2012 Rules)
- Free of biologically harmful chemicals. No Avobenzone, Oxybenzone, or UV Chemical absorbers.
- UVA + UVB protection & water resistant (80 minutes)
- Non-allergenic formula that is naturally gentle on skin and tear free
- Pediatrician & Dermatologist tested
- Exclusive 100% natural NeoNourish Seed Oil Blend to help nurture and support baby's skin
- No: PABA, phthalates, parabens, fragrances or nano-particles
- Never tested on animals
- Antioxidant protection combats skin-aging free radicals associated with ultraviolet (UV) and infrared...
- Calms and protects acne-prone skin and leaves no residue
- Fragrance-free, oil-free, paraben-free, sensitivity-free and noncomedogenic
- Two 3-fluid ounce bottles of sunscreen lotion
- Broad Spectrum SPF 45 helps prevent sunburn
- Helioplex Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB protection
- Dry-Touch technology for an ultra-light, shine-free finish
- #1 dermatologist-recommended suncare brand
- Twin pack
- Beach and Pool
- Helioplex Broad Spectrum UVA/UV
- Can apply directly on wet skin
- 20% Value
- Ultra Waterproof / Ultra Sweatproof
- Paraben Free / PABA Free / Oil Free
- Vitamin E Enriched
- 8 FL OZ / 237 ML
- Top rated by EWG skin deep database with a "1" rating in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 for baby, beach and...
- Free of biologically harmful chemicals: no avobenzone, oxybenzone, paraben, phthalate, paba and 1,4...
- Highest - SPF 50 plus, water resistance (80 minutes), broad-spectrum coverage allowed by the FDA
- Non-nano formulation average particle size >100micron, non-aerosol formulation (high concern of both...
- Applies and absorbs easily non-oily feel does not have an obtrusive smell that many organic...
- 0.47-ounce stick of sunscreen
- Convenient sunscreen stick helps prevent sunburn
- For kids' wet or dry skin
- Broad Spectrum SPF 70 sun protection
- Helioplex Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB protection
- Water resistant up to 80 minutes
- Invisible, rub-free
- Easy grip spray can
- Twist and lock spray, no cap
- 1.5-ounce stick of sunscreen
- Convenient sunscreen stick helps prevent sunburn
- For the face and body
- Powerful daily formula with Broad Spectrum SPF 70
- Helioplex Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB protection
Next up are some more of our picks from The10BestReview.com for best sunscreens reviews to consider.
High-End Best Sunscreen Lotion Reviews
Though the price point is higher than most sunscreens, StriVectin stands out with its focus on daily protection from the sun. It’s formulated with patented free-radical conversion technology that provides ultimate protection as well as anti-aging repair.
2. Jan Marini Skin Research Marini Physical Protectant
This sunscreen has broad spectrum protection and a universal tint. You just have to apply it 15 minutes before you go into the sun and it will provide great protection and prevents the effect the sun has on your skin especially protecting it from aging faster. It is water resistant for up to 80 minutes so that gives you more time in the water. That many other sunscreens. According to customers who have written sunscreen reviews about this product, it is one of the best for hot environments as it will not get greasy when you go into the sun.
If you’re in desperate need of a sunscreen that doesn’t leave you feeling greasy after, Clarins’ dry oil spray is ideal. Additionally, it’s one of the few sunscreens on the market that protects both your skin and hair.
If you’re worried about your new sunscreen offsetting the balance in your beauty routine, look no further than the Anthelios Serum. In addition to protecting your skin, this serum helps improve the appearance of fine lines, dark spots, and skin texture.
Best Waterproof Sunscreen for Sports
If you’re planning on spending a great part of your day in the water, this is your best bet. Not only is it water resistant, but this sunscreen keeps your skin nourished, hydrated, and moisturized. You’ll be protected and silky smooth.
This is classic protection without all the unnatural ingredients. Hang Ten’s Sport Body Sunscreen is heavy on the UVA/UVB protection but in a non-nano fashion. It’s non-greasy, oxybenzone free, paraben free, retinyl palmitate free, and synthetic fragrance free. It’s one of the most natural options on the market.
Another highly related sport alternative, Neutrogena’s CoolDry Sport remains sweat and water resistant for up to 80 minutes. It’s also oil free and PABA free. This is the type of broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection all athletes need.
This sunscreen is perfect for athletes. It remains water resistant for up to 80 minutes. It sprays on clear and doesn’t require any rubbing. It also contains Vitamin E and aloe as moisturizing agents. It dries quick and absorbs fast. So no mess to worry about.
5. Badger Sport Sunscreen Cream
According to some of the best sunscreen reviews, this is not just sunscreen, it is also nourishment for the skin as it contains antioxidants and is made from organic and natural ingredients that will help your skin look good as well as remain protected. For people who do not like scented products, this is just right for you. The protection lasts 80 minutes.
Best Economical Sunscreens
There are so many products out there that claim to provide protection from the sun but when you try them, it is such a shame that they do not quite cut it. To help you avoid such a situation here is a compilation of the best sunscreens that are economical.
This sunscreen has been praised by fans for its pleasant fragrance, long-lasting protection, and non-greasy texture. And even better, it has been ranked by Consumer Reports as one of the best 7 sunscreens on the market.
Tarte’s premium sunscreen uses titanium dioxide and zinc dioxide to keep your skin shielded from the sun. It also works to firm and brighten your complexion thanks to Vitamin C.
Fans of this one love it because it has a sweet, floral scent that smells more like lotion than sunscreen. But don’t mistake its sweetness for ineffectiveness. This sunscreen packs a protection punch all while rubbing on smooth and drying clear.
4. Badger SPF 30 Lavender Sunscreen Cream
This sunscreen combines safe mineral ingredients like zinc oxide to provide sufficient protection against the sun’s harmful rays. It does not have any of the common harmful ingredients present in some of the different sunscreens. Customers who chose this as one of the best sunscreens say they are happy with its performance and the fact that it is waterproof up to 40 minutes so they can put it on and go surfing or swimming and not worry that it will wash off easily.
5. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen SPF 100
This sunscreen will provide protection against harmful UVB and UVA, but that is not all, it also moisturizes the skin to prevent dryness, it also reduces the aging of the skin and risk of cancer. Sunscreen reviews have given this product 5-star rating because of its high performance.
Best Sunscreens for Babies or Kids
1. Coppertone Water Babies SPF 50
It comes in a twin pack and can be sprayed on which makes it much faster to apply it. Some of the best sunscreens reviews note that it is quite good for the young ones, to protect their delicate skin from the sun’s rays. Since it comes in 2 packs you have much more to go around especially if you have many children who need protection from ultraviolet rays.
2. Babyganics Mineral-Based Baby Sunscreen Lotion
This is a natural sunscreen designed to provide the best sunscreen protection for your young one and it is also all natural so that you can rest assured that there is no harmful ingredient in it, neither does it harm the environment.
3. Eltamd UV Clear SPF 46, 48-Gram 1.7 oz.
Not everyone can use any sunscreen, some people are allergic to different ingredients in the sunscreen, Eltamd UV Clear takes this into account which is why the best sunscreen reviews rank it as the best sunscreen. It is designed with people with sensitive skin in mind to provide them with good skin protection, as well as sooth irritated skin. It should be perfect for everyone.
Zika Warning! Use Sunscreen with Bug Repellent!
There is lots of buzz in the news lately about Zika, the malicious virus that is transmitted by mosquitos. We are all advised to take precautions during this outdoor season, and be sure to wear mosquito repellent. So why not wear both sunscreen AND mosquito repellent in a combined solution. Be sure to protect yourself against the malicious Zika virus in 2016!
With all the concern about the Mosquito-born Zika virus, it is highly recommend that you wear bug repellent while you are outdoors. So, consider buying a Sunscreen with Bug Repellent combo lotion. This type of bug repellent sunscreen is carefully formulated to combine both types of chemicals, to give you dual protection against the sun and mosquitoes.
Otherwise, you will find yourself one day outdoors and having to choose between applying sun screen or bug repellent, but you cannot just spray on both because that is not a good combination to do it yourself. Putting on separate sunscreen and bug repellent is not a good method. Do not do it yourself!
Instead, you need a single lotion that has both ingredients in it already, properly mixed by the manufacturer. These sunscreen bug repellent combo lotions are the recommended way to go.
Our recommended pick for 2016 is a combination mosquito repellent and sunscreen protection, Bull Frog Mosquito Coast Spray Sunscreen with Insect Repellent.
Note that this Bull Frog spray is DEET-FREE, while some experts advise that DEET is a more effective mosquito repellent.
Top 10 Best Seller Sunscreen on Amazon in May 2016
For your convenience, here are the current Best Seller ranked sunscreens on Amazon in May 2016. You can find a winner in any one of these.
- Amazon: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Drytouch Sunscreen, SPF 45, is the Best Seller in Sunscreens Overall.
- Amazon: Banana Boat Ultra Mist Sport Performance Sunscreen Spray, is the Best Seller in Sports Sunscreen.
- Amazon: Babyganics Mineral-Based Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50, is the Best Seller in Baby Sun Protection.
- Amazon: EltaMD UV Physical Broad-Spectrum SPF 41, is the Best Seller in Lip Sunscreens.
- Amazon: Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+, is another top sunscreen for kids.
- Amazon: Neutrogena Age Shield Face Lotion Sunscreen, is great sunscreen for the face.
- Amazon: Banana Boat Sunscreen Sport Family Size Lotion, great for the whole family.
- Amazon: Badger Baby Sunscreen Cream – SPF 30, All Natural & Certified Organic.
- Amazon: Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Stick Sunscreen, is great sunscreen for the pool and the beach.
- Amazon: Blue Lizard Sensitive Sunscreen SPF 30+, Top Australian sunscreen for sensitive skin.
Final Thoughts on Best Suntan Lotion
Above are several great sunscreen recommendations (without bug repellent). The sunscreens chosen in this list have received great user feedback and were mentioned in some of the best sunscreens reviews which make them qualify as some of the best you can find on the market and guarantee that you can go out in the sunshine and not have to worry about getting burnt or being exposed to harmful rays.
There are a number of things taken into consideration when choosing the best sunscreens to ensure that you get a reliable sunscreen that is also safe for your skin and approved by standards authorities.
- See related Top 10 Natural Essential Oil Bug Spray
Ultimate Guide to Sunscreens, Sunblock, & Suntan Lotions
What is SPF?
Since all sunscreens show an SPF rating, you may be wondering what is SPF and what does SPF stand for? SPF is an abbreviation for Sun Protection Factor. This is a measure of how well the sunscreen will protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays.
The UV rays have the potential to cause sunburn, aging of skin and can also trigger skin cancer. For example, if your skin normally burns after you are in the sun for 5 minutes, then applying a sunscreen with an SPF of 10 will allow you to remain in the sun without burning your skin for about 50-75 minutes (about 10-15 times longer). However, this also depends on your skin type, the amount of sunscreen used, and the intensity of sunlight.
To get adequate protection, skin doctors recommend you wear sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15 and applying it liberally over your skin. The sunscreen must be reapplied every 90-120 minutes, if you are in water all the time.
The majority of people under apply a sunscreen and thus the protection is not complete. The higher the SPF, the better the protection; if ever in doubt, just use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30. Sunscreens with a SPF greater than 40-100 do not offer any greater protection than a sunscreen of SPF 30, so there is no need to buy such expensive products.
What’s the difference between Sunscreen and Sunblock?
Most people use the words Sunblock and Sunscreen interchangeably but there are two distinct types of sun protection. A sunscreen is the most common type of sun protection and it works as a screen or a filter to keep the UV rays of the sun from penetrating your skin. In most cases, the sunscreen filters out about 95-99% of the UV rays. On the other hand, a sun block physically reflects the rays of the sun from the skin and blocks the UV rays from penetrating the skin.
Both sunblock and sunscreen are effective ways to protect from the sun’s UV rays. In both cases, there are different chemicals used to protect the skin against the damaging effects of UV rays. In general, the majority of sun blocks use zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as the active agents. Sun blocks tend to be thicker, viscous and have a consistent effect.
However, because the sunblock is thicker, it is sometimes difficult to apply it evenly all over the body. The other thing is that sun blocks are opaque and this means one can see the shiny gloss on your body after application. However, there are some newer brands of sunblock that are less opaque and less visible.
Sunscreens also have chemicals that work by absorbing the UV rays of the sun and prevent skin damage. However, because some people are allergic or sensitive to certain chemicals like PABA, they may benefit from the use of a subblock or buy PABA free sunscreens.
Today there are many types of sunscreens and sun blocks on the market, so it is vital that you read the labels, especially if you have a history of allergies to certain chemicals.
Overall, both sun blocks and sunscreens can provide adequate protection against the UV rays. Selecting between the two is only a matter of personal preference and presence of allergies. The most important thing is that no matter which one you select, it should have an SPF of at least 30, which is the current recommendation by the American Society of Dermatology.
What are the different Types of Sunscreen, Sunscreen Facts?
There are many types of sunscreens on the market and buying the right one can be difficult. The first thing to know is that there are waterproof and water resistant sunscreens on the market.
Based on the FDA, a product is considered to be water-resistant if it continues to maintain its SPF levels even after you have been exposed to water for 40 minutes. The product is considered to be waterproof if it maintains its SPF after 80 minutes of water exposure. For individuals who are involved in outdoor activities like swimming, one should select a waterproof sunscreen.
Other factors that you need to consider before buying a sunscreen or a sunblock include the following:
- If you are an athlete or an active individual, buy a gel formula, as this product will not wash away when you are active and have excess sweat.
- If you have acne or consistently break out with zits, then always by an oil free sunscreen.
- For individuals who have dry skin, then you may want to get an oil-based sunscreen; there are some sunscreens available as a cream, which tend to remain on the skin longer and relieve symptoms of dryness. Individuals with dry skin should avoid products that contain alcohol, which is commonly found in gels and sprays.
- There are people who have very sensitive skin and these individuals should try and use sunblock that contain titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Both these agents do not get absorbed into the skin and hence the irritation is less.
- If you have small children or infants, then buy a stick sunscreen. These products do not tend to drip and will not get in the mouth or the eyes. Further, for infants, consider using sunblock that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, as they tend to be less irritating to the skin. Children up to the age of 8 tend to have very sensitive skin compared to adults and hence sun blocks are recommended.
- For individual who are hairy, it is hard to apply a lotion. In that case, use a gel or a spray as this saves time applying and does not cling to the hair.
- For your lips, get a lipstick or a lip balm with an SPF of 30 or more.
- Individuals who have oily skin should buy sunscreen that is oil-free. Most sprays and lotions will do for such individuals.
- If you are fussy and do not like synthetic chemicals, there are also sunscreens made from natural products like lavender and aloe vera. There are also organic sunscreens that contain minerals, herbs and plant extracts.
Tips on How to Use Sunscreen
- To ensure that the sunscreen or sunblock is effective it must be applied at least 15-20 minutes before you go outside so that it has a chance to stick to the skin. If you wait till you are outside, the sweat may prevent it from sticking.
- Apply a light film of sunscreen – if you apply too little, then you won’t get the protection.
- Regularly apply your sunscreen. A few smudges in the morning will not last the whole day.
- If you sweat a lot, you need to apply more often.
- Avoid sunscreens that contain vitamin A, as there is evidence that this vitamin is not helpful. Further never apply a sunscreen together with a topical vitamin A containing product.
- Do not be over confident with sunscreens. Cancer of the skin can occur despite use of these agents so you need to take other measures to protect the skin such as avoiding the midday sun.
- If you are lost and have no idea what product to buy, you will never go wrong with a sunblock that contains zinc oxide; these products tend to be more expensive than regular sunscreens but work well and have fewer side effects.
- Avoid sunscreens that smell nice. Sunscreens that contain fragrances usually have synthetic chemicals, which are more likely to irritate your skin.
- The key to effective use of sunscreen is to reapply. No sunscreen will last the whole day, so if in doubt reply every few hours.
- Do not be shy to wear a wide brimmed hat and long sleeved garments. While you may look odd at the beach, your health will be much better off in the end.
- If you swim, then you need to reapply the sunscreen every 2 hours.
- Please read the expiry date on the sunscreen and if is out of date, it will not work.
- In most cases, you will have to try several sunscreens to determine which one works best for you.
- For hard to reach areas of your body, ask someone else to apply the sunscreen for you.
- For the sunscreen to be effective, you must wear it daily.
- For people who have sensitive skin, perform a skin test. Apply a little amount of the sunscreen on your forearm before you apply it on your face and body. Wait at least several hours to ensure that it is not causing irritation or redness.
One of the deadliest skin cancers is melanoma. This skin cancer develops in the cells that produce melanin, which is the pigment that gives skin its color. Not only can melanoma occur on the skin but also in the eyes, nails and even the internal organs.
The exact cause of melanoma is not known but one of the most well known risk factors is exposure to the sun and sun tanning lamps. In the past 2 decades, the risk of melanoma has gradually been increasing in young people. Melanoma spreads very quickly and tends to have a very poor prognosis. Each year about 80, 000 cases of melanoma are diagnosed in the US, of which 2/3rd occur in men and the rest in women.
One can lower the risk of melanoma by avoiding sun during the middle. At this time of the day, the sun’s rays are the strongest. For those who do work or venture outside, use of a sunscreen is highly recommended. A sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more is highly recommended all year round for people who work outdoors. Because sunscreens are not 100% effective, one should always wear protective garments that cover the arms and legs. More important wear sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat.
Finally avoid tanning lamps and beds as they emit UV rays. Become familiar with your skin so that any new skin lesion is easily recognized.
Best Skin Lotions
In case you are also looking for some good moisturizing lotions, below are a few picks for you (not sunscreen, just skin lotion.)
CeraVe Baby Lotion, 8 Ounce
If you are looking for a good sunscreen to protect your baby’s skin, then this is one of the best sunscreens you can choose, it combines vitamins and three essential ceramides to create a protective layer over your baby’s delicate skin so that they can enjoy the outdoors with no worry about harmful rays. The effects of the moisturizer last 24 hours.
Aveeno Active Naturals Ultra-Calming Daily Moisturizer
Aveeno has been tested by scientists and it is proved that it will also sooth sensitive or irritated skin as well as provide protection from harmful rays. It does not have any oils in it. Within just one week of daily use, you will see the positive results on your irritated skin.