Top 10 Sunscreens for Beach and Sport

We found the best sunscreens available on the market

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The problem with not wearing sunscreen while enjoying those bright summer rays, aside from the ouch factor of a sunburn, is that it also speeds up the aging process and increases the risk of skin cancer. Sunscreen has come a long way in recent years and has made vast improvements in texture and application. A lot of the high-quality sunscreens are oil-free, sport a clear finish, and don’t have to be applied as often, even during vigorous exercise or swimming. Additionally, some of the top quality sunscreens claim to even repair past sun damage and have added vitamins and minerals to make your skin feel even better than before. In short, modern-day sunscreen options today have come a long way from what your Mom used to paint you in.  A new generation of options have been developed to keep you and your skin protected.

Before you plan your next beach trip, or workout in the outdoors, decide which type of sunscreen works best for your specific needs. Below we have compiled a list of some of the top sunscreens that are currently on the market to make your next trip out in the sun as protected as possible.

1La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-In Sunscreen Milk BEST OVERALL

top 10 sunscreens La Roche-Posay Anthelios
La Roche-Posay Anthelios

Available on Amazon

For maximum coverage from a lotion that is lightweight and won’t upset sensitive skin, La Roche-Posay Sunscreen is an excellent choice. It comes from a brand that has been perfecting their skincare game for centuries.

BEST OVERALL
 Pros Known brand
Feels smooth on skin
Dermatologist recommended
  Cons
Pricey
Some uses didn’t like the smell

 

Roche-Posay can trace their brand’s roots all the way back to the 14th century when an explorer stumbled upon the healing spring waters in the town of La Roche-Posay in France. The thermal spring water was used by kings in the 17th century, and in the 19th century, Napoleon built a Roche-Posay thermal spring hospital to treat the skin diseases of his soldiers. It wasn’t until the 1970’s that this company began branching off to create a wide variety of products to treat and protect the skin from afflictions. Today, they are one of the most trusted brands in the skincare industry and are often recommended by dermatologists.

Sun Protection Factor (SPF)

This sunscreen is offered at an impressive SPF 60. It protects against both UVA and UVB rays, which means this product protects against premature aging and helps to prevent skin cancer. The Cell-OX Shield technology is a special blend of ingredients made only by La Roche-Posay that keeps skin protected in the harsh rays of the sun. To further protect skin from free radicals, this formula also has antioxidants.

Bottom Line

This sunscreen may cost a bit more than many of the other sunscreens on our list, but you are paying for a superior product. It keeps skin moisturized without feeling greasy, protects not only from the sun, but also from free radicals, and doesn’t need to be reapplied as much as some of the other sunscreens. If you have the extra money to spare, this sunscreen is the best choice.

2Sun Bum Original Moisturizing Sunscreen 2nd BEST OVERALL 

Top 10 Sunscreens Sun Bum
Sun Bum Original Moisturizing Sunscreen

Available on Amazon

An excellent sunscreen for those looking for maximum protection while keeping skin moisturized, without the use of abrasive chemicals. Sun Bum boasts natural, cruelty-free ingredients in their sunscreen that provide adventurers great coverage no matter how active they are under the sun. Plus, it comes in a fun and stylish bottle.

2nd BEST OVERALL
 Pros Oil free
Clean summer smell
Vegan product
 Cons
Thick texture
Some users would like it to be more water resistant

 

Sun Bum is quickly making a name for itself. They have generated a loyal following by making sunscreen something fun and trendy, without seeming too serious and clinical. Users that have tried their products fall in love with not only the protection this sunscreen gives them but also the fun ape mascot that is found on every bottle.

Sun Protection Factor (SPF)

This lotion is offered in an SPF 30, but users can purchase various levels of protection that start at SPF 15 and cap out at SPF 70. It protects against not only UVA rays, but also against UVB rays.

Bottom Line

This is a great product that is set at a reasonable price point. It provides users with excellent sun protection without feeling greasy and uncomfortable, and the stylish and fun bottle will look great in your beach bag or backpack.

3Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch 3rd BEST OVERALL

Top 10 Sunscreens Neutrogena
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch

Available on Amazon

As one of the top skincare brands on the market, it comes as no surprise Neutrogena is topping our list with their innovative sunscreen formula. This sunscreen is ultra light, doesn’t feel greasy on the skin, offers excellent protection from the sun, and comes at a reasonable price.

3rd BEST OVERALL
 
Pros
Affordable
Dries quickly with no residue
Not shiny
Known brand
 Cons
May sting face
Users complain that sweating causes product to goop up atop the skin
Neutrogena has become a household name since it was founded in 1930. Most readers probably have a Neutrogena product somewhere in their bathroom cupboards. Since their founding, they have been producing excellent skin care products that are set at reasonable prices, and claim to be the number one brand that is recommended by dermatologists.

Sun Protection Factor (SPF)

Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen is available in SPF 40, offering maximum protection from the sun. The Helloplex Broad Spectrum formula provides protection from both UVA and UVB rays, ensuring that users are protected from sunburn and premature aging.

Bottom Line

If you aren’t looking to spend a lot of money on sunscreen, but still want to be protected from the sun’s harmful rays, this sunscreen is an excellent choice. Additionally, if you hate when sunscreens make your skin feel greasy and shiny, you can’t go wrong with this product.

4Coppertone Sport Continuous

Top 10 Sunscreens Coppertone Sport Continuous
Coppertone Sport Continuous

Available on Amazon

This sunscreen is an excellent choice because it comes with the guarantee of a Coppertone product, offers superior protection from the sun, stays on when swimming or sweating, and is offered at a reasonable price.

 Pros Known brand
Easy to apply
Lightweight formula
 Cons
Can cause skin to feel tight
Fragrance too strong for some people

 

Coppertone has been a household name since the 1950’s when it debuted the iconic Coppertone girl, and has quickly become the highest rated brand of sunscreen on the market. Users know that when they purchase a Coppertone product, they are buying a brand that has spent years perfecting their only skincare specialty product: sunscreen.

Sun Protection Factor (SPF)

The Coppertone SPORT Continuous Sunscreen offers users an impressive SPF 50. This formula protects against 97 percent of the sun’s UVA and UVB rays, which prevents not only sunburn but also helps to prevent premature aging and skin cancer.

Bottom Line

Coppertone is one of the most well-known brands of sunscreen, so it is no surprise that it has made our list. If you want sunblock that comes with the guarantee of a superior company such a Coppertone, and you don’t wish to spend a lot of money, this is a great option for those who sweat in the sun, or for those long summer days lounging on the beach.

5Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen

Top 10 Sunscreens Supergoop!
Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen

Available on Amazon

Supergoop! is a relatively new brand on the market that is made for everyday use. Often, people only put on sunscreen when heading to the beach or an outdoor summer expedition. However, UV damage can happen any time the year—even in cold weather when this sun is hidden behind clouds. Supergoop! is designed to be comfortable enough to wear every day.

 Pros Light enough for every day use
Superior sun protection
Protects against infrared rays
 Cons
Pricey
Formula is thin
Fragrance is strong for some people

 

Supergoop! is relatively new but has a mission to make a sunscreen different than all other sunscreens on the market. It was founded by a woman that had a friend diagnosed with skin cancer in their 20’s, and after, she set out to create a formula that was easy and lightweight enough so that users would want to wear it any day of the week. Since hitting the market, Supergoop! has generated a loyal following of users that keep their skin protected year-round.

Sun Protection Factor (SPF)

This sunscreen protects a higher level than most other sunscreens. It has an impressive SPF 50. Not only does it protect against UVA, and UVB rays, but it also protects a third layer deeper into the skin and protects against IRA rays (infrared rays). Infrared sunscreens are something that are generally new to the sunscreen market and are quickly picking up steam in popularity.

Bottom Line

If you were looking for a sunblock that you can take to the beach but is also light and easy enough to wear hiking, snowboarding, or an afternoon of shopping at a strip mall, then this product will fit your needs perfectly. It does cost a little extra than some of the other sunblocks, but users claim that it is well worth the price.

6SkinMedica Total Defense Plus Repair Sunscreen

Top 10 Sunscreens SkinMedica Total Defense
SkinMedica Total Defense

Available on Amazon

Skinmedica is designed for users that are looking for something above and beyond simple sun protection. The Total Defense Plus Repair Sunscreen is made for those that want to protect their skin against harm rays from the sun, while also repairing sun damage for those days they spent out in the sun not wearing proper protection.

 Pros Repairs skin from existing sun damage
Protects from infrared rays
 Cons Expensive

 

Skinmedica has generated many loyal customers that love their products and has become a favorite on Amazon. They formulate their products while using modern research to ensure that sun protection evolves as we learn more about how the sun impacts skin.

Sun Protection Factor (SPF)

This sunscreen comes with SPF 34 sun protection from both UVA and UVB rays that shield skin from sunburn, premature aging, and skin cancer. Their proprietary SOL-IR formula does what most other sunscreens don’t do, and that’s penetrate three layers of skin to protect against harmful infrared (or IR) rays.

Bottom Line

This sunscreen costs a lot more than many of the other products on our list, but given the extent of added benefits to the skin based upon the most recent and up to date research and discoveries in sun damage, this product is well worth the added cost.

7EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen

Top 10 Sunscreens EltaMD
EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen

Available on Amazon

If your skin is very sensitive and reacts negatively to many of the sunscreens on the market, this EltaMD sunscreen is an excellent choice. It is made from ingredients that won’t irritate skin and that will actually help add nutrients and moisture that can become depleted with a lot of time outdoors.

 Pros Easy application
Promotes healthy, moisturized skin
 Cons
Pricey
Needs reapplication after swimming or sweatig

 

EltaMD is not a recognized brand like some of the big names on our list, but they  are a known and trusted brand by dermatologists and those that are familiar with clinical skincare. EltaMD focuses all of their research and energy on sunscreens and similar products to repair skin against sun damage.

Sun Protection Factor (SPF)

This sunscreen boasts an impressive SPF 46 and protects against both UVA and UVB rays. It comes in a spray can that allows for an easy and even application, and it is lightweight enough to wear every day.

Bottom Line

For those with a history of having their skin irritated by various sunscreen brands, this sunscreen will be a perfect fit for you. In addition to protecting skin from the sun and preventing breakouts, it also has many ingredients that will help keep skin looking fresh and moisturized.

8Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen

Top 10 Sunscreens Blue Lizard
Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen

Available on Amazon

Blue Lizard makes great quality sunscreens at an affordable price. Their formula goes onto the skin easily, and will keep you protected while swimming or engaging in vigorous exercise.

 Pros Great for sensitive skin
Color changing bottle
Odor free formula
 Cons
Thick texture
Leaves a white tint on skin
Hard to wash off
While they are not a household name, Blue Lizard has gained a loyal following over the years. The company focuses only on sunscreen, so you know that all of their research on improving their formulas are focused solely on UV protection.

Sun Protection Factor (SPF)

This sunscreen has an SFP of 35+ and protects against both UVA and UVB rays. This will not only prevent uncomfortable and painful sunburns, but it will also help to prevent premature aging and skin cancer. It doesn’t have any of the harmful chemicals that can irritate skin and is composed of naturally occurring minerals such as zinc oxide as well as titanium dioxide (which sits on top of the skin and blocks harmful rays).

Bottom Line

For those that are looking for a good quality sunblock that will last during active days on the beach or out camping and don’t want to spend a lot, Blue Lizard is a great choice to pack along in your beach bag.

9Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch Lotion Sunscreen

Top 10 Sunscreens Hawaiian Tropic
Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch Lotion

Available on Amazon

Hawaiian Tropic has been one of the best selling sunscreens on the market since their humble beginnings in the 1960’s. This oil-free formula goes on smooth, keeps skin protected during swimming (times of excess sweating), and has a nice pleasant scent that smells like summer in a bottle.

 Pros Known brand
Pleasant scent
 Cons
Some find it difficult to squeeze lotion from the bottle
Some claim reapplication is required every hour, not 2 hours

 

The first batch of Hawaiian Tropic was mixed in a metal garbage can, and bottled in a humble garage. Since then, it has skyrocketed to one of the most recognized names in sunscreen. It is known for smelling like summer in a bottle and comes in a wide variety of options that offer many different types of sun protection.

Sun Protection Factor (SPF)

Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch is offered in SPF 30. It keeps both UVA, and UVB rays off of the skin which helps to prevent uncomfortable sunburns, premature aging, and skin cancer. It is best to be applied approximately 15 to 20 minutes before sun exposure and should be reapplied every two hours after swimming or excess swimming.

Bottom Line

For those that are looking for excellent protection from the sun without a high price tag, this sunscreen is an excellent choice. It comes with the assurance of being well known, protects against UVA and UVB rays, and will not break the bank.

10Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sport Stick Sunscreen

Top 10 Sunscreens Babo Botanicals
Babo Botanicals

Available on Amazon

For the adventurer that wishes to use a sunscreen that comes from more natural ingredients and doesn’t have all of the additional chemicals as most other brands have, this is an excellent choice. It provides the same amount of protection of some of the more known brands but is made from organic and hypoallergenic ingredients.

 Pros Natural ingredients
Hypoallergenic
 Cons Some users dislike the tube packaging
There are two different types of rays that cause sun damage (UVA and UVB) and an effective sunscreen can block against both. Recently, it has been discovered that there is a third type of solar ray that can also be damaging to the skin. This third type of ray is called infrared rays (IRAs). Many of the higher end (or more expensive) sunscreens protect against IRAs, so if you are looking to find a sunscreen that protects against all three, be prepared to spend a little extra money.

Sun Protection Factor (SPF)

The number one thing that we looked at when determining the best sunscreens is how well it protects from the sun. Many dermatologists agree that anything under an SPF 10 is considered to be insufficient, and anything over SPF 50 is considered to be overkill. Babo Botanicals comes in at 30 SPF

Bottom Line

An excellent sunscreen choice, especially considering the low price without sacrificing the quality of the product.

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