It’s Time to Get Serious About Sunblock

Best sunscreen for men in 2023 Best sunscreen for men in 2023

It’s Time
to Get Serious
About Sunblock

The best sunscreens for your face, body and other needs

Here’s what you likely know about sunscreen: You should definitely be wearing it, but you don't want a lot of crap chemicals in it. And it's a good idea to put it on 15 minutes before you head outside. But here's what you may not know: that you can, in fact, get a quality tan while wearing sunscreen. Or that the old bottle that's been sitting in your bathroom since last summer might not be as effective as you think anymore.

That's because sunblocks remain at their original strengths for about three years. Some packaging includes an expiration date, so check for a date indicating when yours is no longer effective. You might also be confused on the SPF numbers. But Dr. Fayne Frey—the board-certified dermatologist known as the “Ralph Nader of skincare” because of her consumer advocacy and truth-telling—says that the Sun Protection Factor is merely a measure of how well a sunscreen will protect skin from UVB rays. Those rays contain the radiation that causes sunburns and other skin damage. And sun damage is no joke. It can cause your skin to age faster, bring about pigmentation issues like sun spots and, most importantly, develop into skin cancer—the most common form of cancer.

For optimal protection, Dr. Frey recommends a minimum of 30 SPF. “A broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher is recommended for all adults,” she says. You want broad-spectrum because these sunscreens—which provide protection from both UVA and UVB rays—will not only protect against sunburn, but will also reduce the risk of overall skin damage. And it's not just for days at the beach. If you are out in the daylight, then you are exposed to UV rays. Going out on your lunch break or just sitting near a window can be enough exposure and it adds up over time. “After five sunburns your risk of melanoma doubles,” says Dr. Frey. “Frequent tanning and sunburn increase the incidence of skin damage and skin cancer.”

To keep your skin looking and feeling healthy (while preventing that dreaded sun damage), you need to use protection everyday. Especially during the summer. Thankfully, there is a wide range of quality SPF-packed products offering optimal, doctor-recommended coverage that will prevent signs of aging and even shield you from the threat of future skin cancer. Of course, the most important thing when choosing a sunscreen is finding one that you will actually use, so we've put together a round-up of the best options for you to choose from.


The Best
Stick Formula

Coola Refreshing Water
Hydration Stick



This easy-to-apply and travel-friendly stick smooths on your face, neck and chest quickly—no greasy shine or white residue. It's also deeply hydrating and calms red, irritated skin with an anti-inflammatory blend of aloe, hyaluronic acid and coconut water. Meaning it provides good protection, but also works to help heal skin if you forgot to re-apply too.

$30 by Coola

For Ultimate Sweat-Resistance

Banana Boat Performance Broad Spectrum Sunscreen



This drugstore favorite offers some of the strongest and most reliable water- and sweat-resistance on the market. It rubs in and absorbs quickly (even on already sweaty skin), and feels breathable and not heavy on the skin. What's more, it actually stays put—meaning it won't run into your eyes. Plus, the protection lasts for a full 80 minutes.

$13.49 / $11.99 by Art of Sport

The Best
Daily SPF Moisturizer

Biore UV Aqua Rich
Watery Essence



We discovered this cool gel moisturizer on a trip to Tokyo, where it's a popular drugstore staple. The “watery essence” truly disappears into skin as soon as you smooth it on. It has a light citrus scent and maintains moisture without feeling greasy. Plus, it boasts serious sun protection. Over the past few years, Aqua Rich has developed a cult following stateside, so you can now find tubes available to buy online.

$38 / $34.49 by Biore


For Best for
Sensitive Skin

Sun Bum Mineral
Sunscreen Lotion



If the chemicals from most sunblocks irritate your skin, look for an all-natural formula that blocks ultraviolet rays with zinc. This one is a popular choice because it's lightweight and non-greasy, but offers broad spectrum protection from UVA/UVB rays. Plus, it's hypoallergenic, cruelty-free and reef friendly. The cocoa butter, coconut oil and shea butter also leave your skin feeling smooth and hydrated, even after a long day out in the sun.

$17.49 by Sun Bum

For Best for
Acne-Prone Skin

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin Dry Touch Sunscreen



When you've got breakouts, the last thing you want to do is slather your face with a heavy, greasy lotion. But you still need protection. This oil-free sunscreen not only protects from UV rays, but it actually absorbs excess oil that can clog pores. Suitable for sensitive skin, the formula includes niacinamide to help reduce inflammation and discoloration along with ceramides and prebiotic thermal spring water to support the skin barrier and reduce acne flareups.

$19.99 by La Roche-Posay

The Sunblock That Doesn’t Feel Like Lotion

Supergoop Anti-Aging City Sunscreen Serum



Instead of thick, greasy creams, this featherlight serum absorbs quickly into the skin so it looks and feels like you've got nothing on at all. The multitasking formula not only conditions and protects skin, it helps fight signs of aging with antioxidants like Vitamin E and B5 that keep skin smooth and hydrated.

$44 by Supergoop

The Best for
Body and Face

EltaMD UV Pure Sunscreen



If you're looking for one lotion to protect you from head to toe, we haven't found one better than this one. The mineral-based formula works on both wet and dry skin and is effective at protecting your face as it is your whole body. It contains no artificial fragrances or dyes, it's paraben-free and won't clog pores, but stands up to sweat and water for up to 80 minutes.

$30.40 by EltaMD

The Rules of Application


Use enough

The right amount to cover your entire body is a golfball-size dollop.


Watch your blind spots

The back of the knees, lips and behind the ears are often neglected.


Reapply after two hours

Even the most waterproof or sweat-proof formulas need another coat after a few hours of heavy activity.

Biased Advice

We know the promise of those spray sunblocks are appealing. But are they really more convenient? According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the only way to get proper coverage with a spray is to saturate the skin, then rub it in with your hands. Plus, it's so wasteful. Have you ever watched someone spray themselves down and seen the cloud of sunscreen mist getting lost to the wind?

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