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The Best Brands of Sunscreen

by
author image Tracey Brown
Tracey Brown is a licensed esthetican with advanced paramedical training, makeup artist and cosmetics industry trainer with 35 years of expertise. She has transitioned to a beauty editor who has been published in print and online. She has also written technical training materials for 19 years and been creating beauty content since 2000.
The Best Brands of Sunscreen
A woman sunbathing on the beach in a lounge chair. Photo Credit Marina Bartel/Hemera/Getty Images

Basking in the sun on the beach isn't the only time that you need sunscreen -- even casual sun exposure that you get while driving or taking a stroll can over time be as damaging as sunbathing. As a protectant against sunburn, skin cancer, and prematurely aged skin, sunscreen should be a part of everyone's daily skin-care regimen. When you're deciding upon a sunscreen that suits your lifestyle, remember that broad-spectrum sunscreens are best, as they filter out both UVA (aging rays) and UVB (burn rays).

Waterproof Sunscreens

Water-based sports, outdoor activities, and sweat-producing work all call for waterproof sunscreens. The best waterproof sunscreens offer water resistance, broad-spectrum protection, and additional ingredients that calm and moisturize the skin. Nature's Gate Aquablock Sunscreen SPF 50 is a broad-spectrum sunscreen that offers up to 80 minutes of water resistance and contains chamomile, shea butter and rosemary to help hydrate and moisturize sun-exposed skin. For your face, Kiss My Face Oat Protein Complex Sunscreen SPF 18 is water resistant for 40 minutes, and it is made with oat protein and betaglucans that moisturize and help fight the signs of aging -- plus, it is non-chemical and naturally scented.

Mineral Sunscreens

Many prefer chemical-free sunscreens, which rely on the minerals zinc oxide and titanium dioxide for sun protection. Typically, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are white minerals that can be thick and appear like a white mask on the skin. The best organic sunscreens employ new technology that makes them appear "invisible" on the surface of the skin, and they have the added benefit of anti-aging ingredients. Mineral Fusion Natural Brands Mineral SPF 30 Brush On Sun Defense is an easy-to-carry-and-use sunscreen in powder form that disappears on the surface of the skin -- perfect if you want to avoid a shiny face. Skin-care brand CeraVe, created by dermatologists in 2005, offers an innovative selection of sunscreens that contain invisible titanium dioxide and zinc oxide for sun protection, as well as hyaluronic acid, which moisturizes the skin in SPF formulas for face and body from SPF 30 to SPF 50.

Sunscreen In Moisturizers

Daily layering of several skin-care products can be both time consuming and costly. The best double-duty moisturizers have broad-spectrum SPFs in their formulas and contain anti-aging ingredients. Murad Anti-Aging Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 PA+++ for oily and acne-prone skin is ideal because it contains oil regulators and willow bark extract to control blemishes, as well as anti-aging ingredients. First Aid Beauty 5-in-1 multipurpose, anti-aging moisturizer with SPF 30 is a best bet for sensitive skin as well as normal- and dry-skin types because it utilizes zinc oxide as a physical block to the sun, contains bisabolol to soothe skin, and is packed with a complex of natural botanical ingredients that prevent and reduce wrinkles

Babies and Children

When babies reach six months of age, they should start wearing sunscreen whenever they're exposed to the sun. As is the case with adult sunscreens, the best sunscreens for babies and children will have broad-spectrum SPFs to prevent burning. For sensitive areas like the face, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are best, as they are gentle on the skin while providing a physical block to the sun. Mustela Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ Mineral Sunscreen Lotion is a 100-percent-mineral, broad-spectrum SPF 50+ sunscreen lotion formulated especially for babies and children, and it contains naturally derived sunscreen filters of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which are safest for babies.

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