Sunscreens that I buy, wear and love

Best sunscreens

Tried and tested sunscreens to see you through the Summer. Image via Adobe Stock.

If you’re anything like me, I thrive on having a range of sunscreen products available depending on what I’m doing and where I’m heading. They also need to be the highest SPF that I can get my hands and very pale skin on. As we all know, sunscreen should be worn year-round, each day and with that in mind, I wanted to share a few products I use regularly as we head into summer. I genuinely believe that like any skincare, once you find a sunscreen that you love it makes it easier to incorporate into your daily routine. Sunscreen needs to be accessible to everyone, of all skin colours, skin types, income and activity levels while also doing its job – actually protecting your skin from skin cancer.

Here is my top selection of high SPF sunscreen for both face and body including some other options which I’m going to try next: (please bear in mind that this is coming from someone who has pale skin with freckles and no known sensitivities.)

Best sunscreens

La Roche Posay Anthelios Invisible Liquid RRP $29.99
SPF 50 / Facial Sunscreen
Fragrance-free

I’m hooked on this stuff, the bottle is small but it’s such a milky liquid texture that seems to last forever. As someone prone to touching their face, it’s safe to use around the eyes and doesn’t sting my eyeballs. I love the fresh, radiant finish that it provides, while at the same time offering very high protection from the sun. This sunscreen has a PPD of 46, which is very hard to find. I buy mine from Chemist Warehouse and I’m onto my third bottle.

And here’s a fun fact: the tinted version also works on darker skin tones, providing a youthful peachy glow without that ashy white cast.

Best sunscreens

Ultra Violette Lean Screen RRP $54
SPF 50 / Facial Sunscreen
Fragrance-free

This stuff makes my skin so smooth! My partner’s sister uses this product religiously and I tried it and fell in love instantly. I don’t like looking super shiny or greasy after applying sunscreen, so if a mattifying factor comes in I will double-take and the Ultra Violette Lean Screen delivers. This is zinc only mineral sunscreen, and it’s perfect for everyday use. While it is a little more on the pricey side I did want to include it because it slaps. They don’t use oxybenzone in their formulas which have the worst reputation concerning reef damage, however I won’t add reef safe just in case.

Another fun fact which I found on the Ultra Violette website – If you’re using multiple products with an SPF rating e.g. moisturiser, sunscreen and foundation then your SPF rating won’t stack sadly. You will only get the SPF of the highest amount you’ve applied.

Best sunscreens

Bondi Sands Coconut Sunscreen Lotion RRP $22.99
SPF 50 / Body Sunscreen
Scented

This is my summer go-to for all-over body application and I truly love everything about it. The coconut scent is so good for constantly evoking beachy memories and the light, never sticky formula leaves my skin soft and smooth without a white cast. I appreciate the SPF 50 rating and the easy pump bottle. Again, I top up from Chemist Warehouse and find the overall price point, SPF rating and the feeling on my skin is pretty top-notch for the price.

Best sunscreens

Skinnies Sungel RRP $36.99
SPF 30 / Body Sunscreen
Fragrance-free

The brown bottle that never leaves my handbag – I’m not even kidding, it never leaves my side. Because this sorcery sunscreen works immediately, it’s perfect for those rare moments when I’ve forgotten to reapply and can feel my skin prickling in those radiating rays. Also highly recommend covering your kids in this stuff and it’s perfect if you’re jumping in the pool or ocean because it’s highly water-resistant. I wouldn’t recommend using it on your face but you totally can, I just don’t like the feeling of it because this stuff is like a balm on steroids, it’s thicc.

A bottle lasts a bloody long time because this product isn’t made with any water so a teeny blob goes a long way and leaves no white cast.

If you’ve had melanoma, or currently have skin cancer they also do a discounted price on their Sungel.

Best sunscreens

Dermalogica Invisible Physical Defence RRP $85
SPF 30 / Facial Sunscreen
Scented

A slightly thicker formula which I’ve been using for about four years now. My facialist used this as the last step in treatment once and I fell in love with it. I love the way makeup sits on top of this sunscreen and the faint scent of lavender makes me happy. This product has the added benefit of a blue light filter, because if you didn’t already know, even indoors, windows don’t always block UVA rays, and phones and computers emit blue light, which can damage skin. It’s more pricey, and I usually purchase this product from Dermalogica because of loyalty points and their recycling programme for empties.

Best sunscreens

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Face Mist Sunscreen RRP $23.99
SPF 50 / All Over Sunscreen
Fragrance-free

Again, another handbag staple for me because it’s just so easy to use and I’m all about sun care made easy. I enjoy that this spray is lightweight, not oily, fragrance-free and can be misted over makeup almost like a finishing spray. I’ll also spray this gently around my ears (not inside), because how weird is moisturising suncream into ears? Surely I’m not alone with that thought. I can imagine a product like this also is great for wriggly children, love that for parents!

That’s a wrap for my current tried and tested sunscreens. I would like to gently point out the ongoing debate around the pros and cons of physical blockers vs chemical absorbers and now growing awareness that sunscreen wash-off can bleach coral and pollute the oceans. I would invite everyone to read up on reef-safe products and the regulated testing in Aotearoa.

A couple of other sunscreen options which I’m looking forward to trialling include:

Heliocare’s range of topical sunscreen products, they’re a globally recognised brand now available in Aotearoa

– Mecca’s To Save Face SPF50+ Superscreen except it always seems to be out of stock – must be good?

– The fairly priced Nivea Sun Protect & Moisture Moisturising Sunscreen Lotion SPF50+

Take the time to find a sunscreen formula you like enough to use daily, (trial those testers) because if you love the way a product feels and the coverage it provides from those pesky rays, you’ll be more inclined to wear it every day (and reapply it too).

Images supplied.

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