We get it, we get it—sunscreen is a nonnegotiable. And even though we know that wearing an SPF every single day is one of the only ways to prevent wrinkles, dark spots, and skin cancers (like melanoma, which one person dies of every 54 minutes), the clogged pores, zits, and ghost-like casts that often come along with them have lead us to, uh, “forget” to use it in our daily beauty routines one too many times. Which is why we’ve officially committed ourselves to tracking down the sunscreens that your skin will actually love—‘cause trust us, they do exist. And what better way to find the most effective, no-bullshit formulas than by picking the brains of the busiest, most hard-working women who have a way of getting you to do the things you just don’t wanna do: moms.
Because as much as much as your stubborn inner child hates to admit, moms, more or less, always have a way of knowing best. So, after talking to dermatologists, makeup artists, and stay-at-home moms, we’ve discovered seven sunscreens that not only straight-up kill the UV-ray blocking game, but hydrate and soothe skin without causing zits or a greasy residue, including a makeup-setting powder, a creamy lip balm, and a lightweight hair mist. See all seven products ahead, and get ready to slather on one of these bad boys every day for the rest of your life.
Colorscience Sunforgettable Brush-on Sunscreen SPF 50
“The biggest bugaboo with sunscreen is that people don’t reapply it, because it’s messy, greasy, and difficult to layer over makeup. But Colorscience’s SPF kills two birds with one stone: It’s a clickable brush with iron-oxide SPF powder, so it makes reapplying sunscreen every two hours really easy." - Mona Gohara, Yale dermatologist and mother of two (ages ten and eight)
Colorscience Sunforgettable Brush-on Sunscreen SPF 50, $64; at Colorscience
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunscreen Lotion SPF 55
“I’ve bought into eye creams, serums, and retinoids, but I always come back to sunscreen as my go-to anti-aging product. I used to be a sun worshipper when I was in high school and college, but now, my daily sunscreen has basically become my best friend. I try to wear makeup that already has SPF in it, but my favorite sunscreen formula is Neutrogena’s. It’s gentle enough for me and my babies to both use, and the lightweight formula smells really good.” - Rachel Girsch, CFO of specialty contracting company and mother of two (ages three and three months)
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunscreen Lotion SPF 55, $6.59; at Target
Vanicream Lip Protectant/Sunscreen SPF 30
“A lot of women forget that they need to protect their lips from sun exposure, because not doing so can actually cause both skin cancer and cold sores. This lip protectant from Vanicream is a true SPF, not just a lip balm, and it glides on clear, so it never looks chalky.” - M.G.
Vanicream Lip Protectant/Sunscreen SPF 30, $5.20; at Walgreens
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-in Sunscreen Milk
“I use La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-in Sunscreen Milk as my daily body sunscreen. It’s been the number one performer for consumer reports over the past few years, so I feel confident that it’s giving me quality protection. I hate when sunscreens don’t absorb fully or leave my skin with white streaks, but this formula really melts into my skin without any traces.” - Cori Zeichner, full-time mom of two (ages six and four) and beauty blogger of The Derm Wife
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-in Sunscreen Milk, $35.99; at La Roche-Posay
CeraVe Sunscreen Face Lotion SPF 30
“I really love CeraVe’s sunscreen, because it’s so lightweight that it feels like it’s not even there. The oil-free formula is perfect for me, because I can use it to easily protect my skin even on days that I want to layer makeup underneath.” - Tiffany Brown, makeup artist, style blogger, and mother of two (ages six and three)
CeraVe Sunscreen Face Lotion SPF 30, $13.47; at Walmart
Susanne Kaufmann Sun Cream Cell Protection
“I’ve been trying really hard to be better at wearing sunscreen, but most formulas break me out or irritate my skin. And after trying basically every sunscreen on the market, I found that Susanne Kaufmann's SPF actually agrees with my skin. The formula is super hydrating and has the consistency of a lotion, and the subtle flower scent leaves my skin smelling clean and fresh.” - Samantha Wennerstrom, styler blogger of Could I Have That and mother to a two-year-old
Susanne Kaufmann Sun Cream Cell Protection, $97; at Net-a-Porter
EltaMD UV Aero Broad-Spectrum SPF 45
“An easy way to protect your scalp from sun exposure is with SPF sprays. This spray isn’t necessarily marketed for your scalp, but I like to spray it over my hair part for mess-free coverage. The formula isn’t greasy, and it absorbs really, really nicely, so my hair never feels sticky or gross.” - M.G.
EltaMD UV Aero Broad-Spectrum SPF 45, $31.50; at Dermstore