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Sunscreen, as necessary as it is, is a herculean task to apply—one that often requires an extra set of hands to get those hard-to-reach areas. Then once you’re fully slathered and ready to go out and mock the sun for its puny attempts at UV-ing you, you just can’t ignore the feeling of being buttered up with a protective goop. In the heat, this is extra uncomfortable, as we’re sure you’re aware of. Unless you’re committed to wearing a full-coverage caftan and a wide-brimmed sunhat all summer, SPF is a must. You don’t have to suffer through it though since there are so many formulas out there, many of which are made to feel like any other lotion. Here are some that passed our schmear-test.
For sensitive skin, you’re already probably well familiar with Aveeno. Their broad spectrum sunscreen lotion has the same oat-y formula that keeps the scales at bay (hey, they can still happen in warmer weather, too) while protecting you from UVA/UVB rays. Aveeno also offers various amounts of SPF for this sunscreen.
(Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Lotion Sunscreen SPF 30, $10.99, Ulta)
Not only does this Clarins sunscreen cover you with SPF 50, it also has an “anti-pollution” formula, which protects from free radicals in the environment. We city girls catch a lot of rays too, believe it or not, so having a sunscreen specifically for an urban environment is a great pick. It goes on just like a light moisturizer so you can wear this under makeup.
(Clarins Sunscreen Multi-Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 50, $42, Sephora)
Eve Lom’s products are of the skin-whispering variety—meaning, they are mysteriously and magically just really good. Their SPF 50 sunscreen has the same super-hydrating feel as their other daily moisturizers, but it’s boosted with vitamins B3 and C for wrinkle-prevention as well as diminishing the look of pigmentation. Lactic acid gently exfoliates to eliminate breakouts and any uneven skin texture so you’re actually treating your skin as you’re protecting it.
(Eve Lom Daily Protection Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen, $90, Ulta)
Neutrogena’s sunscreen game is generally always on-point, even offering ones like this Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock specifically for those of us who just cannot stand the gross goopy feeling of most sunscreens. This formula comes in a range of SPF from 30-85.
(Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 55, $11.49, Ulta)
Anyone with dry skin will appreciate a good hydrating and fast-absorbing moisturizer with TONS of SPF, like this Boscia one. With anti-aging antioxidants in this formula, you’ve got your present and your future covered.
(Boscia Daily Defense Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50 PA+++, $36, Sephora)
We wish all our lotions were extra smooth, like this fun bottled Shiseido one. It’s a fairly brass-tacks formula, offering not much more than antioxidant benefits and fierce UVA/UVB protection, BUT it feels pretty great– just like your regular moisturizer.
(Shiseido Extra Smooth Sun Protection Lotion SPF 38 PA++, $34, Sephora)
Two great things about this SkinCeuticals sunscreen—it delivers a matte finish, and its 100% physical sun-blockers are great for those who have allergies with chemical sunscreen chemicals. The mousse-like texture dries to a powder finish, so it can also be doubled as a primer. Not to mention the broad spectrum SPF 50 protection is nothing to sneeze at.
(SkinCeuticals Physical Matte UV Defense Sunscreen, $34, Skinceuticals)