9 Sunscreens You Need in Your Beach Bag This Summer

Just like your mother told you, sunscreen is extremely important. Alongside covering up and getting in the shade, it’s the only protection we have against harmful UV-A and UV-B rays, which have been proven to be the cause of 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers.

If you’re heading to the beach this year, you should be wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. If you’re sweating or swimming, you should reapply every two hours at a minimum. Apply sunscreen all over your body first thing in the morning and use sunglasses and a broad-brimmed hat to protect your eyes and face.

To help on your quest for sun safety, here are nine sunscreens that you should definitely toss in your beach bag this summer.

1. Coppertone Ultra Guard Sunscreen Lotion SPF 70

If you’re headed to the beach for a day of relaxing in the sun, you’ll need to be applying sunscreen often in order to actually benefit from its protection. That means that you’ll likely use a lot in a single day, which can get pricy.

A great all-around sunscreen is Coppertone’s Ultra Guard Sunscreen Lotion, which comes with SPF 70. Its non-greasy formula is made with added moisturizers, including Vitamin E, so skin stays hydrated. Plus, it’s water resistant for up to 80 minutes.

Bottles cost between $8 and $12, depending on where you buy it.

2. Kiss My Face Face Factor Sunscreen

If you’re the type of person that only has to look at a bottle of sunscreen before your face breaks out, you’ll want to find a face-specific sunscreen.

This Kiss My Face Face Factor Sunscreen is specifically formulated to be as light and non-greasy as possible. It’s made with a combination of physical and chemical ingredients that work together to block the sun’s rays. It doesn’t have as strong of a smell like some other options. Plus, it absorbs quickly and easily.

This sunscreen comes in a smaller sized bottle, but if you’re only applying it to your face, it should last a while. Each two-ounce bottle is $11.80.

3. Thinksport SPF 50+ Sunscreen

If you’re headed to a beach in Hawaii or Key West, you’ll need to pack reef-safe sunscreen. These are just two places in America that have recently passed a ban on sunscreens that use UV filters that are harmful to coral.

Although it’s still a bit unclear how the FDA will regulate sunscreens that claim to be “reef-safe”, you can feel confident picking up a bottle of Thinksport SPF 50+ Sunscreen. It’s made with zinc and titanium, two physical UV blockers that can have bad reputations for being chalky and greasy. However, fans of this sunscreen rave that it rubs in easily.

Thinksport’s sunscreen costs $12.99.

4. CVS Health Clear Zinc Sun Lotion SPF 50

Another sunscreen that uses zinc as a physical UV blocker rather than a chemical blocker is CVS Health Clear Zinc Sun Lotion, which has SPF 50. Right now, it’s available for only $4.19, which is a fantastic deal.

A major hurdle in dealing with a physical-blocking sunscreen is that they often don’t rub in easily. Fortunately, this one has a lighter formula, so it goes on and stays on for hours. It also doesn’t have a scent, which is ideal for people who hate that cloying sunscreen smell.

5. Banana Boat UltraMist Sport Performance Sunscreen SPF 100

Some people love spray-on sunscreen. If you’re in that group, Banana Boat’s UltraMist Sport Performance Sunscreen offers a great formula and a low cost at $10 per bottle. One of its most useful features is the narrow spray nozzle, which directs the product towards the skin, not out into the air.

6. Tatcha Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 35 PA+++

If you’re a bit obsessive about what you put on your face, you’ll want to invest in a moisturizing facial sunscreen that can easily go under other lotions or even makeup.

Tatcha’s Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen is said to “blur” the pores of the face, giving a super-even foundation. It hydrates skin beautifully and the SPF 35 is slightly higher than the norm for facial sunscreens. It’s even formulated with natural anti-aging ingredients.

Tatcha’s sunscreen is pricy though as one bottle costs $65.

7. Neutrogena Beach Defense Sunscreen Spray SPF 70

Another great spray-on sunscreen is Neutrogena’s Beach Defense Sunscreen Spray, which offers SPF 70. It’s made with chemical UV blockers and the aerated formula goes quickly and dries immediately, which makes it ideal for people who hate the greasy feeling of sunscreen. It also smells more neutral than most commercial sunscreens.

This sunscreen retails for $8.97 per bottle.

8. Dermalogica Prisma Protect SPF 30

A fantastic dual-moisturizer and sunscreen is Dermalogica’s Prisma Protect with SPF 30. It uses chemical UV blockers to shield the face from the sun, while antioxidants and sage help to even out tone and moisturize dry skin. It’s definitely on the pricier end at $65, but if you need something light to go under makeup that can still protect against sun damage, this is the product for you.

9. Coppertone Pure & Simple Sunscreen Lotion for Face SPF 50

If you have sensitive skin that breaks out easily, Coppertone Pure & Simple Sunscreen Lotion is a great choice. It’s a mineral-based sunscreen that uses zinc to block UV rays. It’s hypoallergenic and there are no perfumes, dyes, or other colorants. Plus, it’s water resistant for up to 80 minutes.

With an SPF of 50, this Coppertone sunscreen is a great choice for an all-over sunscreen if you have sensitive skin. It retails for $8.97.


Many people are tempted to skip sunscreen because it makes their skin feel greasy or it’s a hassle to continually reapply. The key to making sure you use sunscreen is actually having a product that you trust.

If you do your research, you’ll be able to find something that works with your particular skin type.

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