How to choose the right sunscreen for you
A comprehensive guide to SPF
By Briar Clark
BEAUTYcrew Content Producer / January 05 2022
SPF is essential. We know this. You know this. And anyone who doesn’t know this has probably received enough stern looks to know they should know this.
And while we’ve already covered the basics like the best face sunscreens to wear under makeup, and taken a deep dive into the difference between chemical and mineral sunscreen (plus a few choice editor recommendations) in our summer sunscreen guide, there’s still some tailoring to be done if you’re searching for your perfect sunscreen fit.
After all, when it comes to choosing the right sunscreen format for you, the conversation starts to become a little more personal.
Do you need a formula that you can top up on the go? Or would you rather apply once in the morning and forget about it altogether? Or maybe you like your makeup to include SPF to forgo layering a dozen base products before you head out the door.
There are many things to ponder, and so we’re here to walk you through the many SPF formulations on offer so you can protect your skin effectively.
Here are six sunscreen formulas for you to consider…
Mist: Naked Sundays SPF50+ Hydrating Glow Mist
When it comes to reapplying sunscreen, nothing beats a lightweight fine mist SPF. This new and improved hydrating, glow-inducing formula from Naked Sundays has been adapted for those of us who’re pedantic about effing up their makeup with a messy spray nozzle. The super fine and gentle mist makes on-the-go application a breeze (literally). Plus, the fact that the stuff is packed full of antioxidant-rich Kakadu plum, watermelon extract and hyaluronic acid means you’ll also get a boost to your skin care, resulting in a radiant complexion every time you spritz.
$39.95 at Naked Sundays
Lotion: La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Dry Touch SPF50+ Sunscreen
As far as sunscreen is concerned, there's nothing more classic than a lotion formulation. But we’re forgoing thick, occlusive traditional formulas in favour of this dry touch offering from La Roche-Posay this summer. It’s been created with oilier skin types in mind, so you can confidently apply in the morning (and under makeup too) without having to worry your entire face is going to slide off come the afternoon.
was $22.39 now $20.15 at Chemist Warehouse
Natural: SunButter Sea Shepherd SPF50 Sunscreen
Not only does this clean-beauty pick boast plastic-free packaging, but SunButter is also committed to reef-safe formulations. This vegan-friendly collaboration with charity Sea Shepherd protects skin from harmful UV by utilising mineral blocker Zinc Oxide, while each purchase of the SPF 50 sunscreen helps to contribute towards defending, conserving and protecting the world’s oceans by helping to minimise chemical sunscreen and plastic pollution.
$29.95 at Nourished Life
SPF Stick: Neutrogena SPF50+ Ultra Sheer Face and Body Sunscreen Stick
Call it old-fashioned nostalgia but nothing reminds us of summer days spent at the beach as children than a stick sunscreen. Easy to transport thanks to it’s spill-free format, this budget-friendly pick from Neutrogena promises mess-free protection and a non-sticky finish, and can be used on everything from face to body. Bonus: the lightweight, non-comedogenic and oil-free formula won’t interfere with your rigorous skin care routine.
$8.49 at Chemist Warehouse
Zinc: Liberty Belle Rx Superstar® SPF 50+ Face & Body Sunscreen
Our top pick for sensitive-skinned individuals, this zinc-based formula will give you the benefit of broad spectrum protection, while being completely reef-safe too. Nourishing coconut oil and vitamin E round out this skin care-inspired formula to ensure lasting hydration throughout all of your summer excursions, whether you’re headed to the beach or laying idle poolside.
$65 at Liberty Belle Rx
Makeup: Ultraviolette Dream Screen SPF50 Tinted Veil
Why compromise on SPF just because you want to wear makeup? This tinted sunscreen from Ultra Violette is available in 11 shades and perfects the complexion with a sheer, radiant veil, while simultaneously protecting skin from UVA and UVB rays. The formula has been infused with vitamin C-rich Kakadu plum to brighten skin and boost hydration throughout the day.
$55 at Sephora