My favorite thing about summer is that natural, minimal beauty is suddenly all the rage. It’s giving Blue Crush, it’s giving Hailey Bieber or Zoe Kravitz’s Vogue Beauty Secrets videos, and that aspirational, sun-kissed, natural glow.
But as beauty evolves, we’ve — thankfully — learned a lesson or two. For one: tinfoil tanning is OUT. Instead, wearing the proper SPF is a beauty must.
I’ll confess: until my late teens … I didn’t wear sunscreen (gasp! Boo, boo, tomato, tomato— I know). For such a skincare devotee, this is sacrilegious. But as a kid, there were very few alternatives to the white-cast-inducing, generic sunscreens. Plus, I had sensitive skin and worried a layer of goop would give me more acne — which at the time, seemed like the worst possible result.
Besides, I thought, my melanin would protect me, right? Wrong. When I got serious about my skincare, my research warned me that my regular routine was rendered useless by not wearing sunscreen! I look back and wonder what I was thinking. Today, I’d never be caught outside sans sunscreen. And you shouldn’t, either.
Sunscreen is no longer that streaky, chalky mess you might remember from your childhood. So many cool new brands have redefined the rules and made sunscreen chic.
With packaging so colorful you’ll want to artfully arrange it on your beach towel and post it with your summer photo dump. These effective formulas leave you glory instead of sticky and chalky, there’s no excuse anymore!
Sunscreen has always been critical — but now it’s also cool.
I learned my lesson, fast. Now I’m a HUGE sunscreen advocate, making sure to apply enough (the answer is always: more than you think!), and reapplying throughout the day. But so many people are resistant to this crucial part of their routine, just like I was. From concerns about breakouts to bad experiences with formulas that leave a white cast, SPF is too often neglected. Yet, it truly is one of the most important parts of any skincare routine.
Wearing sunscreen is your best defense against skin cancer and premature aging. It also helps keep away wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and sun damage by shielding you from UV rays and carcinogens.
Here are some of the best brands out there making skincare that looks good, feels good, and works even better:
Kinlo Golden Rays Sunscreen SPF 50
The new sunscreen by Tennis player, mental health advocate, and real-life Disney Princess, Naomi Osaka is a celebrity brand that’s actually worth it. Tinted for melanin-rich skin, this daily, water-resistant sunscreen blocks both sweat, and sunrays. This mineral-based, non-chemical sunscreen mattifies skin without leaving a white cast for a flawless finish. It’s lightweight and non-comedogenic — no, this doesn’t mean unfunny but non-pore-blocking — to provide everyday protection on sun-soaked or indoor days.
ZitSticka's MEGASHADE Breakout-proof SPF 50 Serum
Zitsticka rose to fame for their pimple patches, and have stayed relevant for their range of science backed products. Both a sunscreen and a serum, it doesn’t just stop breakouts, it prevents them.
Supergoop is the holy grail sunscreen company. There’s some goop for all seasons and all occasions. No matter your skincare routine or your suncare needs, there’s a product for you. Take your pick from body oils to body lotions, vitamin C sunscreen or highlighter sunscreen. Plus, there’s even powder-based SPF and setting spray you can apply over makeup!
Vacation’s latest sunscreen line is formulated so you feel like you’re constantly on vacation. They take protection as seriously as they do leisure. Designed to make the wearer, look, feel, and smell like they’ve been to paradise and back. Vacation claims there’re the world’s best-smelling sunscreens. Try for yourself and let the world know!
Black Girl Sunscreen SPF30
If only this had existed when I was younger! Black Girl Sunscreenwas designed to start the conversation around sun protection and education. For anyone with darker skin tones, this sunscreen provides a sheer coverage that doesn’t leave a white cast. No chalky residue for you!
Summer Fridays ShadeDrops SPF 30 Mineral Milk Sunscreen
This newly released sunscreen is as milky as it sounds. Known for their hydrating masks, this sunscreen from Summer Fridays is moisture-rich not sticky or greasy. Enriched with vitamins and antioxidants, it’s skincare and sunscreen in one cool, Insta-ready bottle.
Undefined R&R Sun Serum
SPF is the best skincare investment to protect your skin barrier and your overall skin health. Undefined have redefined SPF with this clean, plant-powered, sun shield. Ultimately, this is a great sunscreen for sensitive skin.