Best Sunscreens for Summer 2022

Summertime is officially here, whether the calendar says so or not. We’ve already spent several days in the pool, so I thought I’d put a post together with my favorite summer sunscreens.

Sunscreen does have a shelf-life, so I always toss mine at the end of the season and buy new when summer rolls around again, and here we are!

one // two // three // four // five // six // seven // eight // nine // ten // eleven

You will see a theme here. Most of these are mineral sunscreens and considered “clean” beauty products. Mineral sunscreens are generally safer and healthier than their chemical counterparts, and I do my best to use mineral sunscreen whenever I can.

The active ingredients in mineral sunscreens are zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide, rather than chemical filters and fragrances that can irritate sensitive skin and are potentially harmful.

If this is news to you, or you want to know more, the EWG has tons of information on sunscreens. You can also search EWG’s Skin Deep database for more information on specific products.

The Best Facial Sunscreens

#1. EltaMD UV Elements Tinted Face Moisturizer with Broad-Spectrum SPF 44 // This was my favorite facial tinted sunscreen for a long time. I apply this after doing my morning skincare routine.

It’s thick and smooth and moisturizing, and the light tint helps even out my ruddy skin tone and start the color correcting process so there’s less work for my foundation to do. It also looks better when I want to go without makeup.

This product uses both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, and it has an SPF 44.

#2. ISDIN Eryfotona Ageless SPF 50+ // This is my most recent discovery, and the facial sunscreen I currently use every day. My cosmetic dermatologist recommended it because it has anti-aging properties and collagen support to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also has a light tint that helps even out the skin tone.

The ISDIN brand also makes  Eryfotona Actinica. This one is not tinted, and it’s specifically formulated to help correct sun damage with photolyase and vitamin E.

#3. Supergoop! Glowscreen SPF 40 // I recently started using this one before I go out to walk or run. It is also lightweight and moisturizing, and it has SPF 40 and leaves your skin with a pearlescent glow.

It’s a bit much on its own, but it makes a nice base layer for makeup. When I apply my favorite mineral foundation on top, it gives me a nice, healthy glow.

#4. Supergoop! Mineral Sheer Screen SPF 30 // This is my favorite facial sunscreen when I don’t want a tint. I usually apply this in the morning before exercising, and then I wash it off before doing my morning skincare routine.

I’ve also taken to carrying it in my purse when I’m going to be out in the sun all day, like at Disney World last month, and last week at Knoebels.

I like it because it doesn’t irritate my skin, and it blends in better than any other mineral sunscreen I’ve tried. I won’t say there’s no white cast, but it’s minimal.

#5. COOLA Organic Liplux Lip Balm and Sunscreen with SPF 30 // Sometimes you need a little extra lip protection, so I recently ordered this Liplux lip balm from Amazon.

It’s made with natural fruit butters that moisturize and condition dry, chapped lips; and it feels moisturizing but not sticky. It also has a nice, subtle beachy scent like coconut or something.

#6. EltaMD UV Lip Balm Sunscreen for Lips, SPF 36 // I also ordered this to try, since I’m already a fan of the EltaMD facial sunscreen (#1 above).

This one goes on a little more like a cream, and it leaves my lips feeling slightly tingly. It has a very subtle peppermint type of scent but no flavor.

The Best Body Sunscreens

#7. COOLA Organic Sunscreen SPF 30 Sunblock Spray // This is my personal favorite for a body sunscreen. This product is a compromise because it is not a mineral sunscreen, but it is made of 70% organic ingredients, and it’s a non-aerosol spray.

When I search the COOLA brand on EWG’s Skin Deep, the non-aerosol sprays get a 3 rating, which isn’t terrible. Active ingredients are avobenzone, octisalate, and octocrylene.

I like COOLA sprays because they smell amazing, and they’re moisturizing and super easy to apply. The downside is they’re expensive, and they don’t last very long.

#8. COOLA Suncare Travel Set // I love this little travel set; I always bring one along to a warm weather destination.

It includes a travel-size spray SPF 30, a travel-size face lotion SPF 30, a travel-size after sun lotion, and a full-size Liplux lip balm SPF 30.

#9. BLUE LIZARD Australian Sunscreen, Sensitive SPF 30+ // This is my 19-year-old daughter’s favorite. She is very particular about sunscreen and does tons of research and has tried many different kinds, and this is the one she reaches for the most.

The active ingredients are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, so it does leave a faint white tint on the skin, but it’s great for sensitive skin and safe for kids. Our has an SPF 30+ and It also comes in SPF 50+ and a bunch of other versions as well.

BLUE LIZARD sunscreens are dedicated to protecting the coral reefs, they contain no fragrances or parabens, and they’re water resistant for 40 minutes. The bottle turns blue in harmful UV light as a reminder to stay sun safe, which is kind of gimicky, but that is where “Blue” Lizard comes from, I guess!

#10. Coppertone Pure & Simple Sunscreen Lotion – SPF 50 // This is another one of my daughter’s recommendations, and you certainly can’t beat the price. She likes it because it’s affordable and doesn’t irritate her sensitive skin. It’s also water resistant up to 80 minutes.

It’s oil-free and easy to apply, but it does leave a slight white cast. This product is made with naturally sourced zinc oxide, and it provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection. It’s also formulated without phthalates, parabens, dyes, or synthetic fragrances. The picture above is different because they recently changed their packaging.

#11. CVS Health SPF 50 Hydrating Mineral Body Sunscreen // This last one was a surprise, as I just picked it up because of my CVS Carepass membership. I brought it home, and my daughter immediately pounced on it, eager to try it.

She was extremely impressed, and said it actually blends into her skin better than its name brand counterpart, which I believe is the Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Mineral Sunscreen. She did point out that it is not water resistant, and the Neutrogena is.

By the way, my daughter says any of her recommendations for body sunscreens are fine for the face too. She says the facial sunscreens contain the same ingredients and are just packaged differently and priced higher. Why am I not surprised???

I still use sunscreens designed for facial use because I like the tint and the anti-aging benefits, but if that isn’t important to you, you can just use the cheaper mineral sunscreens (#9, #10, and #11) on your face too.

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28 Responses

  1. Do you have any attractive sun hat recommendations for the beach? I like to wear a hat beside sunscreen. Thank you for sharing your favorite sunscreens. I can’t wait to try a few from your list.

  2. Cleaner sunscreens are important. I use Tizo for face and body. It comes in tinted too but I haven’t tried that one. Its a mineral sunscreen. Doesn’t stay white. Rubs in good. I’ve always hated sunscreen on my face and use to have it in my foundation but since I’ve changed my foundation to a clean one, it doesn’t have sunscreen in it. Id like to try the face one you recommend. The tint could help my ruddy redness too and I keep looking for the best non greasy one. It’s so great Caroline is taking sunscreen wearing serious. I wish I knew more about sun damage back in my teen years. I wouldn’t have laid in the sun and would have wore higher SPF. But back then I think SPF 8 was the highest. Lol. Thanks for the post.

    1. I haven’t heard of Tizo, I’ll look it up. Yeah, I have always liked a tan, and now my skin is showing that fact. I keep telling her she’ll be glad she did when she’s my age.

  3. I appreciate you doing this post, and I hate to admit it, but I am real bad about not paying attention to the shelf life of sunscreens. I hate throwing them out when so much product is left, but if they aren’t as affective as they should be, then they don’t need to take up space. I really appreciate you sharing some of Caroline’s favorites that are more budget friendly. I’m going to order some now. Have a great day!

  4. Love this post! So helpful. We recently went to St Thomas and needed Reef-Safe sunscreen. We took Coola for our faces and Pacifica (Ulta) and Bare Republic (Target) for our bodies. I was surprised at how long the coverage lasted! Maybe it was the difference between mineral and chemical. Or maybe it was because I took high SPF, but I usually buy that. After a week, we didn’t have any sunburns and didn’t re-apply more than once. They are now family faves, on or off the beach.

  5. The Elta MD Elements sunscreen is excellent. I have olive skin and the tinted version blends well with my skin tone; I am darker complected than you so the tinted color seems to work well for many complexions. Great alone on hot summer days when you don’t want/need foundation.

  6. Your nails are so pretty! Are they gel or do you do them yourself? What brand/shade is the polish?

  7. Your nails are so pretty! Are they gel nails or do you do them yourself at home? What brand/shade is the polish?

  8. Great, informative post! Ordering the SuperGoop Mineral for myself and the Blue Lizard for my husband. Most all sunscreens bother his eyes when he works outside a lot, maybe this one will not run. Thanks for your tips!

  9. Hi Girls!
    Thank you for this very helpful post! My favorite part is the collaboration with Caroline. I have three adult daughters and we recently did a family collaboration on mascaras. (Your review on Tarte produced some new buyers! ) I have sunscreen on my shopping list- thanks again for great info!

  10. Jo-Lynne,

    Thanks for recommendations, especially for lip balm. It’s so important to use lip balm with SPF. I haven’t really found any that I like, so I will have to try these.

  11. I’m glad you both clarified about face sunscreens. The Supergoop one doesn’t say face and some don’t, so I didn’t know if they were for face or just body. I have been using the ELTAMD tinted one for my face per your recommendation last year, but I’m finding I don’t like how it changes the color of my face once I put my foundation on. Its like then I have too much color for the shade of my skin. So, thinking I might buy the non tinted for under my foundation and use the tinted when I don’t put on foundation. The new one your dermatologist recommended sounds nice too. Is the tint less or the same as ELTAMD? Is it greasy feeling at all? That is what I like about the ELTAMD….feels like you don’t have sunscreen on at all. I use the mineral sunscreen TIZO sheer botanicals non-tinted SPF45 Its plant based mineral sunscreen for body and face Titanium and zinc Oxides Antioxidants C & E Broad Spectrum SPF 45 and water resistant 80 minutes. It also comes in non tinted. The slight white cast rubs in good, so no problem there. I buy it on Amazon and I believe its like $45 for 4 oz. Sunscreens are getting expensive for the good ones. The first time I bought it, it had a 2 yr. expiration date but this time it wasn’t on it. Thank you to you both for the great sunscreen advice.

    1. Hm, yeah, I didn’t notice that the Supergoop! doesn’t say face. I just use it for that, so I lumped it into that group. Although, like I said, more recently I have been bringing the sheer screen with me for body use as well.

      The ISDIN is thinner than EltaMD and not greasy at all. I’m not sure about the tint, I think it may be warmer than EltaMD. Let me go compare….

  12. I’m allergic to most of the mineral ones. So far the only sunscreen I can wear is Neutrogena. I haven’t seen the Simple Baby one so will check it out. My skin is showing the lack of sunscreen growing up in Calif. Back then sunscreens we’re recommended either.

  13. The ISDIN has a LOT of negative reviews including, too dark for light skin, way too dark to apply makeup on top, stains clothing, sometimes expired (no returns….

    1. I got mine from my dermatologist, so I didn’t even check the expiration, but that sounds like an issue specific to Amazon. I have no problem applying makeup on top, or wearing it without makeup, but I do tan my body so it doesn’t seem dark to me… although I was using it before I started tanning this spring, so I don’t know. I suppose it depends on how pale you are.

      It will definitely stain clothes. So will Elta MD, for that matter. I have stains on some of my pajama tops so now I don’t put it down onto my neck and chest anymore. I just use regular non-tinted sunscreen for that.

      1. Good to know Jo-Lynne about staining. I usually just put on my face but now that Summer is here was going to go onto my neck. I’ll just use my TIZO for that.

  14. From what I can remember I didn’t have luck with the mineral sunscreen I tried a few years ago! So I reverted back to my old faithful Banana Boat but the new one that has 25% fewer chemicals! I put very little on my face because I do wear glasses and always a hat! Keeping the top of our head and ears covered is just as important as protecting our skin! My husband’s dad had melanoma and ear cancer from his younger years of sun!
    Such an important topic …thank you and Caroline for researching products!

  15. I love the Elta MD UV Elements and combine that with Australian Gold Botanical Tinted Sunscreen (SPF 50) to get just the right color. Most days, that’s all the sunscreen I use on my face/neck with occasional days of applying foundation on top. I use Banana Boat Light as Air SPF 50 for the rest of my body. I love the light scent and that it’s reef-friendly. I have both the lotion and spray forms.

  16. Do you know which of your choices are reef friendly? Reef friendly is very important for all ocean destinations. In fact it’s mandatory in Hawaii now. Thanks for the reviews and yes, I wish I had been more conscious of sun damage when I was younger.

  17. Love your website, the fashions are fabulous. From one Jo Lynne to another. I must say I don’t meet to many people named Jo Lynne!

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