Top Rated Sunscreens for the Summer

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As you head to the coast to catch the first rays of the warmer seasons and work on your base tan, we hope you’re toting some serious sunblock in your beach bags. If you haven’t made a visit to the drugstore yet to pick up a fresh bottle of sunscreen, we have a few things for you to keep in mind while you mull over the different options. What should you be looking for in a sunscreen and which ones work the best? Does the best sunscreen have the highest SPF? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Before we recommend products, it’s important to note that when it comes to sunscreen, brand matters less than how you use the product. No matter which product you choose, always make sure that you apply a generous amount to all parts of your body that will see the sun. The most common parts of the body for skin cancer to develop are often places that people forget to apply sunscreen. Always be sure that you apply sunscreen to your face, ears, neck, and the backs of your hands.

Typically, we purchase sunscreen based on the SPF number. But many don’t know exactly what SPF is or what the rating represents. SPF stands for sun protection factor, which is a measure of how well sunscreen protects against UVB rays. (UVA protection isn’t rated.) UVA and UVB rays can both potentially harm your skin. UVA rays can prematurely age your skin, causing wrinkling and age spots. UVB rays can burn your skin. Too much exposure to UVA or UVB rays can cause skin cancer. Since UVA rays aren’t rated when it comes to sunscreen products, it is best to purchase a sunscreen that is marked “broad-spectrum or “full-spectrum”, as these will protect you from both UVA and UVB rays.

When shopping for sunscreen, look for water-resistant, broad-spectrum coverage with an SPF of at least 15. Find a sunscreen you like! If you don’t care for the sunscreen, you’re not as likely to use it consistently.

There are a lot of different brands of sunscreen, and there are also a lot of different kinds of applications: Creams, lotions, gels, sticks, and sprays. Below is a list of doctor recommended brands, their applications, and some information about each. A complete list of doctor recommended brands and products recommended by The Skin Cancer Foundation can be found here.

  • Alba Botanica has a line of sprays and lotions that come in different scents and applications. Our favorites are Hawaiian Clear Spray Sunscreen Nourishing Coconut SPF 50 Broad Spectrum, Hawaiian Sunscreen Lotion Green Tea Broad Spectrum, and Soothing Sunscreen Lotion in Lavender.
  • For men with shaved or bald heads, we suggest Ultrasol Men Face Cream Gel by Dr. Fischer.
  • Hawaiian Tropic is a brand that can be found in most drugstores, and they have a lot of different options when it comes to sprays and lotions. Shimmer Effect Lotion, Silk Hydration Sunscreen Lotion, or Island Sport High Performance Sunscreen that comes in both a spray and a lotion.
  • To avoid breakouts and extra oily skin when applying sunscreen to your face, try Neutrogena’s Sport Face Sunblock with 70+ SPF.
  • Palmer’s Cocoa Butter brand smells amazing and their Eventone Suncare Sunscreen Stick is the perfect way to protect your face from harmful rays.

We hope that you apply generous amounts of these sunscreens this summer to help you keep safe under the sun.

Lauren lives in OB with her French bulldog, Elvis Presley. She loves laughter and the great outdoors. You can contact her at

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