Going to the beach is all fun and games—until you wake up the next day with a raging sunburn and have to spend all afternoon under the umbrella or worse, at home. Not to mention that too much exposure to the sun's intense rays can cause wrinkles, sun spots, and even skin cancer.
To prevent sunburns, you know you need a good sunscreen. We've rounded up the 12 most popular sun care products for this summer, from sunblock on a stick to super soothing aloe vera in case you do have a tanning-gone-wrong moment.
1. The trendy suntan lotion everyone is using
Supergoop is making sunblock cool again—and for good reason. Its fans love it for its lightweight, non-greasy formula (which is great for everyday use) and its fresh fragrance made from citrus, floral, and basil extracts. Bonus: Those natural ingredients also make the suntan lotion good for your skin, keeping it moisturized even in the summer heat.
2. A sheer sunscreen just for your face
If you (gasp!) still put regular suntan lotion on your face, hold it right there. This summer, upgrade to a facial sunscreen like this top-rated one from EltaMD, which has been recommended by both Amazon buyers and the National Skin Cancer Foundation. It contains anti-aging antioxidants and hydrating hyaluronic acid, so not only is it providing sun protection but it's also moisturizing and replenishing your skin. Win-win.
3. A sunscreen spray for your on-the-go lifestyle
Rubbing suntan lotion over every inch of your body (and the kids') only to miss a spot and wind up with greasy hands? Ain't nobody got time for that. A spray can make the whole process quicker—and less messy—and is easy to reapply once you're at the beach. This one from Sun Bum, which is hypoallergenic and enriched with Vitamin E, has even been tested, approved, and recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation.
4. A sport sunscreen that won't sweat off
There are two types of beachgoers: those that lay around tanning and those that are always on the move. If you're one of the latter, you know that all of that cornhole playing and seashell hunting can work up a sweat—so you need a sunscreen that will stay put. The most popular option is this one from Coola, which is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes and absorbs quickly so you can get back to your beach volleyball game stat.
5. A mineral sunscreen that's recommended by dermatologists
No chemicals, no problem. That's what you'll get with a mineral sunscreen like this one from Blue Lizard, which is free of parabens, fragrance, and active chemical ingredients. Its zinc oxide base provides some of the most effective broad spectrum protection, blocking 97 percent of the sun's rays.
6. The most soothing aloe vera gel
Everyone knows the pain that is a sunburn. And everyone also knows that aloe is the solution. But not all gels are created equal. This one from Seven Minerals is a crowd favorite because it's made from fresh aloe vera plants (not powder) so it's even stronger and more effective at calming your irritated skin.
7. The baby-friendly sunscreen every parent needs
What works for adults doesn't necessarily (read: rarely ever) works for babies, including when it comes to sun care. Keep your little ones safe from the sun with this chemical-free sunblock from Thinkbaby. With a water-resistant formula and broad spectrum protection, it was the first sunscreen to pass the Whole Foods Premium Care Requirements.
8. A sunscreen that won't irritate sensitive skin
If you have sensitive skin, you're all too aware of how difficult it can be to find products that don't irritate it. And toss in the sun and sand and yikes, that's a recipe for disaster. Fortunately, there are plenty of good options out there in terms of skin-friendly sunscreen. This one from La Roche-Posay—which has won over 60 Beauty Awards!—is free of oil, fragrance, and harsh chemicals and was designed specifically for people with allergies and sensitive skin.
9. A super-high SPF formula for the most protection
If your motto when it comes to sun care is "better safe than sorry," you might consider snagging this sunscreen with SPF 100+ from Neutrogena. According to its over-1,000 Amazon reviews, people love that it's super powerful yet super lightweight and sheer so you don't end up with that dreaded white residue.
10. The aloe vera lotion your post-sun routine is missing
Aloe vera gel is cool but have you tried aloe vera lotion? It's like your favorite skin soother but with the added benefit of a full-body moisturizer. Thanks to the vitamins A and E and the creamy cocoa butter in this Hawaiian Tropic lotion, your sun-kissed (or maybe sunburnt) skin will get the hit of hydration it needs after being outside all day. People who have been using it on the daily for 10+ years say it's the best they've ever tried.
11. Everyone's favorite lip sunscreen
You put sunscreen on your body and on your face—but what about your lips? They need protecting, too, if you don't want to end up with chapping and painful sunburn so swipe on an SPF-packed lip balm before you hit the beach. People swear by this one from Jack Black, which, according to its 1,400+ five-star reviews, will block the sun's rays and condition your lips at the same time thanks to its antioxidants and moisturizers.
12. An easy-to-apply sunscreen stick
First there was lotion. Then there was spray. And now there's sticks. What looks like deodorant is actually swipeable sunblock, which is the least messy to put on and the most travel-friendly (perfect to toss in a beach bag!). This one from Neutrogena is a popular pick because it uses advanced technology to provide broad-spectrum protection from UVA/UVB rays and is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.
Prices are accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.