If you don't have a go-to favorite sunscreen that you love by now, I am very concerned — and not just because summer is officially here. It's important to wear sunscreen year-round to avoid skin damage. I personally am a bit of a sunscreen addict. I have probably around a dozen sunscreens sitting around my house, because I'm very picky about the sunscreen that I am actually willing to put on my body. Since not just any old bottle off the drugstore shelf will do, I have to make sure I'm stocked up on the right kind of sunscreen for me. First off, they have to have a minimum SPF of 30. I also prefer mineral sunscreens over chemical sunscreens because they're gentler on my sensitive skin, and I need my sunscreen to be fragrance-free for the same reason.
Despite being so picky, I've managed to find three new sunscreens this year that I'm completely in love with: Kiehl's Super Fluid UV Mineral Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50+, La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Tinted Primer Sunscreen, and PCA Skin Sheer Tint Broad Spectrum SPF 45. If you haven't found a sunscreen you're completely in love with yet, there are several reasons I'd recommend trying at least one of these — if not all three.
Here's what I like about all three multitasking sunscreens:
- They all have a sheer tint to help even out the skin.
- They are all broad spectrum and have SPF of 45 or above.
- They are all mineral sunscreens, with either titanium dioxide or zinc oxide or both — ideal for sensitive skin.
- They are all fragrance-free (another must for sensitive skin).
- They contain antioxidants to fight the damaging effects of free-radicals.
- They can be used as primer.
So as you can see, these three sunscreens are quite similar (even in price point) but they do have a few differences. Let's take a closer look at each one.
I really like Kiehl's Super Fluid UV Mineral Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ because, as the name promises, it is extremely fluid and light. This is perfect if you don't like wearing thick, heavy sunscreen. It's safe for sensitive and acne-prone skin, and includes vitamin E to fight against damaging free radicals.
If you have oily skin or want something with a little more coverage, you may like La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Tinted Primer Sunscreen. This has a thicker consistency than the other two options. What's cool about this product is that it's a sunscreen and a tone-correcting primer. You can wear it on its own to subtly enhance your skin or use it as a base under makeup. It's great for sensitive skin, but probably better for oily to normal skin types rather than very dry skin.
Finally, we have PCA Skin Sheer Tint Broad Spectrum SPF 45. This one has a light, watery texture that is similar to the Kiehl's sunscreen. I like that this one contains both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as well as the powerful antioxidant ubiquinone. I also like the way it looks and feels on my dry skin. It's definitely a very sheer tint, but it helps to even out my skin's redness enough for no-makeup days and also layers well under makeup when I want more coverage.
As you can see, the Kiehl's is the darkest tint and the La Roche-Posay is the thickest consistency. My favorite is the PCA Skin because it's hydrating enough that I don't even need to moisturize my dry skin first. I need to add concealer if I really want to hide any redness or blemishes, but I like that this tinted sunscreen is all I need to put on my face most days. In fact, it's good that the tint is very sheer because you don't want to skimp on sunscreen application for fear of turning your face a weird color. That's really the important takeaway here: don't skimp on sunscreen, no matter which kind you use!
Images: Kelly Dougher