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reading by the water

5 Best Sunscreens for Summer

Posted by: Mira Roberts
Two lounge chairs in the pool, with a bottle of wine

Pool season is just weeks away, bringing with it long days spent outside relaxing beside or inside the pool. Soaking up sunshine and breathing in fresh air are both good for you, and help to uplift your mood and keep your body and skin healthy. Too much sun exposure is harmful though, and it’s important to make sure that you use a safe and effective sunscreen throughout the spring and summer months to prevent damage from UV rays.

We scoured our favorite sources, including Consumer Reports and, to come up with a list of the 5 best sunscreens for summer. Any sunscreen you choose should have an SPF of at least 30, and while spray can be easier to apply, it doesn’t offer as effective coverage as a cream or lotion. Our list includes sunscreens that are safe for sensitive skin and babies, and we’ve even added in one spray that we think is best among the rest.

We wish you a sunny, bright and happy spring and summer spent outdoors wearing sunscreen you can trust!

La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60
While this sunscreen is more expensive at $35 a bottle, it is well worth the price for the coverage is provides (a true 60 SPF) and it's gentle, safe ingredients. Its non-greasy formula and broad spectrum coverage make it a true winner when it comes to keeping skin protected and gliding on with ease.

Coppertone Water Babies Lotion SPF 50
Protect your baby's skin safely and affordably ($12 a bottle) with this highly effective cream formula from Coppertone. The gentle, non-irritating formula provides broad spectrum, water resistant coverage at a true 50 SPF.

Trader Joe’s Spray SPF 50
While most spray sunscreens don't provide complete coverage, this spray from Trader Joe's may be the best of the bunch. Providing broad spectrum coverage at a true 50 SPF, this spray works best if you spray carefully (have help with your back!) and make sure to cover every exposed inch as you go.

Alba Botanical Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30
This amazing sunscreen is cost-effective at $7 at bottle, and the cream spreads easily, providing all over coverage without harmful ingredients that can irritate sensitive skin. Because it's extra moisturizing, it spreads on easily and feels soothing to sun-soaked skin.

Badger Lavender Sunscreen Cream SPF 30
Those with sensitive skin or allergies will want to celebrate Badger's gentle and safe lavender sunscreen that contains fewer ingredients and a delightfully soothing lavender scent (this might be a good one for the moms at the pool with the kids!). While it is a tad thick and hard to squeeze out of the tube, it'll be worth the work to have good coverage without skin irritation, all summer long.

Filed Under: Life in Hampton, VA

About the Author
Mira Roberts Gravatar
Mira Roberts

Mira Roberts studied writing at New York University, graduating with a BA in English Literature before pursuing a career in media, marketing and management with PARADE Magazine, Portfolio Magazine, AltDaily, skirt! and lululemon athletica. A full time mother, writing instructor and part-time freelance writer, Mira lives and laughs with her family in Norfolk, VA. 


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