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My Favorite Summer Sunscreens

The Best Sunscreens

Now that summer is “officially” here, it’s time for the Makeup Wars crew to share our favorite sunscreen products with you. If you read my blog regularly you know that sunscreen is a product I adore, and I love to go on and on (and on) about how to use it, what to look for when buying it, and how to avoid common mistakes when using sunscreen.

Today I’m finally sharing my tips for reapplying sunscreen over makeup, so it might make more sense to head over to that post first if you haven’t read it yet. I have a whole system for sunscreen use (and really, the post is only about what I use on my face, I haven’t even discussed body sunscreens or lip balms).

In this post I’m going to quickly look at the different types of sunscreens I mentioned in my sunscreen reapplication post, and then share some info on each of the individual products.

favorite lightweight facial sunscreens
Kiehl’s BB Cream
This is my current favorite BB Cream, it offers SPF 50 with some nice coverage that is a great match for my skin! It doesn’t feel or smell like sunscreen either.

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial SPF 30 Lotion
The SPF 15 version of this lightweight lotion has long been a go-to product for me. It sinks into my combination skin quickly and provides just enough moisture without leaving behind a residue. They’ve just upped the SPF to 30, though I think the UV range quoted on the Kiehl’s website is like wrong (the SPF 15 had different UV filters).

Kiehl’s Super UV Defense
This is a great lightweight sunscreen that does smell a little like sunscreen, but doesn’t feel heavy at all. It sinks in very quickly without leaving much residue behind, though I do admit that sometimes things feel a little oily afterwards. I can quickly blot that away without any problems.

La Roche Posay Anthelios
I use the Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid version of this, and in truth I don’t really see a big difference between this and the Kiehl’s Super UV Defense. The La Roche is slightly more oily on me, which means I always blot with a kleenex after applying this sunscreen, rather than just about 50% of the time. Overall it is lightweight and works great under makeup.

Best sunscreen sticks

Here is where I confess that I can’t tell the difference between any of these sticks when I use them. Go for what is available and has the full UV range covered with a high SPF. They all feel a little bit sticky but are good at staying put in the sun and water.

Aveeno Baby

Coppertone Tattoo Stick

Murad Essential-C Sun Balm Broad Spectrum SPF 35
This stick has a lot of other benefits beyond just the sunscreen, so watch for full details soon-ish. In the meantime, just know that it has sunscreen and lots of Vitamin C!

Best Waterproof Sunscreen
I like all of these sunscreens, though my husband prefers the Coppertone and we use the Aveeno Baby on our 2 year old (this year it has a purple top and she looooves this change! She calls it the “purple sunscreen”). I use whichever one is around for myself.

Aveeno Baby & Aveeno “Adult”
Neutrogena Dry Touch
Coppertone Sport
(yes, they all have the same active ingredients)

Product Sent for Review Product Sent for Review

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About Me

Iā€™m a doctor, a mommy and a bit of a beauty addict. If you let me, I can take 2 hours to get ready in the morning. Really. I'm on a quest for faster beauty that works!

Leave a Comment


  1. 5.28.13

    The Kiehl's BB Cream sounds awesome! I love their products!

  2. 5.28.13
    Eugenia said:

    You had me at Kiehls. I love all their face products but I have never tried any of the sunscreen, but I am sure they are just as great!

  3. 5.28.13
    Beauty411 said:

    Living for the Kiehl's BB Cream! And I've picked the Neutrogena sunscreen so many times, that I had to branch out for Makeup Wars! LRP Anthelios was my sunscreen of choice for years; that one was a little harder to find. All great choices!

  4. 5.28.13
    Retrodiva said:

    The Murad stick has my name all over it.

  5. 5.28.13

    I love using sticks for my face–so easy and you can get your ears and neck easier.

  6. 5.28.13
    Phyrra said:

    The Kielh's BB Cream looks like it would be awesome if it had a match for my skintone.

  7. 5.28.13

    I must try the Kiehls!!! šŸ™‚ I had a feeling that Kiehls would make an appearance in your post. I also must try that Aveeno baby stick!

  8. 5.28.13
    Teri said:

    Great picks! As always, you are so thorough. I love your UV index guide

  9. 5.28.13

    Thanks everyone!
    @Phyrra, the light Kiehl's BB is a perfect match for me, so it's probably too dark for you. šŸ™

  10. 5.28.13

    If the Kiehl's is too dark for Phyrra then my dreams have been dashed.
    But I am going to get some stick SPF after reading this. I think that would help that tiny little nose that comes here several times a week.

  11. 5.28.13
    Carleen said:

    I love Kiehl's products. Not sure why I haven't tried their sunscreen!

  12. 5.30.13

    Great timing on this post! I really want to try one of those sunscreen sticks for touch-up's and for getting at my hairline, part and ears (I'm always getting it smeared into my hair). I wonder what other specific areas those can be used for. I think I might pick up the Aveeno one.

    I just started to use Elta MD UV Physical SPF 41 Facial Sunscreen and I really like that one. It's slightly tinted, doesn't feel greasy and absorbs easily.