Editor-Tested, Dermatologist-Approved—These Are the 10 Best Sunscreens of 2024

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I live in Los Angeles, so naturally most of my conversations begin with some quip about the weather. Of course, the last couple of years have been anything but normal, with weeks straight of nothing but rain. As such, everyone in the city has been floundering. For months, plans were canceled, raincoats were purchased, and umbrellas were excavated out from the depth of our storage containers. We may have kept up with our SPF face routine, but seeking out the best sunscreen for body wasn’t on anyone’s radar.

But now that we’re finally getting some sun, we’re making the most of it. Going to the beach is like a sport in LA. Everyone has their favorite spot, and most of us have a beach bag packed and ready to go on any occasion. As a beauty editor, it won’t surprise anyone that mine contains a mini pouch filled with beach-ready skin and body care. Here’s what’s inside:

Featured image from our interview with Megan O’Neill by Belathée Photography.

Woman outside wearing brown dress.

How to Find the Best Sunscreen for Your Body

In my time around the block—or the beach, as it were—I’ve tried many body sunscreens. Some have made their way into my beach bag, others have never seen the light of day. And while I usually evaluate my body products based on touch and texture, I consulted a dermatologist to discover what I should really be looking for in the best sunscreen for body.

Dr. Caroline Robinson is a board-certified medical and cosmetic dermatologist, with subspecialty expertise in alopecia, preventative skincare, and ethnic skin dermatology. She is also the founder of Tone Dermatology.

“There are considerable differences in the products available now with many great options,” says Dr. Robinson. “I always tell my patients finding the right sunscreen is like finding the right pair of jeans; you have to try out a few, and it can take a while, but once you find the one you like, you will love it and want to wear it every day.”

Camille Styles wearing white dress.

My Criteria for Determining the Best Sunscreens

After our conversation, I established these criteria for the best body sunscreens:

  • Key Ingredients: What’s in it?
  • Type of protection: Is it a physical/mineral or chemical sunscreen?
  • SPF: What level of protection does it offer?
  • Size: How much do you get? And (important!) can you pack it in your carry-on?
  • Water Resistance: How long does it stay effective in the water?
Dr. Robinson

Dr. Caroline Robinson

Board-certified medical and cosmetic dermatologist and founder of Tone Dermatology

Lauren Ireland wearing bathing suit.

What to Consider When Selecting a Sunscreen

Dr. Robinson is quick to recommend non-comedogenic (non-pore-clogging) sunscreen formulas. She also stresses that your sunscreen should be free of the following:

  • fragrances
  • dyes
  • parabens
  • oil
  • certain chemicals like oxybenzone

“For daily use, use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher (the minimum SPF recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology),” the dermatologist encourages. If you’re spending a prolonged period in the sun, opt for an SPF 50 or higher.

Mineral vs. Chemical Sunscreens

Mineral sunscreens: Contain active ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that sit on top of the skin’s surface to deflect and scatter harmful UV rays.

Chemical sunscreens: Contain UVB- and UVA-absorbing chemicals that convert UV rays into heat through a chemical reaction, which then releases the heat.

Dr. Robinson recommends opting for a mineral sunscreen if you have sensitive skin. “Chemical sunscreens can sometimes irritate and exacerbate existing conditions,” she notes. For acne-prone skin, oil-free sunscreens are best. And if you’re sweating or coming into contact with water, water-resistant sunscreen offers longer-lasting protection.

Sunscreen Application Tips

Mineral sunscreens immediately protect your skin upon contact, but chemical sunscreen should be applied at least half an hour before going out into the sun since it requires some time to absorb.

It’s best to reapply every hour to hour and a half if you are participating in activities that cause sunscreen to wear off like swimming or anything that prompts sweating. If just sitting in the sun without excessive sweating (not dermatologist recommended!), a good rule of thumb is to reapply every two hours.

Outdoor summer brunch.

The Best Sunscreen for the Body

You never know what you like until you’ve tried it. And I’ve tried a lot of different options—including some of the most viral sunscreens out there right now. But are they worth the hype? Sunscreen isn’t the most glamorous product on the market, so when people rave about one, I’ve generally found that it lives up to my expectations.

Here are some of my favorites that I’ve tried, tested, endlessly researched—and yes, loved.

Our Top Picks

  1. Best Overall: Bask Suncare SPF 30 Lotion & Continuous Spray – $40 at Bask Skincare
  2. Best Sweat-Proof Sunscreen: PLAY Everyday Lotion – $36 at Supergoop!
  3. Best Fragrance: Coola Clear Sunscreen Spray Tropical Coconut – $28 at Target
  4. Best Texture: Vacation Classic Whip – $22 at Bluemercury
  5. Best High SPF: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen – $9.99 at Target
Bask sunscreen for body

The wear and tear on the packaging says it all: this duo is a staple in my beach bag. From the lotion’s creamy texture to the spray’s refreshing mist, this is a set that makes me excited to apply my daily sunscreen. Perfect for application and reapplication, it’s proof that the best sunscreen is the sunscreen you’ll actually wear.

Whenever I apply it around a group of friends, they perk up at the light coconut and vanilla scent. Invariably, they ask what sunscreen is that? and I respond by spraying the group with a cloud of my staple sunscreen. No gatekeeping here. It’s the brand I recommend to everyone.

  • Key Ingredients: Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octisalate, Octocrylene, Aloe, Cocoa Butter
  • Type of Protection: Chemical
  • SPF: 30
  • Size: 5.5 fl oz and 4 fl oz
  • Water-Resistance: 80 minutes
Supergoop body sunscreen

Summer is the season for lounging by the pool and digging your toes into the sand, but let’s face it, it’s also the season for sweat. No one wants to slather on sunscreen, only for it to sweat off and be left with unprotected skin. Supergoop! has been making the rounds on the internet for a while now, and for good reason.

The PLAY Everyday Lotion is a fan favorite, and this water and sweat-resistant sunscreen is perfect for you and your loved ones. It comes in a variety of sizes, is gentle enough for both face and body, and the largest 18-fluid-ounce jug is ideal for kids and families. It’s great for all skin tones, absorbs quickly, and is my go-to for outdoor workouts.

  • Key Ingredients: Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octisalate, Octocrylene, 
  • Type of Protection: Chemical
  • SPF: 50
  • Size: 1 fl oz, 2.4 fl oz, 5 fl oz, 18 fl oz (so many choices!)
  • Water-Resistance: 80 minutes
Coola Clear Sunscreen Spray Tropical Coconut

The smell of most sunscreens can instantly transport me back to pool days and vacations from my childhood, and while the nostalgia is lovely, there’s something elevated and chic about a sunscreen that has a scent reminiscent of a perfume. Coola Clear Sunscreen Spray in Tropical Coconut will have you smelling like a beachy goddess—perfect for a vacay with the girls or lounging poolside with a book.

Coola is a clean beauty brand, and this non-aerosol sunscreen is non-greasy and absorbs quickly after you rub it in a bit. And of course, the smell is divine. It’s a sunscreen that feels luxurious and it’s one that I want to put on. A win all around!

  • Key Ingredients: Avobenzone, Octisalate, Octocrylene 
  • Type of Protection: Chemical
  • SPF: 30
  • Size: 6 oz
  • Water-Resistance: 80 minutes

If you want a sunscreen that you’re excited to incorporate into your morning routine, look no further. With its whipped cream-inspired packaging, it’s a whimsical way to start your morning. You won’t forget it, that’s for sure. And I’ve tried this one myself (as well as other sunscreens from the brand) so I can assure you: it’s not just a gimmick. Yes, it went viral on TikTok, but the actual sunscreen is a creamy, easy-to-apply texture. None of the stickiness you associate with the sweet treat that it’s inspired by.

My only warning: keep this one on your shelf and out of your day bag. The spray nozzle is a little volatile—something I learned the hard way when it exploded in my bag. Keep it in a cool, dry place.

  • Key Ingredients: Homosalate, Octocrylene, Octisalate, Avobenzone, Coconut Oil, Aloe Vera, Vitamin E
  • Type of Protection: Chemical
  • SPF: 30
  • Size: 4 fl oz
  • Water-Resistance: 80 minutes
Neutrogena Body Sunscreen

When SPF 50 doesn’t cut it, a 70 SPF sunscreen is your next go-to. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch is a fantastic high SPF sunscreen that goes on smooth and doesn’t feel greasy at all. This lotion also has a subtle, fresh scent (we love!) and the price can’t be beat. If you’re looking for a high SPF sunscreen, be sure to pick this up on your next Target run!

  • Key Ingredients: Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octisalate, Octocrylene, 
  • Type of Protection: Chemical
  • SPF: 70
  • Size: 3 fl oz, also available in a spray
  • Water-Resistance: 80 minutes
Legs in pool

Other Body Sunscreens to Consider

Kopari Sun Shield Body Glow Gel

Somewhere between a lotion and an oil is a gel. If you’re seeking something iridescent, this Kopari gel shimmers when it catches the light to create a glowy effect while protecting your skin. It acts as a serum, sun protectant, and glow oil without any tackiness and residue buildup. It absorbs fast to prevent transfer and oiliness, making it sweat-free and perfect for oilier skin.

EltaMD UV Pure Broad-Spectrum SPF 47

I’m an Elta MD fan because, like many lovers of the brand, I had it recommended by a derm. But most people—myself included, until recently—grossly underappreciate its potential as a body sunscreen. Formulated for the face and body, it’s gentle and fuss-free. For sensitive skin, eczema, or easily irritated skin, this is a great pick.

CeraVe Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 Body Lotion

You can’t go wrong with CeraVe. For anyone with sensitive skin, or just seeking a simple but effective sun solution, CeraVe’s mineral sunscreen physically shields your skin while deeply hydrating your skin barrier. Its ceramide-rich formula makes it a powerful moisturizer, while hyaluronic acid hydrates for all-day softness. Experience no irritation as this formula creates a protective barrier around your skin to reflect UVA and UVB rays.

Sun Bum Original SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion

Approved by The Skin Cancer Foundation, this sunscreen is by beach bums, for beach bums. If you spend a lot of time in this sun, this creamy coverage offers hydration and protection. Vitamin E, a potent antioxidant, helps prevent premature aging and damage from environmental stressors. All this comes in one affordable package, lining the shelves at your local drugstore, waiting for you to make it a summer staple.

Black Girl Sunscreen for Face and Body

The white cast on many body sunscreens is especially problematic for anyone with more melanated skin. For people with darker skin tones, physical sunscreens have historically been out of the question. We either have to deal with a super obvious white film or forgo sunscreen. (Perhaps this is what perpetuated the myth that melanin-rich skin doesn’t even need sunscreen.) But don’t believe it! Darker skin does need sun protection. And finally, brands like Black Girl Sunscreen are creating quality, hydrating products for the face and body that shield your skin without leaving any white residue behind.

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