Here comes the sun, and the sunscreen

Summer is almost here.

OK, not officially until June 21, but I say the season starts Memorial Day weekend, official or no. And unofficial summer means barbecues, the pool, the beach — lots of time outside.

Lots of time in the sun.

And the need for lots and lots of sunscreen.

There are many types of sunscreen, and we can debate organic vs. chemical-laden all day, but here’s the deal: The best sunscreen is one you’ll wear every day without complaint or annoyance.

Even if your foundation or BB cream contains sun protection — and many now do — I recommend a separate sunscreen. The reason? Rarely do we apply an even layer of foundation over every inch of the face, which is what is needed to ensure protection from the sun.

Using a moisturizer that contains sunscreen is a great way to get even coverage, as the product is (presumably) applied all over the face. A longtime favorite moisturizer of mine, Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream, was introduced this spring with sunscreen. The Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30, $47.50 at Kiehl’s, offers sun protection that doesn’t clog my pores, as many traditional sunscreens do. I’m also a fan of the Tarte Tarteguard 30 Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 30, $32 at Sephora, which offers more lightweight moisturization than the Kiehl’s, if you tend toward the oily.

If, like me, your skin is dry, try the Supergoop Sun-Defying Sunscreen Oil Broad Spectrum SPF 50, $34 at Sephora. My skin drinks in the oil, which leaves a healthy summer glow.

For extra sun protection after you’ve applied your makeup, try the Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral SPF 45, $30 at Sephora. The translucent powder dusts on without disturbing products below, and (bonus!) helps cut shine in the summer heat.

One of my ride-or-die products is the Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist Broad Spectrum SPF 50, $28 at Sephora, which helps makeup last longer, and which can be spritzed over the face at any point that you’d like extra SPF or a little refresh. The scent, of mint and rosemary, makes it even more pleasant to apply.

For the body, I love L’Oreal Paris Sublime Sun Advanced Sunscreen Oil Spray SPF 50+, $10.99 at drugstores, which moisturizes my skin without the goopy feeling that many traditional sunscreens can leave behind. Your skin will glow (as though you applied an oil, à la the days of lying out in the sun hoping to get a tan), but you’ll actually have significant sun protection.

If I know I’ll be spending some serious time in the sun, I like to use the Neutrogena Beach Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 70, which comes in a spray and a lotion. (I think sprays are awesome for the convenience factor, but I find it too easy to miss whole sections of the body, so if I’ll be at the beach, I prefer a lotion.)

Whatever sunscreen you decide is best for you, be sure to wear it every day.

Alison Smith suffered some nasty sunburns as a child, and now is a little obsessive about sunscreen. (You should be, too!) Got a burning beauty question? Email asmith@philly.com.  

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