The best sunscreen for every skin type, budget and preference

The best sunscreen for every skin type, budget and preference

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The best sunscreen for every skin type, budget and preference

Whether you prefer mineral sunscreen options, classic chemical sunscreens or are looking to know the difference, we can help.

We know that the threat of UV rays, which can cause cancer and premature aging, is real. In Canada, skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of the disease—more than breast, prostate, colon and lung cancers combined. So why do we sometimes forgo sunscreen? It has to do with our perception of it—we’ll pass on sticky, slow-absorbing lotions, thanks. What’s more, Dr. Sonya Abdulla, a dermatologist at Dermatology on Bloor in Toronto, says that even when we do wear it, we don’t always apply an adequate amount, we often miss patches of skin and—crucially—we don’t reapply as often as we should (at least every two hours).

Luckily, there’s an abundance of new and better formulas, so you’re more likely to find a sunscreen that works for you. What’s the best option out there? According to Dr. Abdulla, it’s whichever one you’ll commit to using. That means there is no excuse for not picking up one of these products.


Sunscreen Checklist

  • SPF 30 or higher
  • UVA/UVB broad-spectrum coverage
  • Use at least 30 ml to cover your body
  • Reapply every two hours
  • Wear sunscreen year-round
  • Pair with protective clothing and wide-brimmed hats


Screen Stars

Chemical sunscreens contain filters that absorb ultraviolet light and convert it into heat, preventing UV damage. They’re affordable, readily available and more lightweight than mineral options. Most formulas combine at least two chemical filters for broad-spectrum coverage.


Chemical Sunscreens

1. An option for sensitive skin, this hydrating sunscreen includes oat proteins to soothe and protect, while broad-spectrum SPF 30 helps keep you safe from the sun. Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30, $16,

2. This super-lightweight formula is a great option for those who prefer a nongreasy, fast-absorbing lotion that feels great on the skin. Garnier Ombrelle Complete Lightweight Lotion SPF 60, $18,

3. The Duo Defence in this product’s name refers to its ability to protect skin from both the sun (with SPF 50) and environmental stressors (with pollution-fighting green tea extract). Hawaiian Tropic Duo Defence Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+, $13,

4. This sunscreen’s whipped texture feels super hydrating, while the spray nozzle makes it easy to apply. Coppertone Whipped ClearlySheer SPF 50, $10,


Get Physical

Mineral sunscreens use a physical blocker, usually zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which creates a barrier on the skin and deflects UV rays. Mineral sunscreens are great for sensitive skin, as zinc oxide can be incredibly soothing.


Physical Sunscreens

1. This mineral sunscreen offers hydration via nourishing shea butter. Rocky Mountain Soap Co. Natural Sunscreen SPF 31, $23,

2. The sweat- and water-resistant formula in this choice has a citrusy scent (thanks to orange water). Coola Mineral Sport SPF 30 Citrus Mimosa Moisturizer, $48,

3. This continuous-spray sunscreen is dispensed using pressurized air, instead of a petroleum-based propellant. Live Clean Sport Mineral Sunscreen Spray SPF 30, $22,

4. Zinc oxide offers sun protection in this pick, formulated to reduce its environmental impact. Attitude 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30, $25,


Save Face

When it comes to buying a sunscreen for your face, it’s all about finding a nongreasy formula that absorbs quickly.


Sunscreen For Your Face

1. Make sure your lips are covered with SPF, without a chalky cast, by selecting a protective lippie that delivers sheer summer colour. Shiseido UV Lip Color Splash Broad Spectrum SPF 30, $30,

2. This nongreasy, mattifying pick is great for those with oily or acne-prone skin. Vichy Idéal Soleil Anti-Shine Dry Touch Lotion SPF 60, $29,

3. This sunscreen is loaded with antioxidants and leaves your skin with a glow and a hint of tint. Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte Physical Daily Defense SPF 30, $44,

4. Getting sunscreen in your eyes can sting, so opt for a formula that won’t migrate and is specially designed for the sensitive eye area. SkinCeuticals Physical Eye UV Defense SPF 50, $38,



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The best sunscreen for every skin type, budget and preference