Top Sunscreens for Work, Travel, and Play

In my a past life, I worked for a dermatologist, so I’m used to hearing about scary skincare related statistics.  Like this one for example: The American Academy of Dermatology currently estimates that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.  However, UV light is the most preventable risk factor for all skin cancers, meaning that sunscreen is easily the best way to be sun safe.  As I write this, we have 43 days left until Summer, so sunshine is inevitable (I’m not complaining). The AAD recommends that you stick to a sunscreen at least 30 SPF or higher.  Before you complain that sunscreen is greasy, makes for poor makeup application, or causes breakouts, I’m here to provide you with my very favorite, tried and true sunscreens, that lack all of these major sunscreen downfalls.   


Best Sunscreens for Work:

(You won’t be doing a ton of sweating, and will likely only be exposed to sun through windows.)

This sunscreen by Peter Thomas Roth can be reapplied over makeup without ruining your makeup application.  It comes with a retractable brush that stores cleanly away so you can pop it back into your bag when you’re done.  I’ve never had a problem with breakouts with this sunscreen, and it is hands-down my favorite sunscreen I’ve ever owned!

This sunscreen that is fantastic for reapplying throughout the day without messing up carefully applied makeup.  I like Supergoop! because it is a company that focuses on limiting bad ingredients in their formulas, and packing them with healthy skin antioxidants.

This sunscreen has a slight matte tint, so you could wear it in place of foundation or underneath powder.  We like that it is preservative free and water resistant. It also lacks nanoparticles, which may cause harm (like production of free radicals, which can damage DNA and lead to disease).  Read up more on that here.


Best Sunscreen for Travel:

(You are going to be exploring, laying in the sun, or exposed to more intense UV rays closer to the equator.)

Free of chemicals, this sunscreen relies on Zinc Oxide (fantastic for sensitive or break-out prone skin) as it’s main active ingredient.  Best of all, this sunscreen only has 5 ingredients, making it a safe choice for you and the environment.

This sunscreen is vegan and cruelty free, comes in an easy air-powered spray formula, and is quick-drying.  It also lacks any kind of fragrance, which is great for those that hate smelling like a great big coconut while wearing sunscreen.

Easily fitting into your carry-on bag, this brush-on sunscreen is convenient and provides coverage that can be reapplied over makeup.  It’s great for applying right before a long drive or plane flight, as well. This powder sunscreen is slightly more expensive than the Peter Thomas Roth version listed above, but it also has a better quality brush that does not shed upon application.  


Sunscreens for Play:  

(You’re going to be doing an active activity that will involve sweat or water.  Keep in mind, waterproof sunscreens are never fool-proof. All require reapplication if you’re going to be in the sun for longer than a few hours.)

 This sunscreen is vegan, non-nano, and coral reef friendly, lasting in water for 80 minutes.  It’s also formulated with organic green tea, rose hips, and buriti oil for repairing damaged skin.  It won’t leave a white cast if you apply it to moisturized skin.

This sunscreen also has 80 minutes of water resistance, and is reef-safe.  It is not a traditional aerosol spray, and requires a bit of rub-on, but we think that the small effort is worth avoiding chemical sunscreens.  Goddess Garden products are also great for people with skin allergies or acne prone skin!

This sunscreen has been recommended to me by countless dermatologists. It’s waterproof, and perfect for those with acne or rosacea.  The facial version of this sunscreen can even be used after microdermabrasion or chemical peels!


The sun really does age skin prematurely!  Take advantage of sunless tanners if you must achieve a bronzy glow.  We recommend the following self-tanners:

If you have any sun care recommendations that we left out, let us know in the comments below!