14 Best Sunscreens, According to Testing

Essentials Face + Body Sunscreen SPF 50The truth about sunscreen is that wearing it every single day, rain or shine, is the single most important thing you can do to keep your skin youthful and healthy long-term.

That’s because harmful UV rays can easily penetrate windows and clouds all year long, which means your skin can be damaged even in the middle of the winter through your car’s windshield, through the windows at the gym, at work and even on an airplane. In addition to skin cancer, UV exposure causes about 80% of visible signs of skin aging, a study found.

Dermatologists agree that the most effective sunscreen is one you like to use and are committed to applying every day. The key to finding one you love is identifying the right formula for your skin type and needs. That’s why the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab is constantly testing body and face sunscreens and regularly consulting top dermatologists to find the best you can buy to keep your skin protected all year long.

Rodan + Fields Essentials Face + Body Sunscreen SPF 50

This Rodan + Fields SPF for both body and face was the winner of the GH Beauty Lab’s most recent body sunscreen test. Although it has a higher-than-average price, it excelled across the board for its featherlight “silky” texture and sheer finish that didn’t leave a white residue even on deeper-toned skin.

In GH Beauty Lab evaluations, an impressive 100% of users agreed that it was easy to apply, got absorbed well and didn’t leave a white cast on skin, feel greasy or sticky or stain fabrics. It is also water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. “I loved everything about this” and “I found the protection first-rate,” two testers raved. Several said they would purchase it.

Skin Defense Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50Hawaiian Tropic Skin Defense Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50

The Hawaiian Tropic drugstore bargain SPF rated highly for many attributes in GH Beauty Lab evaluations, earning perfect scores for not drying or irritating skin. It ranked high for easily absorbing, not feeling tacky or oily on skin, having a pleasant aroma and rinsing off effortlessly. The formula also came out near the top for effective sun protection and not leaving white residue on skin.

In addition, its “beachy” scent was a total crowd-pleaser, even with testers who tend to be especially critical about fragrance. “It worked perfectly,” a tester marveled, though two did note that they thought the consistency was runny.