The Best Physical Sunscreens to Add to Your Pre-Wedding Beauty Regimen
Protect your skin with one of these exceptional formulas.
You probably know that one of the best things you can do for your skin is to wear sunscreen every single day. (And if you didn't already know that, now you do.) But it's not just about wearing any old sunscreen—you should be choosing the right type for your skin. Right now we're loving physical blocks as opposed to chemical blocks. What's the difference? Instead of neutralizing UV rays once they hit your skin, like chemical barriers do, they act as a shield from the sun, bouncing rays off of it so they aren't able to penetrate at all. At the same time, they also help to keep free radicals off your skin, which can cause premature aging.
It's important to note, though, that not all sunscreens are created equal. The first step in finding one that's reliable? Start by looking for the words "broad-spectrum" on the label. "These sunscreens protect against both UVA rays, which cause premature aging; and UVB rays, which cause burns and can lead to cancer," explains Deborah Sarnoff, a New York City dermatologist and president of the Skin Cancer Foundation. Next, pay attention to the SPF number. Doctors recommend wearing at least SPF 30 at all times.
In addition to choosing a base SPF, it's also smart to layer on another line of defense—makeup with sunscreen—since most people don't lather on enough the first time around. As for how much to use? The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends about nickel-size dollop on the face and a full ounce (the amount that would fill a shot glass!) all over your body.
The only drawback to these types of sunblocks: Physical sunscreens have a reputation for being thicker and less, shall we say, wearable, under makeup. So, we put a few to the test and found the ones that work well and feel great. We might even go as far to say that you'll enjoy wearing some of these each day. Here, a list of physical sunscreens you should consider adding to your daily beauty routine.
Although this is a completely physical block, it doesn't have any of the goopy, greasy texture that historically goes along with it—it's great for daily use and trips to the beach!
Beautycounter "Countersun" Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30, $39, beautycounter.com
Don't forget about the top of your head—it can get a sunburn, too! This powder spray blends in easily and adds UV protection while also eradicating oily roots and adding volume.
Supergoop! Poof 100% Mineral Part and Scalp Powder SPF 45, $34, sephora.com
This mineral sunscreen is formulated to not only protect against the damaging effects of the sun, but also the ultraviolet light that comes from your computers and iPhones. Yep, that harms your skin, too.
Coola Mineral Sun Silk Crème SPF 30, $42, sephora.com
This tinted moisturizer and sunscreen combo contains antioxidants to add to the health of your skin, fighting the aging effects of free radicals.
Drunk Elephant "Umbra" Tinte Physical Daily Defense Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30, $36, sephora.com
This one has been a dermatologist favorite for a number of years, and it's still going strong. It won't make you break out, and it contains niacinamide to help even your skin tone and reduce redness.
Elta MD UV Clear, $35, dermstore.com
Neutrogena's zinc sunblock isn't goopy or greasy at all—like the name suggests, it's dry to the touch and is also sweat and water resistant for up to 80 minutes.
Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Dry-Touch Sunscreen, $10.39, neutrogena.com
MD Solar Sciences
This contains just about everything you need for healthy skin: SPF 50 and a plethora of skin-loving ingredients like green tea, pomegranate extract, and cranberry extract to improve skin tone and add radiance.
MD Solar Sciences Mineral Crème Broad Spectrum SPF 50, $30, sephora.com
This option is packed with organic ingredients, is safe for sensitive skin, and comes in a handy (and travel-friendly) stick form so you can just dab it on and rub it in, mess free.
Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sport Stick, $8.54, amazon.com
Whether you're surfing, swimming, playing tennis, or volleyball, this one's made to withstand an active outdoor lifestyle. We also like that the cap changes to blue when you're in the presence of harmful UV rays.
Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen Sport, $14.99, bluelizard.net
Ensure makeup holds fast with this super-fine mist, which delivers SPF 50 coverage with a matte finish.
Kate Somerville "UncompliKated" SPF Soft Focus Makeup Setting Spray, $38, katesomerville.com
Avoid that chalky cast on darker skin tones with this next-generation SPF. Use the liquid-gel formula as the last step in your daily skin-care routine (before makeup application).
Glossier "Invisible Shield" SPF 35, $25, glossier.com
Reactive types know to steer clear of common irritants like fragrance and harsh chemicals. This option shields skin with protective ceramides, niacinamide, and clear zinc oxide.
CeraVe Sunscreen Face Lotion SPF 30, $16, cerave.com
It smells good, it's natural, and it makes your skin glow. This sunblock can also act as a corrective part of your skincare regimen, since it contains active ingredients like resveratrol to prevent aging and sunflower oil to help soften skin.
Juice Beauty "Sport" SPF 30 Sunscreen, $16, dermstore.com
This suncreen from Clarins helps protect your skin not only from damaging UV rays, but also from the aging and dulling effects of pollution—and works wonderfully under makeup.
Clarins Anti-Pollution Sunscreen, $43, clarinsusa.com
In addition to being 100% effective, this sunscreen contains lots of omegas that help protect and promote strong, glowing skin, like rose hip oil, evening primrose, and flaxseed oil.
Coola "Matte Finish" Cucumber Sunscreen, $36, coolasuncare.com
Formulated with 100 percent zinc oxide, you may think this one would be super thick and white—but it's not the case. Perfect for every day wear, it feels really light on the skin and won't make your face super shiny.
Neutrogena "SheerZinc" Facial Sunscreen, $12.99, neutrogena.com