As someone who falls into the fair-to-light skin tone category, I have tried plenty of sunscreens over the last few decades. This post goes into all my favorite sunscreens for face, body, hair, and the products I use to get my sunscreen off at the end of the day.
It’s wild to see how far sunscreens have come from the days of my childhood, wearing those thick white creams! My preferred texture for sunscreens is lightweight, with a dry-touch finish, aka: feels like nothing.
The best part: all of these sunscreens are affordable and even the priciest option (at $37) still costs less than my co-pay for a single dermatologist’s appointment.
One last note, I also included my favorite face and body washes that get rid of every bit of sunscreen at the end of the day. These leave my skin soft and clean, without any oily feel.
Here are my favorite sunscreens that I’ve found have really protected my skin, have a lightweight texture, and have been gentle on my sensitive skin.
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Best Sunscreens For:
1 | Body La Roche-Posay Cooling Water-Lotion Sunscreen
2 | Dual use for body and face Kumano Cosme Reihaku Hatomugi UV Milky Gel
3 | Face sunscreen: matte Missha Essence Sun Milk
4 | Face sunscreen: with glow Canmake Mermaid Skin Gel UV
5 | Hair Part + Scalp protection Derma-E Sun Protection Mineral Powder
6 | End of day sunscreen removal Bioderma Oil Cleanser
(my affiliate links – thank you for using!)
1 | La Roche-Posay Cooling Water-Lotion Sunscreen
Broad Spectrum | SPF 60
5 oz | $37
Best for: daily wear + local travel (beach, car trips, etc).
This is the only body sunscreen that I have purchased multiple times. I have bought at least 7 bottles now and two separate bottles for my parents.
I keep a bottle in the car (the Southern California sun can really get to you while driving) and another in the apartment.
This sunscreen protects skin to the utmost degree. I feel like I can trust it when I am applying, because I have not gotten a single burn with it (knock on wood).
The texture really does transform from a light serum to a water-like feel once it hits my skin. It’s super lightweight and not sticky at all. It’s just a true gem of a product!
The flip top packaging is secure and is easy to carry with me to the beach. I do wish they’d make a TSA travel size, it’s truly the best sunscreen to bring anywhere!
Update: I bought the closest version I could find when we got to Switzerland for our honeymoon, pictured above. It was La Roche Posay’s gel version, with SPF 50.
I slathered it on one more morning before taking off for a hike that day and somehow in my rush, covered my arms and back, but forgot to apply to the tops of my shoulders and chest.
You can see in the photo below, that my arms look normal and the areas where I forgot sunscreen are bright red.
I feel like a complete knucklehead for rushing and missing these areas, but I am happy that at least I can show how great this sunblock’s protection really is on the areas it did cover.
This brand’s sun protection truly works. You can’t even tell I was in the sun when you look at my arms, where I used sunscreen.
shop La Roche-Posay Water Sunscreen | amazon (authentic retailer) . dermstore . La Roche Posay official . ulta beauty
2 | Kumano Cosme Reihaku Hatomugi UV Milky Gel
PA+++ (Japan’s Broad Spectrum rating system) | SPF 31
8.5 oz | $17
Best for: convenient pump + dual use for body and face.
This is a generously sized Japanese sunscreen. The largest bottle contains 8.5 oz and has a pump. They do make a smaller size version with a flip top, for travel or bringing to the beach.
Japanese and Korean sunscreens are know for their extreme effectiveness and remarkably affordable price points. This Kumano Cosme sunscreen quickly became a favorite for both of these reasons.
I keep one of these on my bathroom vanity and the pump makes it so convenient to slather on some sunblock before running a quick errand. This pump bottle would be great to keep by a home pool in summer or by the door, so remember to put sunscreen on before leaving the house.
I use this primarily on my body, but I also use this on my face! It has a very lightweight gel texture, that absorbs quickly into the skin. The scent is very light and fresh.
The sunscreen is incredible, it really protects me from burns or redness, even at “only” SPF 31.
This is a sunscreen I will be repurchasing for years, I am already on my second large bottle!
shop Hatomugi UV Milky Gel | YesStyle (authentic Japanese + kbeauty) . stylevana
PA+++ | SPF 50
1.67 oz – 2.37 oz | $10 – $14
Best for: daily wear.
This was my first Korean face sunscreen I tried and the one that hooked me! The formula is light, never clogs my pores or causes breakouts and it wears easily under makeup.
It’s also an amazing value for the size! I will 100% repurchase when I run out of this bottle.
shop Missha Essence Sun Milk | amazon . YesStyle . stylevana
2 | Canmake Mermaid Skin Gel UV
PA+++ | SPF 50
1.41 oz | $11
Best for: light glow.
This is another lightweight facial sunscreen, with great sun protection.
This one from Canmake has a bit of sheen that gives your skin an amazing light, lit-from-within glow.
When I wear this sunscreen, my skin looks super healthy and slightly dewy. It gives skin a really nice, fresh look.
It has rave reviews on every platform and once you try it, they make sense.
Canmake’s sunscreen has a very light, pleasant scent.
shop Canmake Mermaid Skin Gel UV | amazon . YesStyle . stylevana
3 | Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence
PA++++ | SPF 50+
1.76 oz | $15
Best for: ultra lightweight finish.
This is an incredibly lightweight sunscreen! If you like the feeling of nothing on your skin, this is a great pick.
Out of all the face sunscreens, I can definitely smell the alcohol (needed to make sunscreen “weightless” and not tacky) the most when I first apply this. The smell does dissipate quickly, but it’s something to note if you are sensitive to scents.
To counter the drying effects of any alcohols in sunscreens, I recommend wearing them over your moisturizer, instead of applying them before moisturizer. This has helped me, having sensitive skin.
Once again, I can’t figure out how the get the formula to feel so light. It feels like nothing is on your skin, but protects my skin so much.
shop Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence | amazon (2 pack) . stylevana
4 | Hera Sun Mate Leports Pro Waterproof
PA++++ | SPF 50+
2.36 oz | $39
Best for: athletes and hot weather.
I tried this one from an Instagram recommendation and really like it! It is a slightly pricier option compared to the other sunscreens I like, however the quality is beautiful.
The packaging is really heavy duty and definitely seems like it will hold up to summer traveling.
This has a dry-touch finish, which is really nice! It also has a light floral scent.
The sunscreen protection is PA++++, which is the highest level of sun protection that you can get according to the Korean and Japanese system for rating sun protection, which is comparable to our Broad Spectrum rating in the USA.
It’s a great pick for athletes (it’s waterproof) and anything who really works up a sweat in the hotter months!
shop Hera Sun Mate Leports Pro Waterproof | amazon . stylevana
5 | Derma-E Sun Protection Mineral Powder
Broad Spectrum | SPF 30
.14 oz | $22
Best for: “setting” sunscreen + topping off throughout the day.
I LOVE bringing these Derma-E powders with me to the beach and pool!
They are great for “setting” my liquid sunscreens before I leave the house. Then I bring them with my to touch up my nose, chin, tops of ears, behind my ears, chest etc throughout the day.
I feel like layering this powder over my other sunscreens on pool days really helps prevent burns.
This powder is also great to tap into your hair part and your hairline along the sides of your face.
shop Derma-E Sun Protection Mineral Powder | amazon . ulta beauty
1 | DHC Deep Cleansing Oil (face)
If you’ve been reading the blog for awhile, you know this is my Holy Grail makeup remover. It also dissolves sunscreens for a totally clean face.
I do like to follow up with a two-step cleanser if I wore makeup that day. If I have only worn skincare and sunscreen, the oil works beautifully on it’s own and leaves my face feeling so fresh.
2 | Bioderma Oil Cleanser (body)
Similar to the DHC, this is another oil cleanser. This one is geared towards body.
First, the bottle is absolutely giant. One bottle lasts me over a year with twice daily use.
Second, it gets off every bit of sunscreen, sweat, sand, dirt (if I have been hiking) at the end of the day and leaves my skin so soft and clean. I’m convinced it’s the world’s most perfect body cleanser.
shop Bioderma | dermstore . amazon
(my affiliate links – thank you for using!)
Thank you for reading and being a part of the blog! – Molly
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