The 12 Best Body Sunscreens of 2023
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Sun Bum Original SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion provides superior broad-spectrum protection against UV rays.
The skin is the body’s largest organ, so it deserves all the protection we can give it. Sunscreen protects your skin not only against sunburn, but shields it from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays that cause premature aging and even skin cancer.
To find the best body sunscreens that will protect your skin from the sun’s damaging rays, we researched the best products on the market. We considered sun protection factor (SPF), ingredients, type (mineral or chemical), and method of application (lotion, spray, or stick). We also consulted Dr. Thomas Griffin, board-certified dermatologist at Dermatology Associates of Plymouth Meeting, and Dr. Heather D. Rogers, board-certified dermatologist and co-founder of Modern Dermatology in Seattle (and founder and CEO of Doctor Rogers Restore, a skin care company).
Griffin says that while it’s generally recommended to choose a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, ingredients are more important. “Mineral sunscreens that contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are the most effective complete spectrum blockage,” he says. “They will inherently have a higher SPF value because they block the complete UVA and UVB spectrum.”
Sun Bum Original SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion is our top pick because it provides that important broad-spectrum protection in a water-resistant formula that won’t clog pores. For a mineral sunscreen, we like the CeraVe Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 Body Lotion.
Sun Bum Original SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion
Best Overall Body Sunscreen
Who it’s for: People who want a waterproof, oil-free, and reef-friendly sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection.
Who it isn’t for: People who want a fragrance-free sunscreen or a mineral sunscreen.
The best body sunscreens shield from both UVA and UVB rays. Those that pull this important double-duty protection against sunburn and premature aging are known as broad-spectrum sunscreens, and Sun Bum’s water-resistant formula is the one that tops our list.
Approved by dermatologists as an oil-free sunscreen that won’t clog your pores or cause breakouts, this Sun Bum sunscreen is as good for everyday sun protection as it is for long days having fun in the sun. It’s water-resistant up to 80 minutes—that counts for sweating during a run or a game, not just swimming!—and it has an SPF of 50, which is one of the higher SPFs on our list. It also contains soothing vitamin E that leaves skin feeling moisturized as it protects.
But even though it’s working hard to shield your skin from damaging sun rays, it’s also good for the environment. That’s because it’s Hawaii Act 104 Reef Compliant, meaning it’s free of oxybenzone and octinoxate—two ingredients often found in sunscreens which have now been banned in Hawaii due to their impact on coral reefs. Not going anywhere on vacation anytime soon? Live vicariously through the pleasant scent that gives major summer vacation vibes. Plus, the Sun Bum Original comes as a good value for the excellent protection it provides.
Price at time of publish: From $11
Key Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, vitamin E
Size: 3 and 8 ounces
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen with SPF 55
Best Drugstore Body Sunscreen
Who it’s for: People who want an easy-to-apply daily sunscreen with a dry finish.
Who it isn’t for: People who want sunscreen that provides a glow.
Some sunscreens make your skin feel like an oil slick, while some cast your complexion in a ghostly white sheen. Neutrogena manages to do its job without resulting in either.
The Ultra Sheer formula uses the brand's proprietary Helioplex formulation for broad-spectrum SPF 50 protection, but it is indeed light enough to absorb quickly. It also applies smoothly, leaving your skin soft and dry to the touch. Because it’s not heavy, it’s perfect for wearing every day, but it’s strong enough for when you’re on the beach, at the pool, or enjoying other outdoor activities.
This lightweight formula, which you can use it on both your face and your body, doesn’t clog pores either. On top of all this, it’s a budget-friendly option that can be found at most drugstores.
Price at time of publish: $8
Key Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene
Size: 3 ounces
Badger SPF 40 Sport Mineral Sunscreen Cream
Best Reef-Safe Body Sunscreen
Who it’s for: People who want a reef-safe mineral sunscreen made with mostly organic ingredients.
Who it isn’t for: People who want a sunscreen that is widely available at drugstores or supermarkets.
We normally discuss sunscreen in terms of protecting our skin, but what about the environment? There are some chemical ingredients used in sunscreen that are banned in certain regions of the world for the damage they cause to coral reefs when they dissolve into the water as you swim. If you’re heading out on a tropical vacation, be sure to pack a tube or two of this mineral-based sunscreen from Badger (look for the image of the colorful fish as your reminder!).
This water-resistant (up to 80 minutes) sunscreen is the first one to earn Protect Land + Sea certification by the Heretics Environmental Laboratory. This credit confirms that none of its ingredients will pose harm to coral reefs or sea turtles and other creatures that swim and float among them. Aside from being friendly to ocean dwellers, it’s good for humans, too. It’s made from 98 percent organic ingredients like zinc oxide, beeswax, sunflower oil, and nourishing vitamin E. These ingredients safely combine to provide outstanding broad-spectrum protection. But though this Badger sunscreen works hard, it’s gentle on all skin types, including sensitive skin.
Price at time of publish: $15
Key Ingredients: Zinc oxide, organic sunflower oil, organic beeswax, vitamin E
Size: 2.9 ounces
CeraVe Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 Body Lotion
Best Mineral Body Sunscreen
Who it’s for: People who prefer not to use chemical sunscreens.
Who it isn’t for: People who don’t like the white cast left by mineral sunscreen, and people who want a water-resistant sunscreen.
If you’d prefer to avoid chemical-based products, this 100 percent mineral sunscreen from CeraVe more than earns its spot on our best body sunscreens list. It’s made from zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, along with the three major ceramides—1, 3, and 6-II—that are used to create all CeraVe products. What does that mean for your skin? Every time you use it, not only are you protecting your skin from sun damage, but you’re also sustaining your skin’s natural barrier. Need further convincing? It’s been recommended by the National Eczema Association and the Skin Cancer Foundation for its excellent broad-spectrum protection.
This dermatologist-developed sunscreen will leave a white cast on your skin if you coat it on too thickly, but don’t let that stop you from using it. Instead, apply it using thin, even layers and rub it in well. It’s free of any oils and fragrances, plus it won’t clog pores or irritate sensitive skin.
Price at time of publish: $18
Key Ingredients: Zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, ceramides
Size: 5 ounces
Coppertone Pure & Simple SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen
Best Body Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin
Who it’s for: People whose skin is easily irritated.
Who it isn’t for: People who like scented sunscreen.
Coppertone is a brand that’s synonymous with sun protection, and its mineral-based Pure & Simple formula lives up to its name. It’s made from zinc oxide to provide broad-spectrum protection against harmful UVA and UVB rays. It’s pure and simple because it leaves out all the stuff that gives sunscreen a bad name, like oxybenzone, octinoxate, parabens, dyes, and phthalates. It’s even fragrance-free, so it won’t irritate those who are sensitive to fragrance. Plus, it's water-resistant for up to 80 minutes.
This sunscreen absorbs easily and can be used on both your body and face. It has a tear-free formulation, so you won’t have to worry about it irritating your eyes. Coppertone makes it easy to protect yourself from the sun with just one product, though this formula does come in a version just for the face, as well as a convenient spray option, which is great for reapplying your sunscreen on the go.
Price at time of publish: $11
Key Ingredients: Zinc oxide, tea leaf extract, sea kelp extract, lotus extract
Size: 6 ounces
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-In Milk Sunscreen SPF 60
Best Body Sunscreen for Acne
Who it’s for: People with body acne who want a non-comedogenic sunscreen that won't clog pores.
Who it isn’t for: People who prefer to use separate sunscreens for face and body
Some sunscreens are too heavy and leave skin feeling greasy, which is bad news if you’ve got acne-prone skin. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-In Milk has been tested by dermatologists and found to be good for all skin types. The paraben-free formula won’t trigger allergies or skin sensitivity, and it’s non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog pores and cause breakouts.
The “Melt-In” name is apt; it’s formulated to absorb quickly, leaving skin feeling smooth. But just because you can’t feel it on your skin doesn’t mean it’s not hard at work. It has a high SPF to shield against damaging UVA and UVB rays, and contains antioxidants to nourish your skin. And if you’re all about convenience (or maybe you’re still working to establish better habits with applying sunscreen), it helps to have a convenient product that’s good for both your face and your body, like this one.
Price at time of publish: $25
Key Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, vitamin E, glycerin, dimethicone
Size: 3 and 5 ounces
Aveeno Protect + Hydrate Sunscreen Body Lotion SPF 60
Best Body Sunscreen for Dry Skin
Who it’s for: People who want sunscreen that provides extra hydration and people who want to dispense sunscreen from a pump, much like lotion.
Who it isn’t for: People who want sunscreen that's easy to take on the go.
Aveeno is a go-to skincare brand, so it’s no surprise its sunscreen is just as nourishing and hydrating for the skin as its famous lotions. This is the largest-size bottle you’ll find on our list, but we love the pump that dispenses the sunscreen much like regular lotion. You’ll want to slather on this lightweight formula every day to keep skin hydrated, but you’ll also get broad-spectrum protection with SPF 60 to combat skin-aging free radicals.
This hypoallergenic sunscreen is made with prebiotic oats that make your skin feel soft and nourished. It’s free of dyes, parabens, phthalates, and oxybenzone. It’s also oil-free, so it won’t feel greasy or heavy on your skin no matter how much you reapply (and you should, at least every two hours). It’s also water- and sweat-resistant so you can apply before any outdoor activity and have up to 80 minutes of protection before reapplying.
The pump makes it super convenient to dispense and apply. Considering this is the largest bottle on our list, the price is rather reasonable. This formula does come in a smaller squeeze bottle for portability, but we love that the larger size can stay in your bathroom or on a dresser for easy access.
Price at time of publish: $27
Key Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, prebiotic oat
Size: 12 ounces
Black Girl Sunscreen SPF 30
Best Body Sunscreen for Dark Skin
Who it’s for: People with dark skin who want a product that won't leave a white cast.
Who it isn’t for: People who want an oil-free formula.
It’s a common sunscreen myth that individuals with darker skin don’t need to worry as much about sun damage. Black Girl Sunscreen is “made by women of color for people of color” to provide nourishing protection against the sun. It’s water- and sweat-resistant for up to 80 minutes, and you can apply it to both your face and body, so it’s a convenient all-in-one product. This SPF 30 broad-spectrum sunscreen is lightweight and goes on ultra sheer without leaving a white cast on dark skin, as some sunscreens can.
Black Girl Sunscreen is made from several natural ingredients that nourish the skin. It has avocado with vitamin E and antioxidants to moisturize, soothe sunburns, and reduce signs of aging. A jolt of jojoba hydrates and moisturizes the skin without causing breakouts, while cacao works to even out your skin for a smooth complexion. It’s also got vitamin C-loaded carrot juice to soothe and heal acne-prone skin, and it can even elevate melanin levels. Then there’s sunflower oil, which relieves skin from itchiness and irritation, plus reduces inflammation. Despite all this good stuff, this body sunscreen feels lightweight and is fragrance-free, so you’ll really won’t know you have it on—so be sure to remember when it’s time to reapply.
Price at time of publish: $16
Key Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, avocado, jojoba, cacao, carrot juice, sunflower oil
Size: 3 ounces
Supergoop! Glowscreen Body SPF 40 PA+++
Best Tinted Body Sunscreen
Who it’s for: People who want a subtle glow with their SPF protection.
Who it isn’t for: People looking for a tinted sunscreen that comes in different tints.
We love it when products do double duty. This vegan and cruelty-free body sunscreen from Supergoop! gives your skin a subtle shimmer as you smooth it on. But it isn’t just about looks (although who doesn’t love glowing skin?)—it’s about sun protection, of course. This SPF 40 sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection comes in a light cream formulation that’s good for all types of skin, and it will revive dry and dull complexions, too.
Glowscreen from Supergoop! is made with minerals that reflect the light for that hint of shimmer, plus it’s got loads of rich emollients to nourish and brighten the skin. The main ingredients are white stargrass, which brightens the skin and guards against oxidative stress, and coconut alkanes, which smooth and hydrate. This body sunscreen absorbs fast and stands up to water and sweat, so it’s perfect to use every day.
Price at time of publish: $42
Key Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, white stargrass, coconut alkanes
Size: 3.4 ounces
Thinksport SPF 50+ Mineral Sunscreen
Best Sport Body Sunscreen
Who it’s for: Swimmers or people who frequently exercise outdoors.
Who it isn’t for: People who want a spray sunscreen.
This unscented cream is hydrating but it also absorbs fast, so it’s easy to apply (and reapply) without making your skin feel slick or sticky. It’s made with a zinc oxide formula that leaves out BPA, parabens, phthalates, oxybenzone, avobenzone, petroleum, and more. The formula is also cruelty-free, biodegradable, and coral reef-friendly, too.
You can apply it all over your body, including your face, so it’s even easier to keep your skin protected from the sun. If you’re hitting the water, you’ll want to pack this with your towel because it provides the highest level of water resistance (up to 80 minutes).
Price at time of publish: From $12
Key Ingredients: Zinc oxide
Size: 3 and 6 ounces
Sun Bum Original Sunscreen Spray SPF 30
Best Spray Body Sunscreen
Who it’s for: People who prefer the convenience of a spray formula for frequent applications.
Who it isn’t for: People with very dry skin who want an even more moisturizing spray sunscreen.
Spray sunscreen makes it super easy to protect your skin when you’re on the go without having to worry about rubbing in thick, heavy creams that take a long time to absorb. That doesn’t mean this Sun Bum spray sunscreen is drying, though. This dermatologist-approved formula has plenty of vitamin E to keep your skin moisturized. But it’s also oil-free, so it won’t clog up your pores, so you can prevent dull skin and breakouts as you prevent sun damage.
Just be careful when you apply to ensure that you are providing full coverage for your skin. Dr. Griffin does note that spray sunscreens are a better choice for easy reapplication rather than initial application. Good news: The Sun Bum bottle is designed with continuous spray action for easier application. It comes in SPF 15, 30, 50, and 70, so you can easily choose your preferred level of SPF protection. This broad-spectrum formula provides a strong defense against both UVA and UVB rays, and is also water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. This formula is hypoallergenic and also free of oxybenzone, octinoxate, gluten, and parabens. It’s also cruelty-free and reef-friendly.
Price at time of publish: $17
Key Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, vitamin E
SPF: 15, 30, 50, and 70
Size: 6 ounces
Neutrogena Beach Defense Water + Sun Protection Sunscreen Stick
Best Stick Body Sunscreen
Who it’s for: People who want an easy-to-apply sunscreen they can toss in their bag without worry.
Who it isn’t for: People who want a sunscreen for whole-body application.
Neutrogena is an affordable skin care brand often recommended by dermatologists, so it makes sense it would also have a line of go-to sun protection products. Neutrogena Beach Defense comes in stick form (it also comes in spray and lotion) and can be used on both your body and your face, so you don’t have to worry about applying two separate products before heading outdoors.
The stick formulation makes it easy to glide over your skin, so you don’t have to worry about getting sunscreen in your eye—there’s nothing to rub in. Sure, it might feel like you’re slicking on deodorant at times, but at least you’ll never need to worry about it exploding in your bag and making a mess.
While this stick sunscreen does feel lightweight when you apply it, it’s formulated with the brand's Helioplex formula, a heavy-duty sun protection technology that offers strong broad-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays. It’s water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, so you can hit the water or a sweaty outdoor HIIT session and your sun protection will stay in place.
Price at time of publish: $11
Key Ingredients: Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene
Size: 1.5 ounces
The Sun Bum Original SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion topped our list for its superior broad-spectrum protection that’s packed into a lotion that feels smooth and lightweight when you apply it. We also love that it’s reef-friendly, meaning that it’s free of ingredients that put coral reefs and other sea creatures in peril. If you’re looking for a mineral-based body sunscreen, we like the CeraVe Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 Body Lotion, which serves up such effective protection against UVA and UVB rays that it’s received approval from both the National Eczema Association and the Skin Cancer Foundation.
How to Shop for Body Sunscreens Like a Pro
Body sunscreens come in a variety of types based on application method, including lotions, sprays, and sticks. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Heather D. Rogers says that most people usually do just fine when it comes to the first application of sunscreen, but then they get distracted and forget about reapplication. “What is most important is using whatever you will reapply,” she says.
Note that while spray sunscreens are indeed convenient to apply, it can be difficult to determine proper coverage, so take care when using them. In fact, it might be better to hold off on the sprays until it’s time to reapply, says Dr. Thomas Griffin, a board-certified dermatologist. “In a pinch, as a quick reapplication in certain times sprays can be used, but they should not be the primary mechanism for sunscreen,” he explains.
Mineral vs. Chemical
If you’re wondering whether to choose a mineral or chemical body sunscreen, Rogers says, “it’s important to know that any sunscreen is better than no sunscreen.” But if you are concerned about your body’s absorption of chemical ingredients like oxybenzone, choose a mineral sunscreen containing zinc and titanium. Zinc-based products especially are soothing for those with sensitive skin and are less likely to cause allergic reactions, says Rogers.
Rogers says it’s important to note that there is no waterproof sunscreen, just water-resistant. She says sunscreen is typically tested to be water-resistant for up to 40 or up to 80 minutes. It will likely say it right on the bottle, so take note and whether you are swimming or sweating, make it a point to towel off accordingly and reapply.
SPF and Broad-Spectrum Protection
It’s important to consider your sunscreen’s SPF or sun protection factor, but broad-spectrum protection is even better, says Rogers. “SPF is only in relation to UVB rays,” which are the ones that cause sunburns, she explains. Broad-spectrum protection refers to protection from both UVB and UVA rays.
“UVA is a longer wavelength that penetrates deeper into the skin and plays a role in wrinkles and brown spots,” Rogers explains. “Therefore, your sunscreen needs to be at least an SPF 30, but equally important, [sunscreen] needs to have broad-spectrum protection to protect you from both UVB and UVA rays.”
Choosing a sunscreen with a higher SPF is also better, but you’ve got to be diligent with reapplication. “An SPF of 50 means you can stay in the sun 50 times longer than you could without it before burning,” Rogers explains. “But it does not take into account that sunscreen starts to break down as soon as it is applied to the skin.” She says no matter what level of SPF you’re using, you still need to reapply every two hours.
Questions You Might Ask
Can you use face sunscreen on your body and vice versa?
You can use a face sunscreen on the body, but be careful about using a body sunscreen on your face, says Griffin. “Facial sunscreens are less greasy, are formulated to be less pore clogging, and are generally a bit more gentle,” he explains. “The one caveat to this is that facial sunscreens generally come in smaller tubes, so you will need much more of it to sufficiently cover the skin.”
What SPF should body sunscreen be?
It’s generally recommended that you apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. SPF only refers to sunburn-causing UVB rays, though. If you want to fully protect your skin while outdoors, choose a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection against both UVB and UVA rays.
How many times should you reapply body sunscreen during the day?
Both Griffin and Rogers agree that reapplying sunscreen every two hours is a good rule of thumb. However, it does depend on your activity. If you’re using a water-resistant sunscreen for swimming or working out outdoors, those are usually marked in terms of how many minutes of water/sweat resistance they provide (usually 40 to 80), so be sure to dry off and reapply accordingly.
Take Our Word for It
This article was written by Barbara Bellesi Zito, a freelance lifestyle writer based in Staten Island, New York. To compile this list of best body sunscreens, she researched products from top brands while considering ingredients and features like SPF and broad-spectrum protection, water resistance, and method of application. For expert advice on what consumers should know when purchasing body sunscreens, she consulted Dr. Thomas Griffin, board-certified dermatologist at Dermatology Associates of Plymouth Meeting and Dr. Heather D. Rogers, board-certified dermatologist and co-founder of Modern Dermatology in Seattle (and founder and CEO of Doctor Rogers Restore, a skin care company).
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