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Ask any dermatologist about their No. 1 rule of thumb when it comes to skin care, and they’ll tell you it is sunscreen — no debate needed. It doesn’t matter if it’s the dead of winter or the peak of summer, either: Wearing SPF daily is a non-negotiable deal.
“If you aren’t wearing sunscreen every day, you should be, and it’s an absolute must during the summer when the sun is even stronger,” says Joshua Zeichner, who serves as the director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mt. Sinai in New York City. “Stick to sunscreens with at least SPF 30 that are labeled with the term ‘broad-spectrum,’ as this means they protect you against both UVA and UVB rays,” he explains. Zeichner also adds that you should never forget to treat your ears, neck, hands, chest and hairline, all of which are spots that people have a tendency to skip.
Connecticut-based dermatologist Deanne Robinson stresses the importance of reapplying every two hours when you’re in the sun and immediately after you’ve been swimming or exposed to water. “The key to avoiding premature aging and skin cancer is prevention through proper sun protection,” she says.
Don’t have a holy grail sunscreen yet? No worries — we’ve got you covered with some of the best SPF options on the market, all of which just so happen to be available at Walmart. Keep scrolling to find 10 dermatologist-approved sunscreens that will keep your skin protected all summer long (and beyond).
If you’re someone who does your fair share of sports and physical activities, then founder of Smarter Skin Dermatology Sejal Shah says this broad-spectrum sunscreen is an excellent option because it’s water resistant for up to 80 minutes. “It protects the skin with naturally sourced zinc oxide and is free of parabens, phthalates, dyes, fragrance and oxybenzone and it won't clog pores,” she says. Shah also adds that it contains hydrating botanical ingredients like sea kept and lotus extract, both of which nourish and moisturize the skin.
Another recommendation from Shah, this sunscreen is one of her all-time favorite sunscreens for the face. “This broad-spectrum sunscreen is lightweight, absorbs quickly, and has a matte finish,” she says. “It even contains antioxidants to further protect the skin from free radicals.” It also comes in tinted formulations, too, which blend in seamlessly and never look chalky or cakey on the skin.
Shah highly recommends this SPF for anyone who has sensitive or easily reactive skin, as it’s ultra-gentle and doesn’t contain any unnecessary fragrances or chemical additives. “It’s a broad-spectrum sunscreen that provides protection with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, and it’s water-resistant for up to 40 minutes which is great,” she says. What’s more: It contains skin-loving ingredients like vitamin E and castor oil, both of which protect the skin from drying out in the sun.
Shari Marchbein raves about this two-in-one moisturizer and SPF from Pond’s, which features vitamin B3 to help further protect the skin from dark marks and discoloration caused by the sun. “In addition to sun protection, this one also contains a form of vitamin B known as niacinamide, which really helps with redness and hyperpigmentation,” she says. What’s more, not only does it feel featherlight and sink into the skin almost immediately, but it never leaves behind a white cast or gross greasy feel.
Another sunscreen Marchebin swears by is this classic spray SPF by Neutrogena, which is excellent for covering the whole body in mere minutes. It contains a sky-high broad-spectrum SPF, which means it’s even more powerful and lasts longer (though that’s not to say you shouldn’t reapply every two hours still). Even better: It absorbs within seconds and never, ever feels greasy or sticky on the skin.
“Stick sunscreens are ultra-portable, not messy, and easy to use,” says Zeichner, who highly recommends this SPF stick for anyone who’s constantly on the go or needs a quick way to touch-up throughout the day. “Turn it to the wide side for large surface areas like the cheeks or the narrow side for hard-to-reach areas like the bridge of the nose,” he explains, adding that its mineral formula is gentle enough to use even on the most sensitive skin. “While it is labeled for babies, it can be used by the entire family,” he says.
Infused with skin-brightening vitamin C and soothing lavender oil, this SPF spray does more than just protect your skin from the sun — it treats it too. Zeichner suggests it for anyone concerned with uneven skin or sensitivities to most sunscreens, as it’s incredibly gentle and contains a chock-full of skin-loving ingredients that nourish the skin while shielding it from sun damage. “The vitamin C neutralizes free radical damage, and it’s so easy to apply — simply spray until the skin glistens,” he advises. “If you don't see it on the skin, then it is likely not there.”
This coconut-scented SPF dry oil contains a nourishing blend of botanicals and aloe vera to hydrate and soothe the skin while protecting it. It also couldn’t be easier to apply and sinks into the skin super-quickly, despite being an oil formulation. Not only will your skin stay burn-free, but it’ll look radiant and moisturized for hours too — all thanks to the bevy of good-for-you ingredients, including coconut oil, mango extract and carrot fruit extract.