Hassle-free sunscreens for healthy, glowing skin
Our favourite SPFs that you’ll love
Sunscreen has come a long way from being the white slippery messes that left you looking like a zombie. Different formulations, permutations and combinations have created an influx of sunscreens in the market. Whether your skin’s oily enough for an American invasion or are dry as the Thar desert – there’s something for everyone.
Sunscreens can be confusing, especially if you don’t know what exactly you’re looking for. But brands have now started to bridge the gap between sun protection and skincare, creating products that offer a variety of benefits.
Dermatologist Dr. Kiran Sethi of Isya Aesthetics stresses the importance of using a broad-spectrum sunscreen (protecting against UVA and UVB rays) on a daily basis. She recommends we apply about 1-2 tablespoons to effectively protect our face and neck. “The stronger the barrier, the better the sun protection,” she says.
If you’re confused about ingredients, textures and beyond, we’ve put together some of our favourites to help you find an SPF that you’ll love.
COOLA Classic Sunscreen Unscented Moisturizer
COOLA is a California-based eco-conscious range of suncare founded by Chris Birchby. Their products are balanced between protection and nourishing and are also cruelty-free. Using up to 97% certified organic ingredients, COOLA’s range includes mineral sunscreens, SPF infused makeup setting sprays, lip balms, primers, moisturisers and BB creams. Good news is that they’ve recently started an India online store.
Our pick is the Classic Sunscreen Unscented Moisturizer with SPF 30 with broad-spectrum protection. The 2-1 product hydrates your skin while protecting it from sun damage. The unscented formula won’t be irritating for people with sensitised skin, though there is a scented version as well. The Evening Primrose and Linseed oils in this cream calm and hydrate stressed skin while the Acai oil, packed with antioxidants, has anti-ageing benefits.
Find more from their product range at their online shop.
Neutrogena UltraSheer Dry Touch
When in doubt, Neutrogena’s UltraSheer Dry Touch sunscreen always come through. This lightweight formula is non-greasy and spreads with ease. It’s a chemical sunscreen so there’s no white cast left behind. The broad-spectrum SPF 50 protects your skin while leaving it light as a feather.
This sunscreen finish is slightly matte which for people with severely dry skin might be a bit problematic. The oil-free formula is non-comedogenic and water-resistant so you don’t have to worry about sweaty summers leaving sunscreen streaks down your face.
You can buy it at most medical stores, Amazon and Nykaa.
The Body Shop Vitamin C Glow-Protect Lotion
Vitamin C derivatives are among the few active ingredients that work well in a morning routine. Its antioxidants are the first line of defence when it comes to the daily pollution and dust of our surroundings. Clarity, smoothness, brightness and overall skin health, vitamin C is pretty well tolerated by all skin types.
Combining vitamin C with a sunscreen is a genius idea and The Body Shop has done it well. The lotion is light but is better suited for people with dry skin as oily-combination types may find it getting a bit heavy. The moisturiser leaves your skin looking bright with radiance through the day.
You can purchase this at The Body Shop stores, on their website and on Nykaa.
Shiseido Multi-Defense UV Protector
Shiseido is among the stalwarts of the beauty industry and for good reason. They range of sun protection is among the favourites of millions around the world. The Multi Defence UV Protector is hydrating but super light and spreadable with minimal whiteness to it. The size makes it extremely travel-friendly – just pop it in your purse if you’re on the go.
With SPF 50 PA+++ the Japanese company has created a great formula giving your skin moisture but still drying down matte.
Pick it up at Shopper’s Stop.
Forest Essentials Everyday Sun Protection Fluid
Forest Essentials sun fluid with Tender Coconut Water, turmeric and basil leaf is the latest addition to our sunscreen collection. It’s feather-light consistency smoothly spreads across your face for an even glow. Its organic ingredients are infused with Yashada Bhasma (Zinc Oxide), one of the prest protective ingredients in the market.
The liquid sunscreen consists of liquorice which is an antioxidant suitable for sensitive skin. Hyaluronic acid hydrates from deep within and soothing aloe vera and haldi leave your skin fresh and clear.
It’s available for purchase on Forest Essential’s website and at their stores.
Innisfree Daily UV Protection Cream No Sebum
This product will become the holy grail of sunscreens if you have oily skin and are looking for a physical sunscreen. The oil-free and matte cream creates a gentle protective layer on your skin. It contains Sunflower oil and Jeju Green Tea extracts as well as Purslane and Centella Asiatica which are hero ingredients that soothe angry, red, sensitive skin.
This one’s free from animal ingredients, mineral oils, artificial colouring, tar dye and talc. Since it contains mineral filters it leaves a slight cast on your face but it’s also slightly tinted, making it workable under makeup.
You can buy it online at Amazon.
Clinique’s is a light fluid sunscreen that’s 100% mineral so it leaves behind a bit of a white cast. It sits comfortably on your face through the day without drying it out or making it super oily. The oil-free formula uses the two best sun protection ingredients, Zinc Oxide and Titanium dioxide that works very well for sensitive skin.
This product is also completely fragrance-free and a little bit goes a long way. It works well under makeup as a kind of primer. With SPF 50 it is good for your under-eye area as well.
Available to buy online at Nykaa and Sephora.
Kiehl’s Ultra Light Daily UV Defense Mineral Sunscreen
The Kiehl’s sunscreen has a watery texture. And just like water, it’ll glide across your face. It’s created using 100% mineral filters, making the lotion perfect for sensitive skin and anyone, really, looking for mineral sun protection. With SPF 50 and UVA and UVB protection as a broad-spectrum formula, Kiehl’s created a product that really delivers.
The lightly tinted lotion also has the antioxidant power of Vitamin E. It’s chemical and fragrance-free. As with all mineral sunscreens, moisturise well before SPF application.
You can purchase it from their stores and even online on their website.
Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence
‘Watery Essence’ is really an apt name for this product. It seeps into your skin like a dream. There’s no oiliness or stickiness, and if you’re on the oilier-skin side then this is the sunscreen for you. The Japanese company has really mastered the art of sun protection for daily use. It provides SPF 50 coverage and it’s so lightweight that you’ll even forget you’ve put on sunscreen.
This does, however, contain alcohol, so if your skin is highly sensitive then you should avoid this one. It’s waterproof and contains the much-loved Hyaluronic acid. Bioré hasn’t officially launched in the Indian subcontinent but their products are available at times online – though they quickly sell out.
You can spot this sunscreen on Amazon and Yesstyle. Keep an eye on the Customs charges, but considering how great this product is, it’ll be worth it.
Stylist: Divya Gursahani; Hair: Krisann Figueiredo; Makeup: Riddhima Sharma; Model: Ishit Yamini/Toabh.
On Ishit: Co-od set, Shruti Sancheti; Earrings, Minerali.