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Florida averages 237 days of sunshine a year—which means a good sunscreen is a must. We spoke to Sarasota dermatologists Dr. Elizabeth Callahan, Dr. Cathy Milam and Dr. David Sax to find the most hardworking 'screens out there—ones that stand up to our abundant sunshine.
All of the sunscreens listed here are free from harmful chemicals like oxybenzone (which has been banned in Hawaii for its negative environmental impact), parabens, sulfates or dyes.
Always start with an SPF of at least 30. Each dermatologist we spoke with recommends applying one shot-glass worth of sunscreen every two hours. And, Milam says, "always use a combination of other sun protection, like clothing, hats and sunglasses."
Photo Eryfotona Actinica, ISDIN For Damaged Skin
If you're looking for a sunscreen that can also heal previously sun-damaged skin, then ISDIN's Eryfotona Actinica might be for you. Both Milam and Callahan recommend this one, which contains DNA repairsomes derived from plankton that work to repair sun damage. The lightweight, mineral formula is SPF 50, broad-spectrum and perfect for everyday use.
Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen, CeraVe For Dry Skin
Ulta, 103 N. Cattlemen Road, Sarasota; 8240 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
Dr. David Sax from University Park Dermatology recommends this product by CeraVe for those with sensitive skin. It's oil-free, SPF 50, contains zinc oxide and goes on smoothly. Sax says the product's ceramides are essential to locking in hydration. It's also a great option for those with eczema.
Sheer Zinc Dry-Touch, Neutrogena For Oily Skin
Target, 5350 Fruitville Road, Sarasota; 101 N. Cattlemen Road, Sarasota; 8401 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
If your skin is acne-prone or oily, try a sunscreen like this one from Neutrogena. It's non-comedogenic so it won't clog your pores, and Sax says it's free of ingredients that can irritate acne. Purchase at neutrogena.com or Target.
UV Aero Spray, EltaMD For Full Body Protection
University Park Dermatology, 8451 Shade Ave., Suite 205, Sarasota
"The best sunscreen is the one people are going to use," says Sax. That's why, when patients inquire about spray sunscreen, he recommends this UV Aero spray by EltaMD. The lightweight formula sprays on white so you can see where you've covered. Plus, it's SPF 45 and water-resistant—perfect for a beach day. You can buy it online or at Sax's Sarasota office.
Baby Sensitive Mineral, Eucerin For Kids
Publix, multiple locations
Finding a sunscreen that doesn't bother your kiddo's skin can be tricky. Eucerin makes this sensitive mineral product that goes on smooth—no tantrums when applying!—and is long-lasting. Find it at eucerinus.com or at Publix.
CC+ Cream with SPF 50, IT CosmeticsFor Makeup Wearers
Sephora, 140 University Town Center Drive, Suite 279, Sarasota
Daily makeup wearer? You still need a great sunscreen. Get the best of both with this full-coverage CC cream from IT Cosmetics. It's a broad-spectrum, SPF 50+ formula, comes in 12 different shades, and contains skin-loving ingredients like hyaluronic acid, peptides and collagen. Sax often recommends it to patients who don't want to ditch their flawless makeup look. Get it at Sephora.
Sunforgettable Brush-On Shield, Colorscience For Powder Users
If you tend to get sweaty throughout the day—and who doesn't when it's 100 degrees and humid outside?—a lotion may not be your best option. Enter: powder sunscreen. One of the best out there is Sunforgettable by Colorscience. The SPF 50 mineral formula comes in four shades with a brush applicator, making it easy for on-the-go touchups. "Blot your face with a towel prior to applying, then brush around your face six times for best results," says Callahan.
Sheer Sunscreen Stick, Sunbetter For Animal Lovers
If you make purchases with animal welfare in mind, this sunscreen stick by Sunbetter fits the bill. It's cruelty-free, vegan and free of parabens, offering broad spectrum SPF 56 protection against UV and blue light rays. It's easy to apply and no animals are harmed in the brand's testing process.