Summer Sunscreens On Rotation

Sunscreen round-up featuring: Aveeno Baby Face sunscreen stick SPF 50, Eau Thermale Avene SPF 50+ spray, Dermalogica SPF 50 Sport, Rocky Mountain Soap Co. SPF 31

Whatever your preferences are (Spray, solid, or lotion? Mineral or chemical? Drugstore or high-end?), the trick to making a habit of wearing sunscreen regularly is finding a formula that you'll love using and re-applying. Here are four I've been using lately.

Longtime readers of this blog will recognize the big orange bottle of Avène High Protection Spray SPF 50+ (available at Shoppers Drug Mart) from past posts like this one, but what you may not know is this is my third bottle of the stuff. Since getting my endometriosis diagnosis I've been more mindful of what's in my beauty products, and I was initially concerned I'd have to give up this Avène sunscreen because it was chemical. Thankfully, according to EWG none of the sunscreens are endocrine-disrupting and the formula ranks a 3/10 overall.

Another oldie but a goodie is the all-natural Rocky Mountain Soap Company Vanilla Coconut Sunscreen SPF 31 ($21), which uses zinc oxide to provide broad spectrum sun protection. For a thorough review check out this post I did when the sunscreen first launched last summer. I'll be taking this one to Italy with me as at 88 ml, this is the smallest tube of sunscreen I own and the size is carry-on-friendly.

As much as I adore the Rocky Mountain sunscreen, its slightly tacky texture doesn't always make it the best under makeup, which is why I'll also be bringing the tiny stick of Aveeno Baby Sensitive Skin Face Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 ($15.99 at London Drugs) for my face and neck. This one can leave a white, ashy cast if you're not careful, but I like that it's a high SPF and the active ingredients are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, and that it's ranked a 2/10 by EWG. What's more, it's super-portable and spill-proof, and because it's a solid, it won't count towards my precious liquids/creams/gels/aerosols quota. I've been toting this one around in my purse for quick SPF touch-ups on the go. My only reservation about this sunscreen is it uses endocrine-disrupting BHT as a preservative. I don't mind BHT in colour cosmetics like lipstick because they're used on such small areas of skin and so rarely used up that my exposure over time is practically nothing, but in sunscreen I use all the time I'd rather avoid it.

Lastly, Dermalogica Protection Sport SPF 50 ($48; available at BeautyMark) is a new-to-me gem that I was introduced to during the BeautyMark summer cruise. If there was such a thing as a Platonic ideal for sunscreen, this would be it: SPF 50, water-resistant for up to 40 minutes, with a dry-to-the-touch, non-greasy, fast-absorbing texture that feels like practically nothing once it's on and is great under makeup. The formula doesn't contain artificial fragrances, colours, or parabens and as far as I can tell the active ingredients are a blend of chemical sunscreens. (Oddly, the ingredients list doesn't list active ingredients separately.) If you like dry-touch sunscreens from drugstore brands but their ingredients lists leave you squeamish, consider Dermalogica Protection Sport SPF 50 the best of both worlds.

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