A Sweaty Gal’s Guide to Sunscreen
How to practice sun safety before heading outside, while in the sun, and afterwards
You know the drill: You have to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen that’s water-resistant with an SPF of at least 30. After that, though, there’s a whole wide world of choice out there—so we rounded up some quality picks to keep you protected…and provide a little relief should any elbows or ears escape your notice.
Before you head outside
There are a million facial sunscreens around, but Supergoop! Play Everyday Lotion (from $29, sephora.ca) distinguishes itself with its SPF 50, super mild scent and totally nongreasy texture. (It also rubs in easily, but Supergoop! does make an SPF 40 Unseen Sunscreen that’s completely clear on darker skin tones.) Then tackle your body with a liberal application of Coppertone Sport ($14, well.ca), which is a classic for a reason: It’s reasonably priced, readily available and absorbs quickly into your skin and then stays put even if you break a sweat (from exercise or otherwise).
While you’re in the sun
A sunscreen spray makes for easy top-ups, and Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Body Mist ($15, loblaws.ca) works at any angle, meaning it’s considerably easier for solo sunners to reach their own backs. On the other (sweaty, slippery) hand, Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Lotion ($49, shop.shopperdrugmart.ca) claims it actually works better when exposed to water, heat and perspiration—something about negative ions in the formula combining with positive ions in sweat or water to form additional protection. We’re not entirely sure about that, but we do know it goes on light and dries to become invisible.
Blue Lizard Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen ($15, amazon.ca) doesn’t have any chemicals, fragrances, irritants or oxybenzone, the common sunscreen ingredient shown to be damaging to coral reefs. What it does have, however, is very smart packaging: The plastic has been injected with a dye that’s sensitive to UV light, causing the tube cap to turn blue to remind you to reapply. And when you do, it’s worth reaching for Baby Bum Mineral Sunscreen Face Stick ($13, well.ca), as well—the easy-to-apply solid stick is a great choice for sneaky spots like your scalp, especially the part in your hair.
After mistakes have been made
It can happen to the best of us. A patch of skin—or, okay, an entire right arm—somehow manages to escape rigorous reapplication. Vichy Idéal Soleil After Sun Balm ($27, vichy.ca) is packed with willow herb, a plant extract known for its soothing effects, and does wonders to prevent peeling and heal burns. And even if you haven’t scorched yourself, a day in the sun can be mighty drying to skin. Coola’s Radical Recovery After-Sun Lotion ($56, well.ca) boasts aloe vera—that post-sunshine staple—and sunflower oil, which is high in antioxidants, to restore moisture to parched skin. Let it chill in the fridge beforehand for maximum refreshment.