Top 5 Sunscreens

by Alli

Summer has always been my favorite season and the beach, any beach, is my ideal vacation spot.  I guess it’s because I grew up visting the beach every summer.

Back in the day, I shunned sunscreen like it was the plague. I was a baby oil/iodine concoction addict when I was a teen. As a young adult, I had my own tanning bed.  I took tanning seriously.

After seeing several of my friends battle skin cancer, I pulled my head out of the sand, educated myself and became a strong advocate of sunscreen.

I won’t lie, the urge to get a deep, dark tan still exists somewhere in my psyche and I think I look better with a little color.  And what about that vitamin D?  But . . .

What do the experts say?

To help prevent cancer and premature aging, experts recommend that you:

  1. Wear a broad spectrum sunscreen year-round of at least SPF 15 that protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
  2. Avoid sun exposure between the peak hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  3. Wear protective clothing, such as a broad-brimmed hat and long sleeves.
  4. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going out in the sun and every two hours after while you are exposed. says “The verdict is in:  Sunscreen helps prevent melanoma and other skin cancers!”

These days, you’ll always find sunscreen in my beach AND makeup bags. Are all sunscreens created equal?  No! According to Consumer Reports,  11 out of 34 of the most popular sunscreens failed to deliver the SPF protection promised on their labels.

The top 5 Sunscreens

The 5 Top Sunscreens

1.  La Roch-Posay Anthelios 60 Melt-in Sunscreen

2.  Vichy Capital Soleil 50 Lightweight Foaming Lotion

3.  Coppertone Water Babies SPF 50

4.  Banana Boat SunComfort

5.  (TIE) L’Oreal Quick Dry Sheer Finish 50+

6. (TIE) Equate Ultra Protection SPF 50+

I have to admit that I had never heard of the top 2 sunscreens.  I found the La Roch-Posay at Ulta and it’s pricey – $35.99 for a 5 oz. bottle.  The Vichy Foaming Lotion can be found online for $29.99 (4.97 oz).

I go through a lot of sunscreen and my favorite, Neutrogena Beach Defense, didn’t make the cut. When I purchase new sunscreen for my upcoming beach trip, I think I’ll bypass the top 2 and try one of the others that are more budget friendly.

The Worst

1. Aloe Gator SPF

2.  EltaMD UV Aero SPF 45

3.  Yes to Cucumbers Natural SPF 30

4.  Goddess Garden Organics Sunny Boby Natural 30

5.   Vanicream SPF 50+

What’s your favorite sunscreen?  Did it make the top 5?


Robin Rue (@massholemommy) July 15, 2015 - 6:58 am

I actually don’t wear sunscreen on myself. I like to get an awesome tan in the summer. I am sure I will pay for it someday, though. My kids always have it on and I use Coppertone Water Babies on them.

Christy Maurer July 15, 2015 - 8:43 am

I am going to have to try one of those brands in the best list. I did use Banana Boat Sport 50 SPF on my water park trip, and my daughter and I both got burned on our shoulders still 🙁 I just think the sun’s rays are so much more powerful now than when we were little kids.

Shirley Wood July 15, 2015 - 10:20 am

We also use Neutrogena Beach Defense. My hubby has to wear sunscreen if he is going to be outside for even a few minutes with his red hair and fair skin. We will have to rethink that SPF protection!

Stacie July 15, 2015 - 12:02 pm

I would have loved for you to try It’s pretty amazing.

Jeannette July 15, 2015 - 2:54 pm

THanks for this list! I was never big on sunscreen when I was younger and now I try to be super diligent!

lisa July 15, 2015 - 5:55 pm

We buy so much sunscreen during the summer. I love Coppertone and Banana Boat myself. We generally use SPF 50 (we’re all very fair skinned).

Sandy KS July 15, 2015 - 8:39 pm

I place sunscreen on my teens and my grandson. As they do not tan as easily as I do. My daughter has pale skin compared to me and really never has tanned a day in her life.

Chris G July 15, 2015 - 9:51 pm

I don’t really have a favorite. I just use whatever my wife buys. I think we use some on your list though.

Tiaras & Tantrums July 15, 2015 - 10:51 pm

Mine is not on this list – I am very fair and wear 100 SPF all the tie – so i hope I am all good

Nina say July 15, 2015 - 11:44 pm

These are so important to follow. So many people neglect their sunscreen! We need to be vigilant about it, especially with out children.

Mykidsguide July 16, 2015 - 6:00 am

I’m glad Banana Boat is on the list. This is what I use with my kids.

Lynndee July 16, 2015 - 12:32 pm

I haven’t heard of the top 2 either and those worst sunscreens. We are using Equate which tied with L’Oreal. We’ve been using it for years.

Cherri Megasko July 16, 2015 - 2:33 pm

Thanks for sharing these guidelines. A couple of them were new to me. When I think about how stupid we were as kids to go out and get burnt to a crisp it makes me shutter. At least we know better now.

Jeanine July 16, 2015 - 2:46 pm

#3 and #4 are what I use most on my kiddos. I don’t ever use anything on myself really, I should. I need to find something for myself.

Shaney Vijendranath July 16, 2015 - 2:48 pm

Awesome post! I’m definitely bookmarking this for summer. Sunscreen is so important especially for kids. I make sure my daughter has one in her school bag.

Uplifting Families July 16, 2015 - 3:56 pm

My sunscreen didn’t make the cut. I usually pick up whatever is cheapest. I know cheapest is always the best.

I also try to snag clearance sunscreen too.

CourtneyLynne July 16, 2015 - 5:44 pm

Hehehe I know it’s bad, but I’m a sun screen hater. I love a nice tan. My daughter however has the most delicate skin and I swear I have to drown her in the stuff during the summer!

Lauren July 16, 2015 - 9:55 pm

I love the loreal sunscreen! It dries so fast and it doesn’t feel greasy!! Thanks for sharing this awesome list!

Erin July 17, 2015 - 5:54 pm

Yes! Coppertone! I’m so glad I’m using a good one!

Krystal July 20, 2015 - 7:47 am

I haven’t heard of the worst ones so I suppose that is good! LOL They have never been in our home.

Fariha N. July 21, 2015 - 6:24 pm

We have always used Banana Boat sunscreen. It’s so important to protect our skin with skin cancer becoming more and more common.


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