HGTV Editors' Favorite Sunscreens + Sun Protection Essentials

Stay protected all summer with these sunscreens and sun protection buys we use and love.

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April 20, 2021

It's important to protect every inch of your body against UV rays — no matter the time of year. With the harsh, almost-summer sun in full force, we're sharing our tried-and-true sunscreens and sun protection essentials for your face, lips, head and body.

Sunscreens for Your Face + Body

"Hormonal changes during pregnancy left me with a lovely melasma mask. Little did I know that spending time in front of the TV and computer screen each day only makes it worse! My dermatologist recommended SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion for everyday use because of its broad-spectrum sun protection and inclusion of iron oxides, which helps with hyperpigmentation. It goes on super smooth (no pilling!), while the universal tint matches my skin tone to a T (no white or orange streaks!)." — Kayla Kitts, Managing Editor


"I use and love EltaMD's tinted mineral face sunscreen every day. It’s a lightweight, water-resistant formula with SPF 41 that’s easy to apply, and my dermatologist likes it just as much as I do. It has a universal tint that prevents the white cast often left by mineral sunscreens, and it doesn’t make my pale skin look orange like other tinted sunscreens I've tried." — Laura James, Editor

"With its relatively low 32 SPF, this is more appropriate as a daily skin protector than for prolonged time outdoors. This tinted daily sunscreen is non-greasy, goes on easily with no pilling or streaking and will offer your skin some protection during the course of your day." — Felicia Feaster, Managing Editor


"My body’s idea of 'tan' is red. Straight to red, and nothing in between. And my nose is always the first to go. I have super sensitive skin and try to have a discerning eye when it comes to the ingredients in skincare products. This is my go-to for my face. If I put this on, my nose stays just on the rosy side and doesn’t burn." — Michele Purcell, Executive Producer


"For the rest of my body, this has kept me sunburn-free for two years. I love the lavender scent, but the unscented works just as well." — Michele

"There is so much to love about COOLA sunscreen. It’s reef-friendly, water-resistant, lightweight, non-greasy, fragrance-free and actually improves my skin while wearing it. I have sensitive skin and often breakout when I apply sunscreen, so this was a true treasure to find because I can apply it without having breakouts after. I was first introduced to COOLA through my FabFitFun box, and it has been my go-to sunscreen ever since." — Jennifer Cicatelli, Digital Commerce Manager


"Alba Botanica Tropical Fruit Kids' Sunscreen is my go-to sunscreen for my toddler. Its creamy texture makes it easy to apply but doesn’t leave my toddler or my hands greasy. Its formula is reef-friendly and water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, too." — Jennifer


"After doing a lot of research on baby-safe mineral sunscreens for my toddler, I came across Baby Bum. What sold me on this particular cream is that it's SPF 50, water-resistant up to 80 (!) minutes, plant-based, hypoallergenic, cruelty-free and phthalate-free. The sunscreen goes on thick and white, but it doesn't bother me because I know where I've added sunscreen and where I missed. You will, however, need to do a little scrubbing in the bath at the end of the day to get it all off. Personally, I like that it stays on so well; it makes me feel better as a mom." — Kayla

"Putting sunscreen on a two-year-old is NOT fun. Plus, we found that most 'kid-friendly' lotion sunscreen brands would leak into my son's eyes after hours of outside play. I finally picked up this Banana Boat spray sunscreen and love it. It’s tear-free, the spray nozzle makes it easy to apply and it's oxybenzone- and paraben-free, which makes my momma heart happy." — Chelsea Faulkner, Editor

"I've tested a lot of foundations over the years, including some that claim to be full coverage but aren't and some that are so full coverage that it looks heavy and caked-on. If you want to wear makeup every day but also want it to feel light, look natural and offer sun protection, I cannot recommend Jane Iredale's Glow Time BB Cream enough. A little goes a long way, too. You just need a pea-size amount and a foundation brush to get a beautiful, dewy look in seconds." Kayla


"It's so easy to use and reapply. Plus, it's perfect for when you’re spending time outside all day but staying away from the water." — Alida Nugent, Senior Commerce Content Strategist

"BareMinerals' SPF 25 setting powder has been a go-to since college. I would wear it during long, hot days at band camp and it didn’t budge. These days, I wear it to the pool because it gives me the sun protection I need and a little bit of makeup coverage, which is nice." — Chelsea

"Because everybody always forgets their lips!" Alida

"This is really soothing and lovely if you get burned, and it works for both the body and the face." Alida


15 Best Mineral Sunscreens for Your Face

HGTV editors roadtested a number of mineral sunscreens to find the ones that feel best on the skin while providing solid protection from the sun.

Shop Our Favorites

Sun-Protective Clothing + Accessories

From $12

"Sun hats are a must-have for babies and toddlers at the beach, pool or outside in the direct sun. I love the i play. Flap Sun Protection Hat because it covers the back of the neck (which, let’s face it, is a place we often forget to add sunscreen), has a tie strap to keep them from pulling it off and is easily adjustable. I recommend this hat to all my friends with little ones as a summer must-have." — Jennifer

"It's hard to find cotton sun hats that also have a little style. This tie-dye bucket hat is a great option: small enough to keep in your purse or car for those impromptu alfresco lunches or trips to the park." — Felicia

From $19

"I have a toddler who doesn't love holding still to apply sunscreen. Rashguards with UPF 50+ help reduce my struggle time by covering him more and limiting the amount of sunscreen I need to use. I particularly love the i play. long- and short-sleeve rashguards since they come in multiple colors to match bottoms, are machine washable and offer UPF 50+ sun protection. I own multiple sizes and colors." — Jennifer

"I bought this breathable shirt before a Rocky Mountain hiking trip because it has UPF 40 sun protection, wicking fabric and is super lightweight. Plus, the sleeves roll up neatly and fasten with a button. Since my trip, it has become my yardwork shirt; it keeps me cool and protected, which I love." — Kayla

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