the most important beauty product for summer


Let’s skip the disclaimer about how sunscreen is important all year round not only during the summer and get to all my favorite sunscreens to protect every inch of you.


EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 is the sunscreen I use nearly every day of the year. A thin layer applied atop moisturizer doesn’t interfere with makeup and provides enough protection for my 30-minute walk to work. It doesn’t leave a white cast, pill or clog pores or feel greasy – a little lactic acid in the formula makes sure of it.

I swap that for Kiehl’s Super Fluid Daily UV Defense Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ for full days in the sun when I’m not wearing any makeup and going to be re-applying throughout the day. It’s just as good for everyday use as it layers well under makeup, is noncomedogenic and has a matte finish but I use more of it with each application so I save it for beach days.

For full days in the sun when I am wearing makeup, I bring along the Kate Somerville UncompliKated SPF 50 Soft Focus Makeup Setting Spray. This is a super-fine mist in an aerosol can that makes it incredibly easy to reapply SPF as you are meant to, every two hours. On top of that, it has a soft-focus effect that refreshes makeup and hydrates.

The Juice Beauty SPF 8 Lip Moisturizers are super simple. I like that they are organic after reading how much lip product one ingests over time and that there are tinted options for when I want a little color. I find most lip balms with SPF much too waxy, especially the Fresh Sugar one, but I’ll wear them anyway because UV rays!


I’m usually happy with whatever sunscreen I find at the drugstore but there’s one I’ll splurge on and that’s Moroccanoil Sun Lotion SPF 50 or SPF 30. It smells divine like all of the Moroccanoil products and is super hydrating like a body cream yet absorbs quickly.

Hands are so neglected when it comes to skincare and anti-aging. More hand creams should include SPF! Of those that do, Supergoop Forever Young Hand Cream with Sea Buckthorn Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 40 PA+++ is my favorite because it is nourishing without leaving any film or greasy feeling and has a lovely subtle scent. Eucerin Daily Hydration Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Hand Cream is just as good and like 1/8th the price so I have that one more often because I go through hand cream like water.


Yes, your hair can get sunburned, too. The problem is that most hair products with UV protection are not friendly to hair styling – balms that go on like a conditioning mask or sprays that leave hair extremely oily. The Sun Bum Beach Formula 3-in-1 Leave-In Hair Conditioner Spray is more like a detangling spray that happens to offer UV protection which keeps hair from becoming brittle or discolored if you’ve dyed it.

Photo, Violet Grey