Sun protection products in all price ranges will adequately shield your skin from the harmful damage caused by the sun. With so many to choose from, it’s crucial to experiment to learn which recipe is a fit for your daily routine and skin needs. 

To take a bit of the guess work out, beauty editor Mickey Williams tested products on a variety of skin types in exotic locales like Costa Rica, Miami and Israel. She looked for formulas that helped to shield without clogging pores and some that even shelter scars and blemishes. Whether it’s a daily ritual under makeup or a big day at the beach, here are our top tested sun damage solutions for summer 2007.

best lotion for water sports
(and just about everything else)

We slathered Dermatone Z-Cote all over a wide range of skin types while surfing in Costa Rica. It maintained sun Dermatone Z-Cote Sunscreen Waterproof Lotionprotection on the brightest of days in water and on land and even protected scars from becoming pinkish or darker. We basically lived in Z-Cote and even the redhead made it out without blistering in the tropical sun.

Dermatone Z-Cote Sunscreen Waterproof Lotion, $5

most innovative

Freeze 24/7 Ice Shield Face Facial Cleanser with Sunscreen SPF 15This “first” in skin care works to bind sunscreen to the skin during your daily cleansing process. Basically, skin works like a magnet to attract Ice Shield’s SPF 15 properties and hold them in their protective place long after rinsing. No residue is left behind and it actually is an excellent makeup removing cleanser on its own. But keep in mind, you will have to work the creamy lather over face for 1 or 2 minutes to get the full benefit, and I would also avoid using a toner.

Freeze 24/7 Ice Shield Face Facial Cleanser with Sunscreen SPF 15, $48

best for sandy beach days

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunblock in SPF 30While in Costa Rica, we found this Ultra Sheer Body Mist to be ideal for getting coverage in those hard to reach areas. It also doesn’t dry sticky and has a cooling effect during application.

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunblock in SPF 30, $9.99


This mist leaves a mild baby powder scent along with an SPF 15 to allow light tanning during a bright sunny day. The misting pump sprays a bit forcefully, but we loved the softness (not stickiness) this oil-free sunscreen left behind. Although PTR Ultra-Lite claims to be waterproof,Peter Thomas Roth Ultra-Lite Oil-Free Sunscreen Mist SPF 15 I still recommend reapplication after taking a dip in the ocean or pool. The mist comes in a purse-friendly version which is a great way to figure out if it is enough sun protection for you.

Peter Thomas Roth Ultra-Lite Oil-Free Sunscreen Mist SPF 15, $8


If you prefer to summon the beach blanket next to yours with a flirty "can you get my back please?" then you’re better off with a lotion. Since most sunbathers prefer Avance Suncures Oil-Free Sun Block SPF 30oil-free for both their backs and their hands, Avance Suncures is an ultra emollient answer for all needs. Beach testing found skin was protected, fragrance-free and moisturized despite the oil-free formula.

Avance Suncures Oil-Free Sun Block SPF 30, $32

most recommended by dermatologists

La Roche-Posay Anthelios SX Daily Moisturizing Sunscreen with Mexoryl, SPF 15Chances are you’ve heard about the highly acclaimed Anthelios SX Sunscreen that was just approved by the FDA. If not from your skin savvy friends, then I’m sure you will on your next trip to the dermatologist. We love the Daily Moisturizing Cream with Mexoryl SX (that’s the powerful stuff that defends skin from UVA aging rays) because it  seems to keep protecting without needing multiple applications. It is gentle enough for our tender body parts and practically melts tracelessly into skin. This cream isn’t as waterproof as we would like (even the one for babies) but you should be reapplying any cream or lotion after activity or swimming anyway.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios SX Daily Moisturizing Sunscreen with Mexoryl, SPF 15, $34

best daily face protection

June Jacobs Skin Amour Day Shield SPF 20June Jacobs’ products usually pop up while you’re getting pampered at a luxury spa, but her skin care can work in your daily routine too. We loved the Amour Day Shield because it’s loaded with antioxidants to protect from future damage, has silk protein to work as an ultra-lightweight moisturizer, and acts as a rockin’ makeup primer. Non-sticky and has a gentle fresh smell.

June Jacobs Skin Amour Day Shield SPF 20, $58



Luzerne La Defense SPF 30+Luzerne La Defense is ideal for very sensitive, normal to dry skin. It even works to protect rashy skin or inflammations without stinging. With an SPF 30+ it’s a winner for the pale and dry face.

Luzerne La Defense SPF 30+, $38



Zia Ultimates Age-Defying Solar Care Face SPF 30 Oil-FreeWe all agree Zia Ultimates Age Defying Solar Care is a super clean easy way to protect skin. The oil-free sun filter sports an SPF 30 that dries matte and allows makeup to glide on after application. Not a single pimple was reported after a week of use.

Zia Ultimates Age-Defying Solar Care Face SPF 30 Oil-Free, $16.95

best scar protectors

Relish Lip & Face Protector SPF 15Relish delivers a matte, balmy type of lip and face coverage in a stick that’s ideal for tapping over blemish scars and discolorations for added protection. With an SPF15, you won’t want to “lay out” with Relish Lip & Face alone, so check out Relish’s Daily Advanced Moisturizer.

Relish Daily Advanced Moisturizer SPF 30



We took this super light, SPF 30 Moisturizer on the road in Miami and Israel and found the only places we got sun were the ones we missed during application.

Relish Lip & Face Protector SPF 15, $12.50

Relish Daily Advanced Moisturizer SPF 30, $23

best multi-tasking protectors

Murad Firming Bronzer SPF 15 for Face and BodyThis little miracle cream actually increases firmness in skin by 32% (hello thighs!), deposits a healthy glow and protects with an SPF 15. It’s great if you just want some super looking gams on a night out in your favorite mini. We love, love, love Murad’s Firming Bronzer SPF 15.

Murad Firming Bronzer SPF 15 for Face and Body, $48





Bobbi Brown Beach Sunscreen Body Spray SPF 15This lightweight oil spray soaks immediately into skin and leaves a summery Malibu Barbie scent (really, remember the scented Malibu Barbie?) We preferred this product for a day outdoors, maybe shopping, but it wasn’t a hit for a sandy beach.

Bobbi Brown Beach Sunscreen Body Spray SPF 15, $25

best man protection

Olay helps curb the signs of aging by hydrating skin and preventing damage from the sun. A special glucosamine complex penetrates up to ten layers of Olay Definity Deep Penetrating Foaming Moisturizer SPF15manly epidermis to reach deep to improve its clarity and tone. The lightweight foam requires almost no rubbing and it dries fast without shine or residue.

Olay Definity Deep Penetrating Foaming Moisturizer SPF15, $26.99

best hair protection

Philip Kingsley SwimcapPhilip Kingsley’s Swimcap is a conditioning cream that protects your tresses from sun, chlorine and salt damage. You apply pre-beach to achieve conditioned, shiny hair after a long day in surf and sand.

Philip Kingsley Swimcap, $36

best after-sun remedy

Aubrey Organics After Sun Body & Face MoisturizerWith shea butter, organic jojoba oil and organic aloe vera, Aubrey’s Maintenance Moisturizer chills out skin after sun exposure. More of a liquid than a lotion, and definitely containing alcohol, we were shocked at how it gently nursed back our bits and pieces neglected during a day at the beach.

Aubrey Organics After Sun Body & Face Moisturizer, $10.75


get the scoop by email, rss, twitter and more subscribe to our free email Newsletter get the RSS feed follow us on Twitter become a Facebook fan