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And Your Summer Must Have Is....


And Your Summer Must Have Is....

Caitlin Rance


Growing up in Florida, skin-health and sun-health were always apart of the school curriculum. 

Pamphlets filled with photos of sun spots and moles that you'd definitely not want to look at twice were constantly thrown into our hands to be taken home, and read over carefully before making a trip to the local supermarket or drugstore to pick up sunscreen in BULK.

Although, as a young girl, I was traumatized for a good week or so about developing a weird growth, I still often found myself with a swollen forehead, red-tinged cheeks so tender to the touch and a nose that would more than often feel tight just to end up peeling. 

None of that sounds appealing—and no my parents weren't (completely) oblivious to my Saturday beach days or after school hangouts in the sun—BUT it's clear I, nor did anyone else besides Jennifer Garners kids (idk why but I have some campaign with her and sun safety deeply ingrained in my mind), care about a sun burn here or there. In fact, a nice little tan was highly highly sought after. 

Now, as I've gotten older, I've realized it's better just to turn to the evening spray tan or tan towel than lay out in the sun all day to achieve a healthy glow. However, I often forget that just because I'm not at the beach, doesn't mean I automatically don't need sunscreen. In fact, as long as I'm outside, or even by a window that's getting some light in, I should most definitely be wearing some sort of spf. 

If you don't believe me, check out the answer to the question, 'When Should I Use Sunscreen?' from the AAD (aka American Academy of Dermatology):

"Every day if you will be outside. The sun emits harmful UV rays year-round. Even on cloudy days, up to 80 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays can penetrate your skin. Snow, sand, and water increase the need for sunscreen because they reflect the sun’s rays."

Sunscreen is seriously one of the most forgotten, yet crucial steps in ones skincare routine. While the effects of this forgotten step aren’t as noticeable at first, in a few years-time, pre-mature wrinkles, permanent sun spots, and potentially cancerous patches could very well become an irreversible reality. I don’t mean to sound gloom, or like the queen of your ever-impending anxiety as you read this, but sunscreen—as you’ll start to understand—is important! 

I think my reluctance to sunscreen has fully centered around the sticky, goopy + gloppy nature of it all. I still have uncomfortable memories of it getting splotched onto me at the beach and then having a white residue mixed with grains of sand that covered my legs and arms like glitter to glue. Though of course we’ve had upgrades with our sunscreen—spray and all—when it comes to my face, I’ve just always had nervous thoughts of an impending acne breakout riddled across my chin and cheeks.

To make up for this fear, I’ve always chosen to reach for bb creams or foundations that have some sort of SPF. While it’s true that it's better than nothing, it's still a pretty half-ass step when it comes to protecting your skin—especially on days when I don't even wear a foundation or bb cream some days. 

As we're all big kids now, there's no reason why you shouldn't have a tried and true sunscreen in your skincare arsenal. To help ease you into things, I've rounded up some highly recommended sunscreens for you to peruse and purchase (your skin will thank you)!

Recommended by:Chelsea Dennis



Skin Type: Sensitive 



SPF: 35



Overall Thoughts:

"I'm such a sensitive bby and have really liked using the Glossier Sunscreen on my face, don't have any issues with it! It's [her skin] sensitive. My main issue is redness really so anything that's going to potentially inflame my skin I stay far away from. Another thing I really like about about the glossier sunscreen is the very subtle citrus scent, it's fresh and super summery."

jeans & a tee

Recommended by: Ellie Borstad



Skin Type: Oily



SPF: 40


Overall Thoughts:

"This Summer I've been using Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen on my face every day before makeup and it goes on too nicely and literally dissolves right into my skin. Will def be purchasing again!! It's [her skin] def more oily (especially in the Summer) which is early why I was hesitant to start wearing sunscreen everyday but the unseen sunscreen is oil-free and almost feels like a primer that smoothes everything out"


Recommended by: Carly Mackler & Audrey Ruiz



Skin Type: Combination, Dry



SPF: 50

Overall Thoughts:

Carly: "I like that Sun Bum is locally made in Cocoa Beach, FL—so you're supporting a small business. It's cruelty free, smells great and they don't use the harmful chemical that destroys reefs!!!

Audrey: "It's SPF 50 and doesn't feel like sunscreen! Really hydrating and also doesn't have a white cast." 


Recommended by: Kyra Peterson



Skin Type: Oily/Reactive



SPF: 50

Overall Thoughts:

"EVERY sunscreen breaks me out except Clarins Oil Free Lotion Spray SPF (for body) and Shiseido Urban Environmental Oil Free SPF (for face.) The Clarins I like cause it's a spray but still lotion-y and you rub it in. Feels super hydrating."


Recommended by:Elizabeth Kelly



Skin Type: Oily



SPF: 50

Overall Thoughts:

"Aveeno SPF 50 is incredible. Comes out white but goes clear right when you put it into the skin. Light and gel-like, so much so that I forget I put it on and get stressed when I get caught in the sun."


Recommended by: Syndee 



Skin Type: Normal



SPF: 60

Overall Thoughts:

"It goes into my skin nicely, but may leave a white cast on others. Absorbs quickly. Makes my tongue tingly if I accidentally lick some."


Recommended by: Kyra Peterson



Skin Type: Oily/Reactive



SPF: 42

Overall Thoughts: 

"The Shiseido is super super thin almost like an oil and has like no white cast. Essentially it feels and it looks like it's not there which I love."


Recommended by: ME 



Skin Type: Oily, Combination, Sensitive


SPF: 30


Overall Thoughts:

"This has been my first introduction into face sunscreen. I was a bit nervous about a white sheen or getting a breakout but so far my skin has been loving it. The product is super light so you don't feel like you've got anything on. I do wish it was a bit higher in SPF but other than that I love it. Tip for applying: my dermatologist says to rub it in your hands then pat on your face!"

Huge thanks to everyone who sent in their recommendations ☺︎

If you didn't get a chance to submit, let me know what sunscreen you love!

Happy Summer 👋🏼

Illustration is by the amazing Raúl Soria