All tried, tested and repurchased by our Gritty Pretty Gang.
Ah, summer. It’s without a doubt the best time of the year. You’ve got beaches, warm days, Sunday afternoons drinking Aperol Spritzes and Christmas all wrapped up into one perfect season. The only downside? It is the riskiest time of year when it comes to sun damage.
Whilst we know you all wear sunscreen every single day (right?) finding the perfect formula during summer is particularly important. Like anything beauty related, if it doesn’t work for your skin you sure as hell won’t be applying it religiously. But as one of the most overwhelming skincare categories, it can be hard to know where to start.
Luckily for you, we’ve enlisted the help of our loyal Gritty Pretty readers to help us separate the must-haves from the don’t bothers. Here, a list of the 11 sunscreens our Gritty Pretty Gang (join here) can’t live without.
1. Mecca Cosmetica To Save Face SPF50+ Superscreen
A lightweight, non-greasy formula with broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection, this sunscreen received a whopping seven “must-have” votes from our readers. Number one for a reason, the formula contains vitamin E to strengthen the skin barrier and is, according to GP reader Brooke, “like a reliable old friend.”
Buy now: $40 at Mecca.
2. Ultra Violette Queen Screen SPF50+ Luminising Sun Serum
Another firm favourite among our readers (and a personal must-have), this formula is paper thin for a lightweight and glowy application. Oil-free and with the addition of Kakadu plum extract for a daily hit of vitamin C, the sun serum is hyped up for a reason. “I didn’t want to believe the hype but I gave in and now it’s a must-have,” says GP reader Nicole.
Buy now: $47 at Ultra Violette.
3. Ultra Violette Supreme Screen 50+ Hydrating Facial Sunscreen
Wildly different (wink, wink) to it’s luminising counterpart, the Supreme Screen is a sunscreen, moisturiser and primer all wrapped into one. Helping to protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays as well as blue light damage and pollution, the product truly is a one stop shop. It’s no wonder GP reader Sarah described it as simply “the best”. Noted.
Buy now: $45 at Ultra Violette.
4. Rationale B3-T Tinted Superfluid
Certainly down the boujee-er end of the sunscreen spectrum, Rationale’s Superfluid is an easy injection of luxury into your everyday life. Imparting both radiance and protection onto your precious face, the formula works to repair the skin barrier whilst protecting it. Sound pretty nifty? GP reader Patricia certainly thinks so, “It’s so light on the skin, sometimes I forget I’ve got it on.”
Buy now: $77 at Rationale.
5. Elta MD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen SPF 46
If 2020 had three skincare buzzwords they would undoubtedly be Niacinamide, Hyaluronic Acid and Lactic Acid — all of which you’ll find within the Elta MD formula. Suitable for all skin types, including acne and rosacea prone skin, the formula offers broad spectrum protection with the addition of antioxidants for absorbing free radicals. “Non-oily, doesn’t break me out and doesn’t have that sunscreen smell at all,” says GP reader Amelia.
Buy now: $59 at The Beauty Club.
6. Avène Day Protector Tinted BB Cream SPF 30
You might be familiar with the person behind this recommendation. Our wonderful Beauty Director, Erin Cook, is a firm fan, “I have been LOVING this formula as a daily sunscreen with a nice glowy sheen.” Still not convinced? The tinted formula uses a combination of mineral pigments and brightening pearls to help correct imperfections and even the skin tone.
Buy now: $32.95 at Adore Beauty.
7. Alpha-H Protection Plus Daily SPF50+
We’re all for multitasking so our love for a product that moisturises and protects in one fell swoop, runs deep. The Alpha-H Protection Plus is a firm favourite at GP HQ (and amongst our readers) for it’s hydrating and fast-absorbing formula. The slightly tinted sunscreen also omits any potential for that unwanted white-cast. Yes please!
Buy now: $62 at Alpha-H.
8. Supergoop! Unseen Screen SPF 40
A celebrity favourite, this Supergoop! formula is invisible, weightless and skin-smoothing making it the perfect under makeup base according to GP reader Cal. The clean formula uses Red Algae to protect against blue light damage and Meadowfoam Seed Oil to provide constant hydration. Oh, and did we mention it’s free from parabens and sulfates?
Buy now: $52 at Revolve.
9. La Roche Posay Anthelios XL Ultra-Light Fluid SPF50+
Another one that received multiple honorary mentions, the La Roche Posay is a great drugstore sunscreen find. Designed with normal to combination skin types in mind, the invisible fluid blends seamlessly over the skin leaving a light, dewy sheen behind. The non-comedogenic formula works perfectly under makeup and is “the only sunscreen I can wear all day without any irritation,” according to GP reader Sophie.
Buy now: $29.99 at Priceline.
10. Sunsense Moisturising Face SPF50+
An old faithful and one that you will likely remember from the beach days of your childhood, this Sunsense formula is still on the shelves for one reason: it works. Dermatologically tested to ensure its suitability for the most sensitised skins, this formula “ticks all the boxes” according to GP reader Iro. Said boxes include: lightweight, glowy, sits perfectly under makeup, locally made and owned and can pick up from just about anywhere.
Buy now: $14.99 at Priceline.
11. bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Cream Gel
Ending it off with “the best” according to GP reader Jazzlyn, this bareMinerals option is the perfect tinted moisturiser for sun protection (it’s SPF 30, people). The hydrating, medium-coverage formula is 98 percent naturally derived and contains olive-derived squalane to quench dry skin all day long.
Buy now: $53 at Mecca.
Do you have a favourite sunscreen that didn’t make this list? Tell us what it is in the comments section below!