There’s lots of different convenient ways to apply sun creams, but when it comes to your face SPF, nothing quite beats the charm of sunscreen sticks. Not convinced? They make re-application that much easier, perform surprisingly well when worn over makeup (yes, really), and to top it all off, they’re also exempt from the airport security regulations as they’re not categorised as liquids – an added bonus for those travelling with in-cabin carry-ons.
Protecting your skin from the harmful UV rays should be everyone’s priority all year round (especially during the summer months, when the sun is at its most aggressive state), so why not stick with an option that’s easy to use, compact enough to carry around and beats dealing with tubes of gloppy liquid or bulky sprays that tend to sting the eyes (and somehow also end up in your mouth or all over your food)? Contrary to other forms of SPFs, sunscreen sticks are self-contained in, well, a stick, so all you have to do is swipe the formula across your face (or body). They’re also usually tiny, meaning you can toss them into a giant beach bag or the tiniest designer tote for reapplying throughout the day (and they won’t leak too).
Meet the experts:
- Dr Debra Jaliman, board-certified dermatologist in New York
- Dr Peter Young, medical director of Nurx Dermatology
- Dr Sonia Batra, founder of Batra Dermatology
The formulas pack a punch too. Debra Jaliman, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, says sunscreen sticks are just as effective as any other mineral sunscreens or body SPFs, adding that they’re particularly desirable for an intense concentration of sunscreen in small areas like noses, ears, and the jawline.
However, they do have one downside: “While they are effective on other areas of the body, it’s really not very practical to use a small sunscreen stick for full-body application,” says Peter Young, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and the medical director of Nurx Dermatology, a telehealth practice. For this reason, many experts recommend stocking up on both sticks and either lotions or sunscreen sprays for continuous broad-spectrum protection all over.
So what should you look out for when shopping for the best sunscreen sticks? “I always recommend mineral block sunscreens made with zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide for children, since these provide broad spectrum coverage against both UVA and UVB ray of the spectrum,” says Sonia Batra, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Batra Dermatology.
Many options that are available now really hone into the skincare aspect of things too, namely by including skin-loving ingredients such as jojoba, ceramides, vitamin c and hyaluronic acid as part of their formulas. Plus, those of us more conscious about the wellbeing of our skin can opt for products that are suitable for sensitive skin and acne-prone skin, and choose between the oil-free and fragrance-free options too. And don’t forget cruelty-free and reef-safe products that help protect Mother Earth.
Best sunscreen sticks at a glance:
- Best sunscreen stick overall: COOLA Classic Sunscreen Stick SPF 30+, £23, LookFantastic
- Best family-friendly sunscreen stick: MDSolarSciences Mineral KidStick SPF 40, WAS £19 NOW £14.96, Amazon
- Best clear sunscreen stick: Shiseido Clear Suncare Stick SPF50+, WAS £28 NOW £22.40, Boots
- Best sunscreen stick for a glowy complexion: Supergoop! Glow Stick SPF 50, £22, Cult Beauty
To help you find the best formulas out there, we asked dermatologists for their go-tos. Plus, we’ve also made sure to include popular and best-selling options from brands such as Neutrogena, La Roche-Posay, Aveeno, Cetaphil, EltaMD, COOLA and Supergoop! for the most highly-rated options to add to your skincare routine. Enjoy.
Looking for more sun care products? Once you’ve invested in a facial sunscreen lotion, check out our guide to SPF, plus the best sun creams for your body, the best SPF makeup and scalp sunburn treatments. For more content from Glamour UK Commerce Writer Denise Primbet, follow her on Twitter @deniseprimbet and Instagram @deniseprimbet.
This article originally appeared on GLAMOUR US.
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