Choosing the best Sunscreen for summer really depends on quite a few things. Of course, your skin type is top of the list, but also consider why you’re wearing it. A beach volleyball tournament requires a different touch than your daily run-around SPF.

Skin cancer is not a good look. That’s why we update our sunscreen must-haves annually (check out last year’s tips here). From sprays to specialized sunscreen for your scalp, we cover all the bases (and faces) so you can get out there and enjoy the short season to the max.

So what does sun protection actually mean? Health Canada says to decrease your risk, use a Broad Spectrum SPF value of 15 or higher. Layer more sun protection measures like limiting time in the sun, especially from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, hats, and sunglasses. Use a water-resistant sunscreen if swimming or sweating. ☀

Sunscreen Basics and Best Tips

You may be surprised to learn there are more ways to reduce your burn risk than just sunscreen. Of course, a hat and other protection protocols can benefit, but ensuring you’re hydrated can help your skin recover faster.

But, you can also prepare skin for the summer season topically, too. Turbo-charged antioxidants and vitamins can trigger a response in the skin. Regulate your melanin production with Alphascience‘s Stabilized Vitamin C ALPHA BRIGHT Serum ($140). This serum is packed with 8% stabilized L-Ascorbic Acid, proven to fight the effects of sun exposure and can bolster skin resilience.

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Sun protection starts well before you venture outside- set the intention with Alphascience

The MELA BRIGHT [C+] SERUM ($214) from Alphascience is formulated with the super sunproofing ingredient stabilized Cysteamine. This acts as a protective shield against melasma. Brown spots will be vanquished and this serum is safe to use overnight to bolster skin’s resistance to discolouration.

Sunscreen and Skincare We Have on Repeat this Summer

For years, beauty mavens have relied on the innovative and advanced products from this legacy brand. So it only makes sense that we’re obsessed with its sunscreen, too. Kiehls Beyond Screen- UV Serum 50+ SPF ($56) boasts conditioning peptides for an invisible finish. Seriously! It absorbs instantly, with no Casper-esque qualities. Weighing in at a robust 50+ SPF, this hydrating lotion is the ultimate effortless everyday sunscreen. Good for all skin types.

kiehls beyond screen sunscreen spf
Kiehls Beyond Screen 50 SPF Serum Lotion hydrates and protects

Cruelty-free and vegan-friendly Lotus Aroma is made in Canada with 100% plant-based active ingredients. The avocado and coconut formulation offers mineral-based sunscreen for both the face and body. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide make these formulas completely reef-safe. Daily Sunscreen Face 30 SPF ($29) is fragrance-free and blends well for fast-moving mornings.

lotus aroma sunscreen spf
Lotus Aroma’s 100% all-natural formulas prove plants can be powerful

Also built with a natural element, the Sunscreen 50 SPF ($42) features avocado oil and Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide to maximize sun protection. Perfect for sensitive skin types, these hypoallergenic lotions are perfect for the whole family.

Built by Aussies for Summer Explorations

Reef Safe, Blue Lizard is a celebrated skincare brand regarded as a leader in environmentally friendly sun protection. Mineral-based with protection for UVA and UVB, Blue Lizard is a standout for SPF but also protects against blue light damage.

blue lizard spf sunscreen
Blue Lizard’s range of mineral-based sunscreens come in a variety of formats

Mineral-based is in its bones. For the past 20 years, Blue Lizard’s lineup has focused on protecting you, and the environment. We love the Sheer Lotion Face 50 SPF ($15.99+) and for Body is fully water-resistant for maximum pool fun.

Mineral Sunscreen 50 SPF ($13.48 on Amazon) come in sport and sensitive skin formats. Both are of course mineral-based and boast a smart-cap technology so you’re spared from messy spills.

Super purse-friendly for on-the-go applications, Blue Lizard Sunscreen Sticks ($14.24) are 100% vegan. Available in baby, sensitive and kids.

Trust the Bum

Non-greasy, summer-scented Sun Bum (lead photo) offers an array of easy-to-wear sunscreens. Known for its deep catalogue of sun protectors, Sun Bum takes all the guesswork from the cliche what to wear question. (The answer is always sunscreen!)

Building upon the basics, Sun Bum innovates with easy-to-wear goodies like Face Mist ($18.49). This refreshing mist brings a mist of SPF 45 in one easy format. Another serious upgrade for spray sunscreens comes by way of Mineral Sunscreen Spray ($20.49). The Boss Bum has ditched chemical propellants; they opt for natural compression over aerosol in their sprays.

More protection options for the face and body include the Glow 30 SPF ($18.49). Ultra-moisturizing is at its ethos. This dewy non-comedogenic lotion is like a replacement for your makeup, so you can swap out your foundation easily.

And don’t forget your lips! Sun Bum‘s juicy Lip Balms ($3.99) come in fun, fruity flavours adding a pop of colour and 30 SPF to your most impressive asset.

Sunscreen for your Hair and Scalp

If you have ever been unfortunate enough to burn your scalp then you know how bad it hurts. Your head becomes a throbbing impossible-to-bush mess. And then, of course, your scalp will inevitably peel through each follicle. Sun Bum has come to the rescue with its line of innovative hair care products.

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Sun Bum offers a line of hair care meant for summer fun

A super-thick 3 in 1 Leave In Conditioner Spray ($16.99) nourishes each strand to reduce breakage. Like all Sun Bum products, the yummy smell carries throughout the offerings, like a banana-scented pina colada. A Heat Protector ($16.99 ) makes logical sense, and we love the nautical look, reminiscent of crashing waves. This spray cuts down drying time and keeps hair protected, from the sun, or your fave flat iron.

Hawaiians have long employed Kukui Nuts for their hydrating qualities. The gorilla took notes on this ancient tradition and wisely enriched its Curls Detangler ($16.99) with Kukui Nut and coconut oils for the deepest moisture penetration. Soft and touchable curls are in look all season long.

A game changer for bald heads or anyone with a part, the Scalp Mist SPF 30 ($17.49) is brilliant. The UVA UVB broad-spectrum spray goes on without the greasy-gross look, meaning your summer hair updos and braids will be pristine for all-day adventures.

Apres The Day- Best Aftercare Suncare

Curu After Sun Facial Oil ($114) is a touch of luscious hydration. The herbaceous scent is worthy of a deep meditative breath, it’s truly a treat for the senses. The green elixir is rich with omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids to bolster and support hydrating skin. Rosehip, Grape seed oil and carrot seed provide further nourishment.

Sunburns bring that burning tingly feeling of extreme uncomfortableness. Cool compresses and lots of water can help alleviate the worst conditions but adding Lotus Aroma Aftersun Aloe Vera Gel ($20) topically can help promote further hydration. Pop this gel in the fridge for a soothing cooldown.

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Lotus Aroma’s Aftersun Aloe Vera Gel is soothing and refreshing

Hyaluronic Acid is an easy way to recover from many skin irritations, but especially sunburns. HA BOOSTER SERUM ($152) from Alphascience is a drink for your pores that allows for optimal hydration. Think fast absorbing and instantly soothing. For an added layer of cooling pop this serum in the fridge.

All images by Libby Roach.