We’re constantly talking about how the skin is your body’s largest organ and the importance of sunscreen. What we don’t talk enough about, however, is the largest area of your skin: your body, and how best to protect it. Beyond the plethora of facial sunscreens, there is a lesser ventured world of body SPFs that you should be using just as much—one shot glass amount, every single day, as per skin doctors’ orders.
Sounds a little excessive, don’t you think? Well, not if you’re approaching it the same way you would body lotion. The best way to apply body sunscreen is to do it before you dress up for the day—spray, lotion, serum, you name it, there are multiple skin shields available to suit your needs. And yes, your favourite body lotions with built-in sun protection can work, provided they’re formulated with sufficient protection (minimum SPF30), and that you are spending your time indoors, fully clothed. For the exposed bits of skin, however, it’s best to touch-up with sunscreen as you would your face. And if you are heading outdoors, a built-in formula should only be your secondary source of sun protection on top of a proper sunscreen.
Taking all this to account, we’ve rounded up some of the finest body sunscreens around—formulas that not only provide broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection, but are also lightweight, fast absorbing and non-sticky, and leave zero chalky white cast on skin or streaks on clothes.
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Everyday Humans Oh My Bod! SPF50 Body Sunscreen
This is the “bodyguard for your skin, without the bulk”. It’s a lightweight lotion that absorbs quickly and dries down to a clear matte finish, shielding and nourishing skin with broad spectrum SPF50, hydrating hyaluronic acid, naturally soothing cucumber and antioxidant-rich green tea—all of which will save you from sun damage, sunburn, pollution, dry skin, and those dreaded tan lines. This reef-friendly, fragrance-free formula is sweat and water resistant, contains zero toxic ingredients, and comes packaged in eco-friendly materials like 35 percent PCR (recycled plastic) and FSC-certified recycled paper.
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La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Comfort Lotion SPF50+
This velvety lotion is exactly what its name says: Comfortable. Perfect for sensitive, sun-intolerant skin types, this is formulated with SPF50+ and two state-of-the-art filtering systems XL-Protect and Mexoplex, which provide high broad spectrum, photostable UVA and UVB protection; as well as hydrating glycerin and La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water that’s packed with soothing and antioxidant properties that helps fight against free radicals. Think zero irritation, non-greasy, imperceptible protection.
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Aesop Protective Body Lotion SPF50
This luscious but lightweight body lotion is for SPF wearers yearning for a dose of sensoriality in their sunscreen. Formulated with the olfactive experience that comes with all Aesop products, this nourishing, vitamin E-enriched lotion provides broad spectrum SPF50 protection with up to four hours of water resistance. Just massage generously onto freshly cleansed skin at least 15 minutes prior to sun exposure and you’ll not only be protected from the elements but also thoroughly moisturised and smelling fresh, herbaceous and spearmint-y throughout the day.
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DHC Mild UV Protection
This gentle Japanese formulation features encapsulated UV ray absorbents to protect skin against the sun, and doubles up as a skin-strengthening moisturiser with additional protection against other airborne allergens and environmental aggressors with the help of plant-derived polymers, hydrating asparagus stem extract, artichoke leaf extract and scullcap root extract. Safe for both adults and children, this fragrance-free, allergy- and sting-tested lotion comes in a convenient pump bottle too.
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Avène Very High Protect Spray SPF50+
This easy spray-on formula makes sunscreen application a real breeze. Lightweight, cooling and untraceable, this neck-to-toe mist provides your body broad spectrum SPF50 coverage with Sunsitive protection, an exclusive combination of actives including pre-tocopheryl—a powerful antioxidant that deflects free radicals—and soothing, anti-irritating Avène Thermal Spring Water.
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Sekkisei Clear Wellness UV Defense Ice Bubble Gel SPF50+/PA++++
Beat the heat and protect your body with this cool-touch SPF50+/PA++++ UV foam gel. Busting bubbles offer a sensation of instant relief while cooling menthol refreshes the skin. Like other sunscreens in Sekkisei’s Clear Wellness SPF family, this contains 77 per cent Itowa serum featuring squalane with baby mint and Job’s tears seed extracts to protect and repair damaged skin barrier while safeguarding the skin from dark spots, irritation and more. Happily, the sunscreen is also waterproof, which is great for anyone who is working up a sweat outdoors. We can’t think of anything more reviving to apply in soaring temperatures.
Sekkisei Clear Wellness UV Defense Ice Bubble Gel, $29, available at Welcia-BHG