Tan tattoos may be a thing, but we’re not even going to spend a moment discussing the reasons why that makes us cringe. Instead we’re going to focus on the fact there’s a serious number of innovations in sunscreen coming at you this summer. We’re talking formulas that won’t break down in the face of sweat, spray nozzles that cover wider areas for total bod protection, textures that glide and mineral options for sensitive skin. You’d be hard pressed to find something you can’t get on board with.
“The best sunscreen is the one you’re going to use,” says dermatologist Dr. Sonya Cook. While there are those who apply it no matter what, there are far more who shirk wearing it for a litany of reasons, from its texture to its opacity to its tendency to stain clothes. Recognizing that excuses, and therefore compliance, are still an issue, this season’s offerings work to solve a range of problems. Coppertone’s nozzle spray covers a wider area (think of it as using a roller versus a paintbrush); Neutrogena has developed “micromesh” technology, allowing sweat to pass through the sunscreen without compromising its effectiveness; Banana Boat figured out a way for sand to be easily brushed away when it sticks to skin; and Garnier Ombrelle’s SPF is so fluid, it feels like body lotion. And for those who’d rather avoid chemical filters, mineral options abound. All that being said, sunscreens are not a green light to sit out on your beach towel. “It should be your last line of defence, after you’ve already used your judgment. You’re not sitting at the pool at noon, when the UV risk is 12,” says Dr. Manish Khanna, consulting dermatologist for Garnier Ombrelle. But even the SPF police acknowledge that we need to relish the season while we can. “We have short summers,” says Cook. “We have to enjoy them or we’ll go crazy.”