My Top 9 Subscription Box Discoveries: Sunscreen Edition
Writing for MSA really allowed me to find my passion and love of skincare, and with that came the transformation of being an occasional sunscreen user, to slathering on the stuff every single day. In my skincare journey, I have tried quite a few sunscreens, and since summer is more associated with sunscreen than other seasons (although every day is a day you should wear sunscreen), I thought a handy dandy roundup of my SPF favs was in order.
Sunscreen is the best way to protect your investments; why pay top dollar for the best serums, masks, and moisturizers you can find, if you don’t apply sunscreen to protect your skin from further damage? UV rays and sun damage can cause premature signs of aging, dark spots, skin cancer, and uneven skin tone. If you’re using treatments to address any of these issues, then you want to make sure you’re using sunscreen to prevent further damage. How much is enough? The experts say 1/4 teaspoon for your face and neck, and one ounce for your entire body (you can actually see me measuring my sunscreen in the Clinique video I link below). The experts also recommend reapplying every two hours, but even I am not that diligent (yet, at least). Getting into any kind of routine where you use sunscreen on a regular basis is better than nothing at all, so let’s dive in to some of my favorites that I’ve tried through subscription boxes.
The Cost: $23.00 for 1 oz
The Box: Sephora Sun Safety Kit 2021
This is the best tinted sunscreen that I have ever tried- Clinique nailed it. This is a mineral sunscreen with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, where the formula is lightweight and even a little runny. It’s really easy for me to apply to my skin, and the tint gives a soft blurring effect to my skin. I usually reach for this on no-makeup days when I want to look put together, but this also layers well under makeup too. I think those with oily skin would really like how lightweight this sunscreen is, but me and my dry skin love it too. Want to see what it looks like when I’m applying it? Check out my video here.
The Product: Innisfree Oat Mild Moisture Sun Cream SPF 50+
The Cost: $13.00
The Box: AKOCO Starter Kit
Here’s a mineral sunscreen that’s packed with soothing and antioxidant-rich ingredients; we’ve got oat kernal extract, Centella Asiatica, vitamin E, and cannabis seed oil. This is a really soothing and gentle sunscreen that absorbed easily into my skin without leaving a white cast behind. My sensitive skin really enjoyed this, and I love how affordable it is. This would be one of my top picks for those with more sensitive skin looking for a daily sunscreen- it’s is a little hard to find in the U.S., but the price is right, and it’s definitely worth the wait if you have to order it from overseas.
The Sunscreen: Dermalogica Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF 50 Moisturizer
The Cost: $75.00 for 1.7 oz
The Box: Sephora Sun Safety Kit 2021
If I had an unlimited skincare budget, this would be the sunscreen I reached for all of the time. Along with the chemical UV filters, the formula also has algae, peptides, and squalane. It’s really hydrating without being too heavy, and absorbs easily without leaving a white cast on my skin. I usually skip my moisturizer when I’m reaching for this, but I haven’t had issues layering this on top of moisturizers either. I have actually gone through a full-size bottle of this, with a backup bottle ready to go.
The Product: A’PIEU Pure Block Natural Daily Sun Cream SPF 45
The Cost: $7.00
The Box: Bomibox August 2020
I am a really big fan of A’PIEU- it’s pretty rare that I don’t enjoy a product of theirs. This sunscreen is the most affordable one on my list, but you will have to do a little bit of waiting for it to be mailed from across the ocean. This sunscreen is hydrating without being heavy, and it gave my skin a tiny bit of a glow. Along with chemical UV filters, the formula has aloe, fruit extracts, and flower extracts, and I didn’t have any issues with white cast. This does have a slight sunscreen-y smell to it, but it faded by the time I was done applying it.
The Cost: $49.00 for 5 oz
The Box: Sephora Sun Safety Kit 2019
I would be doing y’all a disservice if I didn’t include at least one water-resistant sunscreen on this list, and this one by Shiseido is by far the best in water-resistant coverage I have tried. It goes on as a clear liquid, and it didn’t feel too hard to rub in or too heavy. For best results, you should apply this about thirty minutes before you plan on getting wet (or sweating heavily), and then make sure to reapply after 80 minutes of active time to keep your skin protected.
The Product: Supergoop! Glowscreen Sunscreen SPF 40+
The Cost: $36.00 for 1.7 oz
The Box: Sephora Favorites: Clean Me Up Set
I read multiple reviews where Megan talked about how much she loved this sunscreen, but I didn’t actually believe the hype until I tried it myself (I’m sorry for doubting you, Megan!). Supergoop is great with their sunscreen formulas, but this one leaves me looking seriously radiant (you can see photos here). With a formula that uses chemical filters, it also utilizes hyaluronic acid and cocoa peptides. I’ve completely emptied the travel-size tube that came in my Sephora Favorites kit, so I pulled the trigger and purchased the full-size. I will say that while the tint and luminosity work amazingly well for my fair skin, I have seen some reviews on Instagram that this isn’t darker-skin friendly.
The Product: EltaMD UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46
The Cost: $37.00 for 1.7 oz
This sunscreen is very similar to the Dermalogica Dynamic Skin SPF that I love, at least in terms of texture and how hydrating and easy to apply it is, but it’s half the cost! Featuring a blend of mineral and chemical filters, it also has niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E. This is another sunscreen option that’s great for sensitive skin, and I’ve never had issues with it pilling or not layering well. Plus, I’ve seen multiple reviews on Instagram where it is approved to be darker-skin friendly. Want to see what it looks like when I’m applying it? Check out my video here.
The Product: Tizo Photoceutical AM Replenish Untinted SPF 40
The Cost: $48.00 for 1.7 oz
The Box: The Beauty Report Jet Set Box
I remember getting this sunscreen in a subscription box during law school, and it really helped me cement the habit of wearing sunscreen every single day because of how easy it was to apply. The formula uses mineral filters, ceramides, and vitamin c. This does have that silicone-y feel that some people hate and others don’t mind at all, but I like it because it doubles as a makeup primer for me.
The Product: Missha All Around Sun Block Essence SPF 45
The Cost: $14.00 for 1.7 oz
The Box: Pink Seoul Mask July 2020
This is another hydrating sunscreen that absorbs with ease and doesn’t leave a white cast on me (are you sensing a theme here?). I remember hating applying sunscreen as a teenager because of how thick and heavy it was, and now there are so many options out there that are actually easy to use and don’t leave you looking like a ghost. It’s a little basic other than being easy to apply with no white cast, but for $14.00 what more can I ask for from a sunscreen? Want to see what it looks like when I’m applying it? Check out my video here.
Now that I’ve rounded up my list of go-tos for sun protection, I would love to know what sunscreen you reach for on a regular basis. What are you loving? Have you tried any on my list?
Ready to discover more sunscreens or prefer to get with a sunless tan? Check out some of our readers’ favorites that hit all the marks.