The Best Sunscreens To Use This Summer, According To The Viva Team
Here’s what we plan to slip, slop and slap on all summer long
Mecca To Save Face SPF 50
(This receives bonus points as three of our team members named it as their first choice)
I love that it is moisturising, but it doesn’t feel overly creamy, so I can wear foundation over it. I’m also enjoying trialling various gel formulas, as this is a fast developing area. I shop for this, which from a beauty editor who is surrounded by trial items is the ultimate endorsement. Dermalogica, Ultraceuticals and clinic brand Elta MD are others I like a lot; they have a good range for different skin needs, with added antioxidants. But you absolutely don’t have to spend up large to get a good product. Brands like Neutrogena and Nivea are my go-to products for the beach. I’m old- fashioned in preferring to rub in rather than spray and not wanting to smell like a smoothie.
— Janetta Mackay, beauty editor
DMK Soleil Defence SPF 50+ UVA & UVB
I was recommended this sunscreen by my skin therapist last year and I haven’t looked back since. I apply this as the last step of my morning skincare regimen, before prepping my skin for makeup application with a primer. A pea-sized amount is more than enough, as it spreads easily and doesn’t leave skin feeling greasy like many other sunscreens do. I struggle with hyperpigmentation, and this formula includes protection from both UVA and UVB rays, which helps prevents my pigmentation from worsening. At the beach, I’m always armed with Bondi Sands SPF 30 Sunscreen Oil. It smells like coconut and leaves my skin feeling supple.
— Ashleigh Cometti, commercial editor and beauty writer
Invisible Zinc Face & Body Sunscreen 2Hr Water Resistant SPF 50
I can’t go past Invisible Zinc for my day-to-day – the new formula means it’s lighter and rubs in clear, rendering it virtually undetectable but still protects my skin from harsh UV rays.
— Amanda Linnell, editor
Mario Badescu Oil Free Moisturiser SPF 30
Being mixed race I tend to go brown quickly during summer, so I try to look after my skin. I’ve recently started incorporating Mario Badescu products into my routine because it’s not too expensive and they feel and smell good. I use the oil free moisturiser with SPF 30, and after a swim or if I’ve been out in the sun too long, I like to put on the Mario Badescu After Sun Cooling Gel. I’m a big fan of misters, even at work when I'm often in an air-conditioned office or studio for 8 hours a day. Face misters are great when travelling to hot and tropical places, so a quick spritz of the Facial Spray with aloe, cucumber and green tea does the trick and helps keep my skin fresh after long periods in the sun.
— Dan Ahwa, fashion editor
Bondi Sands SPF 50 Lotion
This is my summer go-to for all-over body application at the beach or at a festival. The coconutty smell is so good and it's moisturising and light, never sticky. I'm of the fair-skin variety so I appreciate the SPF 50 factor too.
— Johanna Thornton, deputy editor
My Sunshine SPF 30 Sunscreen
At first I was worried this sunscreen would be quite greasy, as organic sunscreens can be, but it actually sinks into the skin really nicely when applied and leaves a dewy finish that makeup goes really well on top of. I find that it sits well on my skin, which is naturally on the oily side, throughout the day and doesn't slide off, plus the list of other ingredients like organic Aloe Vera, antioxidant-rich green tea and vitamin E and red raspberry seed oil have me convinced it does my skin good while it's on.
— Rosie Herdman, writer and fashion assistant
Shiseido Waso Colour-Smart Day Moisturiser SPF 30
I tend to stay out of the sun as much as possible and pretty much never sunbathe but I include a sunblock in my daily routine rather than using a separate product. It also doubles up as a tinted moisturiser. For a stronger, proper sunblock if I really can't avoid the sun my go-to is JASON Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen because it's vegan-friendly and free from parabens.
— Rebecca Zephyr Thomas, photographer
EltaMD UV Pure Broad-Spectrum SPF 47
I’ve just switched to a broad spectrum SPF 47 sunscreen by EltaMD Skincare, bought form About Face. So far I’m impressed with the thin consistency and that it’s all-natural, fragrance free and non-comedogenic. It’s said to be gentle on skin with chemical-free active ingredients – mainly zinc oxide – which protect against UVA and UVB rays. It's also water resistant for 80 minutes. Sunscreen is a huge priority in my skincare (year-round!) so I also can’t go past Jane Iredale’s mineral powder foundation which has SPF included and is a natural formula too.
— Sarah Downs, writer
Nivea Sun Sunblock Moisturising Lotion SPF 50+
A Kiwi summer starter kit wouldn't be complete without a bottle of faithful Nivea Sun Sunblock. There always seems to be one lurking in the cupboard to throw in your bag for the beach, park or pool. I would consider this stuff is less of an everyday product and more something you slather on top-to-toe when you're prepping for a serious day outdoors. It’s also pretty budget-friendly so you don’t have to think twice about covering every inch.
— Saru Krishnasamy, digital editor
Discover how to choose the right sunscreen.