Editor’s Note: Our Buy section is devoted to giving you trusted recommendations for useful and delightful things. This community-sourced list—which we publish once a month—is designed to save you from untrustworthy online reviews and glorified Insta ads. You can rely instead on the collective wisdom of our wise and experienced subscribers :) This week we are re-upping this very useful list of the best sunscreens from last year.
Wanted: The perfect sunscreen
Sunscreens are among the hardest products to buy. Many of them look bizarre on Indian skin tones. Others leave your skin feeling caked and greasy. Do the lighter versions really offer any protection? Here’s what the splainer fam suggests.
Re'equil Ultra Matte Dry Touch (SPF 50): This was the most popular recommendation on our list. Moitreyee says “I have been using it for a while now, it works great for Mumbai weather for a combination skin-type and gives great protection. I tan very easily, but this one has protected me in places like Goa and Muscat.” Sonali and Sirisha love it because of its SPF and how light it feels on their skin.
Rohini adds that it “does not melt and roll down with sweat. I sweat a lot and this was my biggest peeve with even neutrogena which was otherwise a great sunscreen.” An added tip: she points out that it’s not easy to spread on your bare face and thus recommends using a toner and/ or moisturiser to prep the skin. The only downside: “My one tiny issue is that I am prone to blackheads on my nose and the high silicone content in the product causes flare ups. I have to ensure I have a regular salicylic acid and mud pack routine to combat the blackheads.” (Rs 780)
FYI: Bhakthi recommends the Sheer Zinc Tinted Mineral (SPF 50) also by Re’equil. She says it is “easy to apply, blends well, no white cast. Bit on the pricier side but works very well.” (Rs 895)
Lotus Herbals MatteGEL (SPF 50): This was the other hot fave on the list. Lavisha says it “doesn't ever give me breakouts. Feels better than most I've tried. Only thing is, it isn't swim proof. So it's not for the beach. But most sunscreens which are swim proof are bad for the water and fish, so haven't found a solution for that yet.” Devashree says, “It’s been my to go sunscreen for many years. I love the fact that it does not leave any white patches on your skin like some other sunscreens. It gives a nice moisturising effect and it smells great too!”
Sanjeeta recommends it because she has “oily skin and using cream sunscreens mean that it will, a 100%, cause breakouts and an unnecessary amount of pain. The Lotus Herbals sunscreen, therefore, is an absolute lifesaver. It is light on your skin, there is no stickiness and it really does protect you from the harsh summer sun rays.Trust me, from the beaches of Gokarna to the sweltering summer heat in Berlin and it has kept my skin safe and un-tanned!” (Rs 360)
Neutrogena UltraSheer Dry Touch Sunblock (SPF 50+): Many of our subscribers swear by this product. Anasuya says it “protects against even harsh sunlight. Very smooth and non-greasy. Very light and blends well, even after I apply it on after moisturiser. Used it on a week-long trip to the mountains, and haven't tanned a bit. Love it!” While Peehu likes that it “doesn't leave a white sheen like many sunscreens do”. Mallika adds that it is “effective and economical”. And Manasi loves that “it’s not oily”. (Rs 260)
Fixderma Shadow Cream (SPF 50): Srivatchala recommends this one saying, “I have dry skin and most sunscreens, when applied, are very greasy on my face. This coupled with sweat is overall a horrible experience. But the Fixderma one is perfect for me. It isn't greasy at all, the white cast settles down on my skin tone and best of all, it gets absorbed into my skin! It is also matte-ish so it's perfect.” (Rs 325)
PS: Need more options? Here’s a longer list:
- The DermaCo 1% Hyaluronic Aqua Gel (SPF 50): Keona loves that it is non greasy and doesn’t leave a white cast. She adds that it “looks like a dream too, because it leaves a slight glow behind.” (Rs 449)
- La Shield (SPF 50): Madhurima and Ruchika M love that it is matte, non-greasy, smooth and affordable. (Rs 299)
- Regaliz Truderma Gel (SPF 50): Sannidhi says this “doesn't leave behind a cast, isn't greasy but still has a moisturising effect.” (Rs 949)
- Minimalist Multi-vitamin Sunscreen (SPF 50): Ronit says “it feels light on the skin, doesn't pill, and is affordable”, while Deepti calls it your best bet in the summer. (Rs 399)
- SunScoop Matte Sunscreen (SPF 60): Suneera says this one absorbs into the skin very easily, leaves no white sheen and doesn’t cause you to break out. (Rs 645)
- La Roche-Posay Anthelios Fluid Sunscreen (SPF 60): Shunali recommends this because “it’s moisturising without being greasy and comes in a tinted option too.” (Rs 4,100)
- Aroma Magic Aloe Vera Gel (SPF 20): Jalasmi says it is “non sticky, mild and feels like basic aloe gel, and has no strong smell.” (Rs 325)
- Glossier Invisible Shield (SPF 35): Sarah loves this because it feels great on the skin even after 8 hours. ($25)
- Sunban Soft Nano Zinc Dry Touch by H&H (SPF 50+): Anirudh Dalmia vouches for this because it is “non greasy, made by a trustable pharma brand and has the appropriate SPF required for Indian climate.” (Rs 899)
- Just Herbs No Sun Jojoba Wheatgerm Moisturising Gel (SP4 35+): Nitya vouches for this because it “actually protects against burns and tan”. (Rs 795)
- Earth Rhythm's Ultra Defence (SPF 50): Shruthi loves this because it “doesn't leave a white cast”. (Rs 369)
- ThinkSport Sunscreen (SPF 50+): Ananya points out that “it's reef safe, mineral based, BPA free, no harmful chemicals for you or the environment.” (Rs 3,999)
- Avene Very High Protection Fluid Sunscreen (SPF 50+): Purnota says this one is easy to put on and is non greasy. The best part: “Kids don't fight it”. (Rs 1,750)
- Dr Sheth's Vitamin C and Ceramide Sunscreen (SPF 50): Tarini recommends this because “it has a gel kind of consistency, isn't oily and doesn't have a white cast. Completely odourless and you don't mind reapplying over a sweaty face!” (Rs 499)
- Plum Chamomile & White Tea Sheer Matte Day Cream (SPF 50): Shreya loves this because “it's almost like it's not there, it doesn't flake or dry skin out. Added tip: Best used with Plum moisturiser. (Rs 520)
- Ekran Soft Silicone Sunscreen (SPF 50+): Preethi stands by this product because it “is very light and non-greasy and does not cause acne.” (Rs 699)
- Bubblefarm Ultra Light Daily Sunshield (SPF 40): Srivatchala swears by this product because “I have dry skin and most sunscreens that promise a 'dewy' finish are too greasy for me. If I don't want to go for a matte option, I choose this Bubblefarm one. It provides good protection, it gives no white cast on my skin tone, and it is also a little moisturising.” (Rs 710)
- Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Lotion (SPF 50) and Sun Bum Moisturizing Lotion (SPF 50): Added bonus from Twitter: Vikas Navratna says “My wife, who doesn't tweet, wants me to tell you that [these] are [the] best options for fast-absorbing non-oily sunscreen lotions that don't make brown people like us look like freshly made powdered donuts when applied.” Neutrogena: (Rs 2,000) Sun Bum: (Rs 5,099)
Note: We do NOT receive any revenue from the brands recommended.