No weird white film included.

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Three things women should never leave home without: their purse, their manners, and sunscreen on their faces. You already know why sunscreen is so important. Among other things, it helps reduce signs of aging. It can protect you from skin cancer. It can also prevent sun spots, or dark spots on skin that can be difficult to cover with regular makeup.

But as anyone who has ever sweat through a slather of ‘screen while enjoying a day at the lake knows, not all sunscreens are made the same. Indeed, in the wide world of sunscreen options, there are the good, the bad, and the downright ugly (the ones that will leave you soaking in aloe for relief because they provide no real sun protection). It takes a lot of work to find the sunscreen that’s right for you, and you may experience some not-so-great results in your hunt: from allergic reactions and pimples to unsightly films or icky greasy feelings. That doesn’t include the amount of money you might drop in order to put these sunscreens to your tests.

But, just in time for the peak of summer heat, we’ve found the one sunscreen that not only withstands Southern heat and humidity, it also won’t leave your face with a white or pale film that shows up under your makeup. How do we know? We tested it over and over and over, in heat and sun and in pools and humidity.

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EltaMD’s UV Elements Broad-Spectrum SPF 44 sunscreen is a mineral-based sunscreen with physical blockers zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Sunscreens with physical sun blockers tend to be less irritating and are better for people with sensitive skin. Physical sun blockers also feel more hydrating and less “sticky” than some chemical options.

While you’ve got it on, this sunscreen is doing a good bit of work for your skin, too. Antioxidants are combating skin aging from ultraviolet light and radiation. Hyaluronic acid helps the skin retain moisture despite all the sweating so the skin retains its youthful appearance. You’ll still want to use your regular moisturizer, but a little extra from your sunscreen is never a bad idea.

If you’re planning to take a dip in a pool, ocean, or lake, you will need to reapply after 40 minutes, but we found that this sunscreen doesn’t run even when you’re dripping with water (or, to be honest, sweat). We also liked that it didn’t turn sticky when we were sweating, which is another major flaw of most facial sunscreens.

WATCH: What Should You Put on First: Sunscreen or Moisturizer?

 

The EltaMD UV Elements sunscreen is tinted, which is a great way to start the foundation for your facial makeup, but if you like sunscreen without the tint, the brand’s UV Replenish Broad-Spectrum SPF 44 features all the same great benefits sans shade. For the best results, apply either sunscreen to your face at least 15 minutes before going outside or before adding any more makeup over it. This gives the sunscreen time to dry and absorb properly for the best protection. If you like your foundation to be super light in the summer heat, you may find the tinted version of this product is all you need, with a bit of blush and lip gloss (with sunscreen too, of course).

And be generous. Knowing how to apply sunscreen properly will help you get all the benefits out of it you’re intending for the short-term (no sunburns) and the long-term (reduced risk of cancer).

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