The 12 Best Body Sunscreens of 2023, Tested & Reviewed

Picks from La Roche-Posay, Banana Boat, Supergoop and more came out on top.

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Best Body Sunscreens of 2023

Shape / Brian Kopinski

By now many—maybe even most—people know the importance of applying sunscreen each and every day regardless of the time of year or the temperature outside. That said, since SPF is marketed as skincare, and because most skincare is face-specific, many people don’t extend their sunscreen application beyond their head. We get it: The majority of your skin isn’t exposed to harmful UV rays on a daily basis—but what about your hands, neck, and decolletage? They need protection, too, which is why it’s important to keep your vanity stocked with not only facial SPF but one of the best body sunscreens, too. 

“If you are not properly covered up and protected, you are exposing yourself to harms, from further aging—collagen and elasticity loss, wrinkles, and brown spots—to cancer,” says board-certified dermatologist Macrene Alexiades, MD Ph.D, a dermatologist in New York City. While she heavily recommends sun-protective clothing, she says that having a high-quality body sunscreen on hand is helpful, too. 

Instead of tossing you out in search of the best body sunscreen, ahead you’ll find 12 of the ones that performed in our testing. In addition to being highly rated, these sunscreens went through our personal vetting process. When sorting through dozens of sunscreens, we looked for products that performed well in a number of categories, including texture, transfer, water resistance, and whether or not they leave a white cast.

Best Overall

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt-In Milk Sunscreen SPF 60

La Roche-posay Anthelios Melt-in Sunscreen Milk SPF 60


Why We Like It: It rubs in easily and nourishes skin in the process.

It’s Worth Noting: It has a strong sunscreen scent that may be off-putting.

The La Roche-Posay Anthelios Melt In Milk Body & Face Sunscreen comes in a squeeze tube with a dispenser at the bottom. Because of this, we found that the product easily squeezed out of the tube. While the texture is a bit thicker—and admittedly feels a touch greasy on first contact—it rubs in as effortlessly as a lightweight lotion, settling nicely into the skin in the process. Best of all, this fragrance-free, water-resistant SPF doesn’t leave any white cast behind. It applies seamlessly for SPF 60 protection that’s said to last for 80 minutes (though, it’s still a good idea to reapply after fully submerging in water). 

The one thing that’s not stellar about this body sunscreen is the scent. It has a chemical sunscreen smell that can be off-putting for some. Despite the scent, though, board-certified dermatologist Dustin Portela DO, FAAD says that it’s one of his personal favorites all summer long. “This goes on smoothly and protects my skin perfectly,” he says.

Price at time of publish: $26

Size: 3 oz. (also available in 5 oz.) | Active Ingredient: Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 10%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 7%

Best Spray

COOLA Organic Sunscreen SPF 30 Sunblock Spray



Why We Like It: It’s super lightweight and sinks quickly into skin.

It’s Worth Noting: It has a natural coconut scent that’s subtle and long-lasting.

Spray sunscreens tend to be the easiest to apply full-body formulas: Simply twist the nozzle and start spraying. However, it’s important to note that the fine mist can make it difficult to apply evenly and you need to spray more than you think to get full coverage. 

Where many spray SPFs smell highly chemical (ie: that traditional sunscreen scent), the Coola Classic Sunscreen Spray has an authentic coconut scent that’s subtle and summery, almost like a faint perfume — which is good, considering the scent lasts for hours post-spritz. 

Beyond the scent, this spray SPF, which goes on clear, is super easy to apply and leaves skin feeling hydrated. It takes a couple of minutes to fully dry down but doesn’t leave skin feeling parched once it does. If you don’t have a dedicated scalp sunscreen, a spray is great in a pinch for your partline or any exposed skin on your head.  

Although we didn’t have any issues with irritation while using the SPF, it’s even more notable that Dr. Alexiades says Coola products are typically gentle enough for use on infants and children—they’re that gentle. 

Price at time of publish: $28

Size: 5 oz. | Active Ingredient: Avobenzone 2.8%, Octisalate 4.9%, Octocrylene 7.6%

Best Stick

MDSolarSciences Tinted Solar Stick SPF 40

MDSolarSciences Solar Stick SPF 40


Why We Like It: It absorbs fully into skin and doesn’t leave a white cast behind.

It’s Worth Noting: It transfers slightly onto dark clothing.

If your main goal is to find a mess-free, travel-friendly SPF, look no further than the MDSolarSciences Solar Stick SPF 40. The oil-free, reef-safe physical sunscreen glides on smoothly and, while it initially looks like it will leave a white residue, we found that it sinks into skin fully after a couple of minutes. Although it doesn’t leave a cast, it does make skin look glowy with a slightly shimmery (never greasy) quality. 

While the SPF is water resistant up to 80 minutes and doesn’t run when splashed, it does transfer slightly onto clothes, so think twice before using it while wearing an all black outfit. 

Still, the fact that it comes in a small, easy-to-carry stick makes it a top pick for Dr. Portela. The MDSolarSciences Solar Stick is a great way to reapply and ensure optimal sun protection, he says.

Price at time of publish: $21

Size: 0.6 oz. | Active Ingredient: 8.1% Titanium Dioxide and 6.6% Zinc Oxide

Best Sport

Banana Boat Sport Performance Sunscreen Lotion

Banana Boat Sport Performance Sunscreen Lotion


Why We Like It: It’s lightweight and applies smoothly without leaving a greasy residue in its wake. 

It’s Worth Noting: It’s not reef-safe, which is important to keep in mind depending on where you’re traveling.

If you’re planning to spend a lot of time sweating or swimming, you’ll want to equip yourself with a highly water-resistant SPF. During testing, we found the Banana Boat Sport Ultra SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion to perform the best in this category. Smelling vaguely of banana and coconut, this ultra-white, semi-thick SPF takes some effort to fully rub in but it eventually dries down for smooth, lightweight wear that doesn’t look or feel greasy. Instead, we found that it actually makes skin feel hydrated and soothed.  

It might not be the fanciest body sunscreen — nor is it reef-safe, which is important to keep in mind when traveling to places like Hawaii — but in terms of water resistance and proven protection, we found this formula to exceed our expectations. Run, bike, hike to your heart’s content and the formula stays working while you sweat. 

Price at time of publish: $7 for 2

Size: 3 oz. | Active Ingredient: Avobenzone 2.7%, Homosalate 6.0%, Octisalate 4.5%, Octocrylene 4.5%

Best Lotion

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen with SPF 55

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen SPF 55


Why We Like It: It never gets stuck in the bottle since the dispenser is at the bottom. 

It’s Worth Noting: It takes a little bit longer to absorb but settles nicely into skin once it does.

The Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen Lotion is a fan-favorite among over 10,000 Amazon shoppers and our editors. The easy-to-dispense formula comes in a squeeze tube and features a subtle floral scent that almost fully masks the classic SPF smell. 

The SPF itself is extremely creamy and lightweight, which makes it easy to rub in in record time. What’s more, once it dries down, which admittedly takes a little bit, it looks slightly matte, which gives it a slightly elevated appearance compared to other sticky, greasy-looking formulas. Best of all, it stays put once settled in. Whether you sweat, take a dip, or get splashed: This SPF isn’t budging. (Though, as we mentioned before, it’s still always a good idea to reapply after fully submerging in water, to ensure your skin is as protected as possible.)

Price at time of publish: $10

Size: 3 oz. | Active Ingredient: Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 10%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 2.8%, Oxybenzone 6%

Best Mineral

Pipette Mineral Sunscreen

Pipette Mineral Sunscreen - SPF 50 Broad Spectrum Sunblock with Non-Nano Zinc


Why We Like It: The creamy consistency blends smoothly into skin and doesn’t leave a white cast, nor pilling, behind. 

It’s Worth Noting: It can feel slightly sticky during the dry-down process. 

Pipette Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50 is not only the best mineral sunscreen, it’s also incredibly gentle. Designed specifically for babies, the non-nano, fragrance-free formula is airy and lightweight, offering seamless application and comfortable wear. Babies and adults alike were wowed by this physical formula during our tests. 

Although the creamy, easy-to-blend formula absorbs into skin without leaving a white cast behind, we found that it can feel slightly sticky during the dry-down process. That said, once it sinks in—which doesn’t take that long—skin feels soft and smooth, with a slightly mattified finish. 

If you’re planning to wear this SPF in wet situations, just know that it’s totally normal for the formula to get slightly slippery upon contact. Thankfully, though, it won’t run.

Price at time of publish: $13

Size: 4 oz. | Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide 20%

Best Mousse

Supergoop! PLAY Body Sunscreen Mousse SPF 50

Supergoop! PLAY Body Sunscreen Mousse SPF 50


Why We Like It: It has a delicate scent and a beautiful texture that blends effortlessly into skin.

It’s Worth Noting: Since it’s an opaque aluminum can, you can’t see how much product is left at any given time.

You might have thought that mousse was solely for your hair, but nowadays it’s a sunscreen option, too, thanks to Supergoop! The brand’s PLAY Body Mousse SPF 50 is a fan favorite for its delightfully-scented formula that puffs out in cloud-like plumes that melt instantly into skin for an end result that both looks and feels hydrated. 

As moisturized as it makes skin feel, though, it doesn’t have a sticky or greasy residue, so we found that we could get dressed almost immediately post-application without fear of any product transfer — which is fairly unheard of, even for body lotions.

As much as we love this chemical SPF, we have to say: The opaque aluminum canister makes it difficult to know exactly how much you have left. Because of this, it never hurts to keep a backstock of the stellar SPF. 

Price at time of publish: $34

Size: 6.5 oz. | Active Ingredient: Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 15%, Octisalate 5%

Best for Sensitive Skin

Blue Lizard Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50

BLUE LIZARD Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen with Zinc Oxide 50+


Why We Like It: It leaves skin feeling hydrated and silky smooth.

It’s Worth Noting: It transfers slightly when wet.

Formulated specifically for sensitive skin, the Blue Lizard Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen with Zinc Oxide is ideal for those who are more reactive to sun protection and skincare in general. The reef-safe sunscreen is so silky and smooth, it almost has a milky consistency. Because of this, it’s incredibly easy to apply and sinks into skin quickly with minimal rubbing. Truly, it takes less time to settle in than traditional lotions do — and that’s saying something for a mineral SPF. But, even once it’s sunk in, it leaves skin looking dewy without feeling sticky. Suffice to say, it’s a stellar formula.

Just keep in mind that this SPF does transfer slightly, so you may want to be wary about wearing it with dark clothing.

Price at time of publish: $15

Size: 5 oz. | Active Ingredient: Titanium Dioxide 8% Zinc Oxide 10%

Best Water Resistant

Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protector Lotion SPF 50+

Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protector Lotion SPF 50+


Why We Like It: It has a watery consistency that makes it feel like a little goes a long way. 

It’s Worth Noting: It takes five to 10 minutes to fully sink into skin.

If you prefer more luxurious skincare formulas, the Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protector Lotion SPF 50+ Sunscreen might be exactly what you’re looking for. The formula, which is quite watery, comes housed in a bright blue bottle with a twist-off cap. Thanks to its ultra-lightweight texture, a little goes a long way with this SPF, though, it’s important to still adequately apply drops all over your body for optimal UV protection. 

Just keep in mind that, while it’s water resistant, since it’s so wet upon application, it takes a bit to fully sink into skin. Once it does, though, you can get splashed without fear of it immediately running and rinsing off. Even more, the formula actually works harder when exposed to heat, sweat, or water. It’s the ideal formula for an active lifestyle. 

Price at time of publish: $50

Size: 5 oz. (also available in 1.6 oz.) | Active Ingredient: Avobenzone 2.3%, Homosalate 10%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 5%

Best for Dark Skin

Black Girl Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SFP 30

Black Girl Sunscreen


Why We Like It: A little goes a long way, without leaving any white cast behind. 

It’s Worth Noting: It’s fragrance-free, so if you like a body sunscreen with a scent, this isn’t it.

If you have darker skin, you’ll want a body SPF that won’t leave the slightest white cast behind. While many sunscreen formulas have risen to the occasion, few are as effective as the Black Girl Sunscreen Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30. Designed specifically for darker skin tones, the creamy, lightweight formula glides on effortlessly for a smooth, slightly shimmery finish. Although it has a bit of a glow to it, the product doesn’t transfer a greasy or oily residue to clothing, nor does it rinse off when splashed. 

All in all, it’s an A+ product. One note, though: If you like SPF with a scent, this isn't it. The beloved formula is designed to be gentle, so it’s fragrance-free.

Price at time of publish: $16

Size: 3 oz. | Active Ingredient: Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 10%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 2.75%

Best Scent

Vacation Classic Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen

Vacation Classic Lotion SPF 30


Why We Like It: It goes on clear and sinks quickly into skin. 

It’s Worth Noting: The tube is small and you’ll use it up quickly if applied daily.

There’s so much to love about the Vacation Classic Lotion SPF 30. Despite appearing white, the reef-safe sunscreen applies virtually clear, without a single ashy trace in its place. As much as we enjoy the texture, though, our first thought when we tested it was that it smells like summer in a bottle. This, of course, makes sense considering the brand describes it as a blend of coconut, banana, pool water, and swimsuit lycra. While we personally enjoy the scent, it’s worth mentioning that this SPF aroma really lingers, so if you’re sensitive to fragrances, this may not be your best bet. 

We loved that the bottle was travel-sized, it made it easy for us to tote along to beach-side resorts, however that also means you fly through it quickly. We wish this came in an economy sized bottle, too.

Price at time of publish: $18

Size: 3.4 oz. | Active Ingredient: Avobenzone 2.5%, Homosalate 10%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 8%

Best Reef Safe

Reef Repair Reef Safe Sunscreen SPF 30+

Reef Repair Reef Safe Sunscreen SPF 30+


Why We Like It: The consistency of the sunscreen makes it apply super smoothly compared to other reef-safe sunscreens.

It’s Worth Noting: It smells a bit plasticky. 

From first glance, you might not think much of the Reef Repair Reef Safe Sunscreen SPF 30+, as the bottle is very colorful with outdated-looking text. That said, we found this travel-friendly SPF to be the best reef-safe sunscreen of the bunch. As a refresher, reef-safe sunscreens are made without oxybenzone, octinoxate, and other potentially harmful chemical ingredients. Instead, this SPF relies solely on (non-nano) zinc oxide for its UV protection. 

In terms of the product itself, we found the consistency to be extremely smooth and easy to spread—especially in comparison to other, often thick reef-safe sunscreens. Once spread on, the product absorbed into skin almost immediately, so there’s no worry of a white cast or transferring. 

The only downsides of this SPF are its scent and water resistance. We found it to smell a bit plasticky—though it’s really only noticeable right up close to the skin. As far as water resistance, despite claiming to offer an hour of sweat-proof wear, during our testing, this SPF began to run after even slight water exposure. 

Price at time of publish: $17

Size: 1.7 oz. | Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide 20% (Non Nano)

Our Testing Process

We tested over 45 different formulas of sunscreens, including reef-safe and travel-friendly options. Each product was tested by at least two editors of a variety of skin tones and skin types over the course of several weeks to evaluate how the products performed. With so much research and insights readily available, we were able to sort out the best body sunscreens based on the high-performing products in a number of key categories, including texture, transfer, water-resistance, and whether or not they left a white cast. 

After we narrowed our list down to these 12 we considered the pros and cons of each product and the information necessary to make an informed decision about purchasing the best option for you. We also interviewed three dermatologists to answer our many burning (wink, wink) questions about SPF. 

What to Know About Body Sunscreens

Physical vs Chemical

Body sunscreens, like facial sunscreens, come in both chemical and physical formulas. 

“Chemical sunscreens spread more easily and often have a thinner consistency making them more aesthetically pleasing, however, chemical sunscreens often include ingredients like oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate, or avobenzone, which are dangerous to coral reefs in the ocean,” Dr. Alexiades says. The best reef-safe formula in our tests was Reef Repair Reef Safe Sunscreen SPF 30+

“Additionally, people with dry or sensitive skin, and those prone to acne or rosacea, may experience stinging, flushing, irritation, and/or clogged pores when using these ingredients.” Our favorite chemical sunscreens of the bunch were La Roche Posay Melt-in-Milk and Banana Boat Sport

With this in mind, Alexiades suggests that the more sensitive and reactive your skin, the better off you’ll be with a physical (mineral) sunscreen, which features zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide at the helm. While they’re gentler, she admits that they do have a downside. “Mineral sunscreens rub off faster and are less water resistant,” she admits. Pipette Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50 claimed the top spot for mineral formulas.

SPF 30+

As mentioned, SPF 30 or higher is ideal for adequate UV protection. Thankfully, many different body sunscreen formulas are sold at that level. Not sure which is right for you? 

“I prefer a lighter lotion (we liked Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen Lotion) for my arms and a spray (we picked Coola Classic Sunscreen Spray) for my legs— those just work better on my skin,” Portela says. “And I love a stick for reapplication (such as MDSolarSciences Solar Stick SPF 40); if your hands aren’t clean and you don’t want to rub them all over, a stick or even a spray are an excellent option on the body.”

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Are body lotions with SPF effective?

    Just as with makeup, classic body lotions simply infused with SPF aren’t as protective as standalone body sunscreens. With this in mind, board-certified dermatologist Carmen Castilla, M.D., suggests finding your ideal body sunscreen formula, whether it’s a chemical or physical formula.

    “Chemical sunscreens absorb UV radiation which causes the sunscreen to lose its effectiveness the longer it is exposed to UV radiation,” she says. “This is why it is especially important to reapply a chemical sunscreen when outside for long periods of time.” Mineral sunscreens, on the other hand, reflect UV radiation and don't break down with UV exposure, she says. “In general, mineral sunscreens (zinc oxide/ titanium dioxide) provide better broad spectrum UV protection than chemical sunscreens,” she concludes.

  • Can I use SPF 15 for my body?

    Can you? Yes. Should you? No. “Most people do not apply sunscreen in proper dosage or frequently enough,” Dr. Alexiades says. To avoid such an ideal, she suggests using an SPF of 30 or higher and emphasizes the importance of applying to key-yet-often-overlook areas, like the back of your ears, your part line, and behind your knees. 

    Even if you use a higher SPF, though, Alexiades says it’s important to always reapply. “Reapply every two hours or as often as you can, and right away after sweating or spending time in the water,” she says. 

    Another tip? “Apply 15 minutes before you go out in the sun to maximize protection,” she says.

  • Can I use face sunscreen on my body?

    If you’re wondering the difference between facial sunscreens and body sunscreens, the answer is not much. Where facial skincare products are generally more gentle and less pore-clogging than full-body formulas, body sunscreen is often water-resistant or waterproof to really pump up the protection. Additionally, facial sunscreens tend to come in smaller tubes, so using them on your body can make them dwindle quickly.  

Why Trust Shape

Rebecca Norris is a freelance writer who has covered beauty for the past 10 years. For this story, she read reviews and evaluated in-house testing insights. She then spoke with three dermatologists about the importance of body sunscreen, as well as what makes the most effective formula. She presents the best body sunscreens of 2023.

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