Although dermatologists and skincare experts recommend wearing sunscreen every day, most of us are guilty of reserving the practice exclusively for days spent outdoors. While we know the benefits of daily SPF application—think lessening your chances of skin cancer, preventing premature aging, and fewer sunburns and dark spots—the notoriously sticky and greasy product can turn people off.
Luckily, there’s a simple solution: sunscreen sticks. Ideal for hard-to-reach areas like the nose, behind the ears, and the nooks and crannies of hands, sunscreen sticks are an easy, on-the-go alternative to lotion and spray-on formulas. The compact sticks also boast all of the familiar benefits found in alternative formulas but offer a portable, spill-proof option that’s safe for storing in handbags or suitcases when traveling. Plus, sunscreen sticks are more concentrated, offering increased staying power and a better-absorbing formula that’s less likely to run or sweat off throughout the day.
In addition to their compact size and highly-concentrated formulas, sunscreen sticks make re-application a breeze. They glide over bare skin and makeup seamlessly, and since they boast a wax-like consistency, they’re less likely to run or cause irritation to sensitive parts of the face like the eyes.
To prove to you that sunscreen sticks are really all that, we rounded up a list of the Top 10 formulas on the internet. The picks ahead feature skin-loving ingredients, sensitive skin-friendly formulas, no-fuss options for kiddos, and more. From Sun Bum to Supergoop!, there's an option on the list for every skin type and budget.
How We Found The Best Sunscreen Sticks
Using our data-driven algorithm that factors in user reviews, editor recommendations, and best-seller lists, we vetted the 10 sunscreens ahead for proven efficacy and top-notch quality according to consumers like you. Whether you’re in the market for a non-comedogenic formula, a sunscreen that stays put even after sweating and swimming, or an everyday option, there’s a sunscreen stick for you on the list below. Keep scrolling to discover the 10 best sunscreen sticks you can shop right this very second.
Next up, check out the 10 Best Body Sunscreens. Opening image: @supergoop
April 11, 2022
Top 10 Lists serve as unbiased shopping guides to the most trusted product recommendations on the internet. Products are scored and ranked using an algorithm backed by data consumers find most valuable when making a purchase. We are reader-supported and may earn a commission when you shop through our links.
MDSolarSciences Solar Stick SPF40
WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: With its twist-up stick applicator that perfectly fits in a handbag, this sunscreen stick couldn't be more convenient. It glides on sheer and absorbs quickly, so on-the-go application is a breeze.
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: Formulated with ProVention- R Liposome, this sunscreen stick is packed with antioxidants (including vitamin C!) to defend the skin against free radicals.
Clinique Broad Spectrum SPF 45 Sunscreen Targeted Protection Stick
WHO IT’S FOR: Thanks to the oil-free formula, this sunscreen is a safe pick for those with skin types prone to acne or excess oil. It's also specially designed to protect fragile areas like the lips, nose, earlobes, and even scars.
USER REVIEW: "I love to sit in the sun. It’s my happy place. But I can get sun blisters on my lips. This is the only product that has worked to protect me from that. I won’t go out in the sun without it."
Mustela SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen Stick
WHO IT'S FOR: Travel-friendly and fragrance-free, this gentle formula is totally safe for sensitive skin types. It delivers up to 80 minutes of sweat- and water-resistant wear and broad-spectrum SPF 50 protection.
HELPFUL TIP: For best results, apply this sunscreen immediately after towel drying or every two hours.
Neutrogena Beach Defense Water-Resistant Sunscreen Stick
WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: The larger size means this Neutrogena pick is ideal for the body and face. It's also made with Neutrogena's Beach Defense formula, which means it's water-resistant, can stand up to any activity, and protects against water damage, too.
HELPFUL TIP: When using this on the body, be sure to rub it in after applying to avoid looking like a zebra.
Sun Bum Mineral SPF 50 Sunscreen Face Stick
WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: Formulated by the folks at Sun Bum for easy, everyday wear, this mineral formula sits on top of the skin rather than absorbing into it.
HELPFUL TIP: The zinc oxide makes this formula a little less spreadable than most, so we recommend warming it between your fingers before application.
CeraVe Sunscreen Stick SPF 50
WHAT IT DOES: The name CeraVe should instantly let you know that this formula is full of good, skin-loving ingredients. Along with SPF 50, it also contains ceramides to help repair and restore the protective skin barrier, plus hyaluronic acid to keep the skin super moisturized.
WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: This formula spreads easily and dries clear and grease-free thanks to the InvisibleZinc Technology.
BeautyCounter Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Stick
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: Designed to glide on smoothly, this cocoa butter-infused mineral sunscreen delivers indulgent hydration and water-resistant protection for up to 80 minutes. Plus, it's clean and cruelty-free.
USER REVIEW: “I love this sunscreen stick, especially when you don’t want sunscreen stinging your eyes or face! It absorbs and feels great—no breakouts!”
Sun Bum Sunscreen Face Stick
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: Featuring an easy-to-use rollerball, this broad-spectrum, water-resistant formula boasts skin-loving ingredients like vitamin E. Since it glides on easily, it's a great option for the kids too.
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: Arguably one of the best things about this sunscreen is the smell—think fresh coconuts and tropical scents.
Shiseido Clear Sunscreen Stick SPF 50+
WHY PEOPLE LOVE IT: Formulated to glide on clear both under and over makeup, this sunscreen stick offers portable coverage and an ocean-safe formula that's perfect for beach days.
USER REVIEW: “I'm East Indian and always have issues with sunscreen turning white on my skin. This stick is clear, so it has zero white cast! It does not melt in my bag at the beach or when I'm using it in the Arizona heat. It glides on nicely and absorbs perfectly for my combination skin. I'm in my late 40s, and this one's my go-to after decades of searching for something that will work ALL the time. Worth the price!”
Supergoop! Glow Stick Sunscreen SPF 50
WHAT IT DOES: Designed to provide your face, chest, and shoulders with a healthy glow, this mess-free sunscreen stick boasts invisible coverage and hydrating benefits without the oily residue.
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: This sunscreen stick also doubles as a face and body highlighter. Consider swapping it for your usual highlighter as a skin-healthy alternative.
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