Once the sun comes out and the weather warms up, all we can think about is getting outside. Luckily, CVS offers incredible formulas to keep our skin protected during the summer months (at an affordable price point) and it’s quickly become our go-to spot for a vetted curation of SPFs, after-sun lotions, and antioxidant formulas. Below, our editors divulge their best sun care secrets and favorite protective formulas—all available at your local CVS or on the store’s website. Happy summer!
Hallie Gould, Editorial Director
This lip balm feels like vacation courtesy of its sweet coconut scent and helpful sun protection. It’s brimming with vitamin E and aloe to soothe, smooth, and hydrate your lips. I keep one in every pocket and beach bag.
The genius of this product is in the texture—a lightweight water-gel hybrid—because it's a pleasure to apply. Formulated with hyaluronic acid and an SPF of 25, Neutrogena's Hydro Boost City Shield Hydrating Water Gel works to protect your skin and keep it hydrated and bouncy. I like to apply it as the last step in my daily skincare routine each morning and either wear it solo or under makeup. The finish is so glowy. Plus, it's oil-free and non-comedogenic so it'll never feel greasy or heavy.
Every once in a while, you need a little TLC post-sun. This after-sun lotion is heavenly; it’s restorative, nourishing, and so comforting. A blend of aloe, baobab and coconut oils, and cactus prickly pear, Unsun’s Refreshing After Sun Lotion is exactly what you need after a day outdoors.
Aimee Simeon, Senior Editor
Applying sunscreen isn't always the sexiest experience—especially when you have brown skin. White-cast formulas are rampant in the suncare aisle, but Black Girl Sunscreen has changed that—and then some. The SPF 30 formula is made to wear invisibly on all skin tones, focusing on deep complexions. Beyond looking good on you, the formula is packed with good-for-you ingredients like avocado, jojoba, and sunflower oils to hydrate and leave behind a glow you'll want to have daily.
Good sunscreen lotion is mandatory when spending time outdoors. Instead of getting in an arm workout massaging thick white formulas into my body, I love this clear option for Bare Republic. It quickly absorbs the skin without leaving behind a greasy, gray cast. The formula is lightweight and has a pleasantly subtle mango coconut scent that feels like a warm hug on vacation.
Coola's Classic Body Organic Sunscreen Spray is a formula I reach for repeatedly. Not only do I get gray-cast-free protection, but it's packed with hydrating ingredients like raspberry seed oil and prickly pear extract to nourish my skin while it's exposed. The guava mango fragrance also makes frequently reapplying an enjoyable experience.
Jesa Calaor, Editor
If there’s one product I wear every day, it’s facial SPF. While I’m constantly trying new formulas (it’s part of the job), I always find myself gravitating toward this one from La Roche-Posay. One pump is usually enough for my face, and it melts onto my medium-tan skin with no white cast. I love that it’s swirled with SPF 50 and skin-improving ingredients like radiance-boosting vitamin C.
As if they have a mind of their own, my hands reach for balms and salves frequently throughout the day. They’re essential to my routine, keeping my lips from getting chapped (which they have a tendency to do, year-round). One that I often reach for is this pick from Aquaphor. It’s not tacky or messy and its SPF of 30 is a huge plus.
When my skin gets thirsty, it shows. My arms and legs lose their radiance and get ashy—especially on hot days. I lean on a nourishing body sunscreen, like this one from Aveeno to prevent this. It contains prebiotic oat to keep skin feeling silky and moisturized, even in the harshest summer heat.