The best sunblocks to slap on this summer

woman applying sunscreen
This is not me, but instead a beautiful woman applying sunscreen in an odd fashion. Photo credit: Getty.

Picking the best sunblock for a busy, sweaty, makeup-wearing lady (or gentleman) can be the trickiest of tasks.

Some are too greasy, some are so thick you need a trowel to slap it on, and some are so white you look like you're wearing the Scream mask for Halloween.

It's tough out there.

But I have found three that actually do what you want (protect from the sun and make your skin feel nice) and don't do what you don't want (make you look like you're wearing a lot of sunscreen).

Here are my top picks:

Brush on Block

Brush on Block comes in a handy brush form, so you can just grab it and go.
Brush on Block comes in a handy brush form, so you can just grab it and go. Photo credit: Supplied.

This sunblock has been a game changer for me. A GAME CHANGER. 

My biggest qualm with all sunblock is that once it's on, and your makeup is on over the top, that's it. End game. When you're out for a walk or having lunch in the sun, you can't slap an SPF 30 over your finishing powder, no matter how much your mum tells you it looks fine.

brush on block
Photo credit: Supplied.

Brush on Block is the answer. It's a conveniently packaged mineral powder sunscreen which provides SPF30 in a light powder form. That means no grease or mess - just brush some on over your makeup and you're away.  It's particularly handy for a little dab down the hairline: we've surely all known the pain of sunburn on a centre part.

Available in two colours, transparent and tan, it does the job of protecting, colour-correcting and finishing. It's batting way above its tiny weight. It's also vegan. The future truly is now.

Natural Instinct Tinted Face Natural Sunscreen

Natural Instinct tinted sunscreen
Tinted, moisturising, protecting - win, win, win. Photo credit: Supplied.

All my dry skin dames listen up - this is the tinted sunscreen for you. Finding an SPF tinted moisturiser which provides both of its promised virtues (moisturises and protects) is tough. Finding one that's natural is even harder.

Natural Instinct, (which has recently become one of my all-time favourite skincare ranges but I'll get to that at another time) has released their new Tinted Face sunscreen. It's a must grab for the bag if you're holidaying at the beach (which we assume you are because its summer in New Zealand). Physical sunscreens provide SPF30 protection while Jojoba Oil, Shea butter and Vitamin E provide moisturising big guns.

If you have oily skin maybe it's not the one as it is rather thick. I had to chuck a fair whack of Nude by Nature finishing veil over the top so it didn't slide down my neck.  But the tint is dreamy, the protection works and that evening upon washing it off my skin felt more moisturised than that morning. Win, win, and win. 

Skinnies Looks SPF30 Beauty Gel

Lightweight and a little goes a long way.
Lightweight and a little goes a long way. Photo credit: Skinnies.

I first discovered Skinnies Beauty Gel in my mother's bathroom cupboard last year, when I was back in Christchurch and looking for a little sun protection for the races. One use was all I needed to change my life - since then, I have worn it almost every day. It's a broad spectrum sunscreen that's not diluted with water, so a little goes a long way. (Wow look at me rhyming.)

A pea size blob is all you need and it goes the whole hog. It's not greasy; instead a gel-like formula which spreads and dries instantly. Similar consistency to a primer, it sits over moisturiser, under makeup, or just on its own for a little tint and glow for those "makeup free" days. It has no parabens or preservatives and stays SPF30 even after 40 minutes in water!

I go for the dark shade because I have a weird thing where I think my skin-tone is more olive than I actually am in reality. She's a little on the pricey side - a 100ml tube is around $45. But she lasts a solid six months for me each time, so it's bloody worth it IMO.

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