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4 Best Double-Duty Sunscreens for Face, Body and Hair That Go Beyond Sun Protection

Skin-protecting formulas that also fade age spots, nourish hair and more


Having to slather on sunscreen daily can feel like a chore, but today’s multitasking SPFs make the effort more worthwhile. That’s because they go the extra mile by protecting skin and reversing beauty bothers to save you time and money in the long run. And when a sunscreen combines two or three steps of your skin-care routine into one, it makes life easier and you’re more likely to apply it, says Connecticut-based dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD. Discover the best sunscreen for the face and body, as well as the best ones for the scalp and hair, that do more than just protect you from the sun.

Related: 16 Best Summer Beauty Heroes to Look and Feel Refreshed + Glowy All Season Long

Double-duty sunscreens

Many sunscreens nowadays are multi-functional, giving you more bang for your buck and loads of benefits. Here, our favorite double-duty sunscreens for the face, hair and body.

woman smiling applying sunscreen to face

Use sunscreen to safeguard the scalp and hair

The skin on your scalp is just as susceptible to sun damage as the skin on your face and body. Not only can the sun sneak through hair, but scalp skin cancers can actually be more aggressive than other types, notes Dr. Gohara. Wearing a hat is a great option, or you can mist your head with an aerosol spray sunscreen (these dry quickly and won’t feel greasy), she says. But given that the sun can also take a toll on your hair — causing both dryness and faded hair color — opting for a dedicated formula made for both the scalp and hair is a smart strategy. One we like? Coola Scalp & Hair Sunscreen & Color Protection Mist with SPF 30, as it shields both the scalp and strands from the sun’s rays, while its ingredients like panthenol and glycerin keep hair hydrated and color intact.

Related: How to Protect Your Hair and Scalp From the Sun, Plus the Products That Make It Easy

Sunscreen can prevent and treat discoloration

If it seems like the older you get, the more brown spots you have — but you may be surprised to learn they aren’t all new. The sun can make existing spots appear even darker while also causing new ones to form, notes Nazanin Saedi, MD, a dermatologist in Philadelphia. This is why wearing sunscreen is paramount, but if you want to take it one step further, pick an SPF that contains niacinamide and vitamin C. Both work by interfering with the production of excess melanin (skin’s pigment).

And to up the ante, pick a formula that’s a tinted sunscreen, which helps camouflage discoloration while simultaneously treating it — and protecting your skin too, of course. Dr. Gohara is a fan of EltaMD UV Clear Tinted SPF 46. It blends in well for all skin tones and its spot-fading niacinamide also has anti-inflammatory benefits, making it a good choice for those with acne or rosacea.

Related: Should I Use a Mineral or Chemical Sunscreen? Pros Weigh In + Share the Best SPF Formulas

Sunscreen can help keep makeup intact

Makeup and sunscreen are known for competing on skin: They don’t layer well since some SPF formulas have a heavy, oily consistency that makes it easy for any foundation applied on top to slip right off. Add summer’s heat and humidity to it and you have a recipe for a total makeup meltdown. The better option? A water-gel formula, like Glossier Invisible Shield Water-Gel Transparent Face Sunscreen. It has an ultra-lightweight finish and acts like a primer so makeup adheres better to skin when swiped on top — and helps it withstand the season’s elements. Best of all, it goes on clear so there’s no worry it will leave a white cast behind like some mineral sunscreens do. This is especially great for those with darker skin tones.

Also smart? Incorporating an SPF setting spray into your routine. These sprays are great for locking in your makeup after it’s been applied and they make it simple to reapply SPF to the face throughout the day (and helping makeup last longer too). One we like is Kate Somerville UncompliKated SPF 50 Setting Spray.

Related: 9 Best Sunscreen Makeup Products for Women Over 50 That Ward Off Sun Damage, Prevent Wrinkles, and More

Sunscreen can hydrate body skin sans greasiness 

mature woman applying sunscreen lotion on legs outside

Gone are the days when applying sunscreen to the body means your skin is left with an uncomfortably slippery, greasy film. Surprisingly, today’s formulas are more hydrating and less greasy than ever, so much so, you might even mistake them for regular body lotion. New York City dermatologist Elizabeth Hale, MD, suggests looking for one made with both moisturizing ingredients and antioxidants, which help further shield skin from environmental stressors.

“This approach to sunscreen not only provides you with essential sun protection, but also leaves your skin healthier overall,” she says. One to try is Vacation Classic Lotion SPF 50 Sunscreen. The lotion is loaded with a hydrating blend of aloe vera, shea butter and coconut oil that also helps the formula sink into skin rather than sit on top of it. Plus, it contains antioxidants along with vitamins A and E to nourish and repair skin. Tip: To adequately cover the body, apply two tablespoons of sunscreen all over.

Related: The 10 Best Body Lotions for Mature Skin That Hydrate, Firm and Smooth Skin Fast

More ways to up sun protection

While wearing sunscreen is the most important way to protect your skin from UV damage, you can boost the benefits in other ways. Here, 3 picks that do just that!

Take an SPF supplement

woman taking supplement

It’s not a substitute for topical sunscreen, but a sun protective supplement, like Heliocare Skin Care Dietary Supplement, can help ward off a sunburn. How? Its antioxidant-rich fern extract boosts skin’s innate level of sun protection. Simply take daily or before and during times of high sun exposure.

Wear UPF clothing

Covering up exposed areas is always a good idea, but that doesn’t mean the sun can’t get to your skin. To the rescue: Clothes made with Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) built in. A top like Joju Laguna Sun Shirt with UPF 50+ blocks up to 98% of UV rays in style!

Toss on this sun hat

Not all sun hats are created equal, as some leave your neck and ears exposed. What helps: a wide-brim hat, like Solbari Ultra Wide Cotton Linen Hat UPF 50+. Not only does it offer 360 degrees of coverage, but its tightly woven fabric also blocks UV rays.

For more summer beauty tips, click through these stories:

The Best Affordable Skincare Brands for the Summer So Your Skin Glows All Season Long

How to Use Hair Lightener for Sun-Kissed Highlights Without Bleach

How to Get Rid of Textured Skin: What Women Over 50 Need to Know for Smoother, Youthful Skin

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