15 best sunscreen sticks for mess-free application | plmubl.com

15 best sunscreen sticks for mess-free application

When it comes to SPF application, there’s nothing easier and more convenient than sunscreen sticks. They’re the perfect on-the-go tool for touch-ups at the beach or while running around in the city, and, as they’re solid, they’re completely mess-free too.

PSA: they’re also great for trips abroad as they don’t count as liquids and are exempt from airport security regulations if you’re only taking hand luggage on the plane. Better yet, they’re usually tiny too, meaning you can toss them into your giant beach bag or designer tote and reapply throughout the day.

While sticks usually aren’t the way to go for all-over application for the body due to their size, they are perfect for the face, particularly for topping up protection on those high points where UV rays catch the most. Many can even be applied on top of makeup, and considering you should really be using sunscreen every 2-3 hours, are up there with SPF mists as one of the best ways to top up.

As the skincare industry has continued to evolve, so too has the innovation in SPF sticks. These days, you can find formulas that have zero white cast, enhance glow, are family-friendly and are packed full of skin-loving ingredients. We’ve spoken to the experts and selected the very best options.

Best sunscreen sticks at a glance:

  1. Best sunscreen stick overallCOOLA Classic Sunscreen Stick SPF 30+
  2. Best family-friendly sunscreen stick: Mustela High Protection Sun Stick SPF 50 Family
  3. Best clear sunscreen stickShiseido Clear Suncare Stick SPF50+
  4. Best sunscreen stick for a glowy complexionSupergoop! Glow Stick SPF 50

COOLA Classic Sunscreen Stick SPF 30+

£22 AT SPACE NK

£18.40 AT AMAZON

Mustela High Protection Sun Stick SPF 50 Family

£17.20 AT AMAZON

COURTESY OF BRAND

Shiseido Clear Sunscreen Stick SPF 50

£32 AT BOOTS

Supergoop! Glow Stick SPF 50

£22 AT LOOK FANTASTIC

Meet the experts:

What are the benefits of a sunscreen stick applicator?

As mentioned, “a stick applicator is perfect for travel (no risk of it leaking in transit) and is really quick and fuss-free when you want protection on the move,” reiterates the team at Cult Beauty.

The advantage of having a stick on-hand includes the ability to protect harder-to-reach body parts, they say. “It’s also ideal for areas especially susceptible to redness (nose, ears, parting, collarbones etc.) and is effortless to use, which means you’re more inclined to top-up when you need to (no surplus sunscreen to contend with).”

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“Think of it like a parasol — if sunscreen is your outfit, then an SPF stick is an extra line of skin-nourishing defence between you and the damaging effects of UVA and UVB rays.”

What ingredients should you look for?

So what should you look out for when shopping for the best sunscreen sticks? “I always recommend mineral block sunscreens made with zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide for children, since these provide broad spectrum coverage against both UVA and UVB ray of the spectrum,” says Sonia Batra, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Batra Dermatology.

Many options that are available now really hone into the skincare aspect of things too, namely by including skin-loving ingredients such as jojoba, ceramides, vitamin C and hyaluronic acid as part of their formulas. For example, the new Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Dew Balm contains watermelon, brightening niacinamide, barrier-boosting squalane and hydrating hyaluronic acid for hydration and protection.

Plus, those of us more conscious about the wellbeing of our skin can opt for products that are suitable for sensitive skin and acne-prone skin, and choose between the oil-free and fragrance-free options too. And don’t forget cruelty-free and reef-safe products that help protect Mother Earth…

What’s the best way to use an SPF stick?

Debra Jaliman, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, says sunscreen sticks are just as effective as any other mineral sunscreens or body SPFs, adding that they’re particularly desirable for an intense concentration of sunscreen in small areas like noses, ears, and the jawline.

However, they do have one downside: “While they are effective on other areas of the body, it’s really not very practical to use a small sunscreen stick for full-body application,” says Peter Young, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and the medical director of Nurx Dermatology, a telehealth practice. For this reason, many experts recommend stocking up on both sticks and either lotions or sunscreen sprays for continuous broad-spectrum protection all over.

For all SPFs, remember to use a generous amount and apply around 30 minutes before sun exposure.

How we tested sunscreen sticks

Over the years, the GLAMOUR team has collectively tried dozens of sunscreen stick formulations, having tested said formulas on a variety of skin types and age groups. When reviewing each formula, we’ve assessed their efficacy and whether they deliver lasting protection, as well as value for money and how innovative each is compared to other options on the market.

To help you find the best formulas out there, we asked dermatologists for their go-to’s. Plus, we’ve also made sure to include popular and best-selling options from brands such as Coola, Sun Bum, Cerave and La Roche-Posay for the most highly-rated options to add to your skincare routine. Enjoy these bestsellers.

Looking for more sun care products? Once you’ve invested in a facial sunscreen lotion, check out our guide to SPF, plus the best sun creams for your body, the best SPF makeup and scalp sunburn treatments. For more content from Glamour UK Commerce Writer Denise Primbet, follow her on Twitter @deniseprimbet and Instagram @deniseprimbet.

This article originally appeared on GLAMOUR US.

  • Best sunscreen stick overallCOOLA Classic Sunscreen Stick SPF 30+
    • SPF level: 30
    • Chemical or mineral: Mineral
    Why we love it: This travel-friendly coconut-scented sunscreen stick is made with organic ingredients like shea butter, avocado butter, and coconut oil. Powered by zinc oxide, this product is nourishing for the skin, glides on smoothly, and is super easy to apply.Enjoy extra savings when shopping for the best sunscreen sticks using our Amazon discount codes.£22 AT SPACE NK£18.40 AT AMAZON
  • Best sunscreen stick for a glowy complexionSupergoop! Glow Stick SPF 50
    • SPF level: 50
    • Chemical or mineral: Chemical
    Why we love it: One of the most best-selling sunscreen sticks on the market. This no-fuss UV stick provides strong sun protection while leaving your skin with a perfectly dewy look. What more could you possibly want?Save money when you shop for the best sunscreen sticks using these LookFantastic discount codes.£22 AT LOOK FANTASTIC
  • Shiseido Clear Sunscreen Stick SPF 50 on a white backgroundCourtesy of BrandBest clear sunscreen stickShiseido Clear Suncare Stick SPF50+
    • SPF level: 50
    • Chemical or mineral: Chemical.
    Why we love it: The lightweight formula is perfect for all skin types and can be applied over and under makeup. It’s also made with innovative technology that responds to heat stimulus, making this broad-spectrum sunscreen form an even stronger UV barrier in the heat.Save money when you shop for the best sunscreen sticks using these Boots discount codes.£32 AT BOOTS
  • Image may contain Cosmetics and DeodorantBest sunscreen stick for dewy skinGlow Recipe Watermelon Glow Dew Balm SPF 30
    • SPF level: 30
    • Chemical or mineral: Chemical
    Why we love it: This new addition to the Glow Recipe range is a dream for dewy summer skin. Not only does it protect you with an SPF 30, it also applies clear with a sheer formula, and contains niacinamide and squalane for hydrated, happy skin.Make sure to check out our Cult Beauty discount codes.£27 AT CULT BEAUTY

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  • SunBum Sunscreen Face Stick SPF 30 on a white backgroundCourtesy of BrandBest sunscreen stick for faceSun Bum Original Sun Screen Face Stick SPF 30
    • SPF level: 30
    • Chemical or mineral: Chemical
    Why we love it: Like other SunBum products, it smells divine—like a tropical paradise. But its real claim to fame is the unbeatable sun coverage. It goes on nice and smooth, thanks to the spreadable vitamin E-infused formula.£13.49 AT BOOTS
  • Image may contain Bottle Cosmetics Lotion Business Card Paper and TextBest matte sunscreen stickBeauty of Joseon Matte Sun Stick
    • SPF level: 50+
    • Chemical or mineral: Chemical
    Why we love it: This gorgeous stick is elite due to its totally non-greasy, non-sticky feel. It glides on like a dream and feels soft and buttery to skin. And with vitamins A and C, mugwort and camelia in its ingredients list, you can count on this to boost skin to its best.£13.95 AT AMAZON
  • MDSolarSciences Tinted Solar Stick SPF 40 on a white backgroundCourtesy of BrandBest tinted sunscreen stickMDSolarSciences Solar Stick SPF 40
    • SPF level: 40
    • Chemical or mineral: Mineral
    Why we love it: Another vote for MDSolarSciences, but this time for the brand’s best-selling adult product, which won’t clog pores and leave you with a constellation of breakouts. As a bonus, the tinted sunscreen stick not only protects but also helps give your skin a nice glow.£43.66 AT AMAZON
  • Best family-friendly sunscreen stickMustela High Protection Sun Stick SPF 50 Family
    • SPF level: 50
    • Chemical or mineral: Chemical
    Why we love it: Sized just a tad larger than your standard lipstick, this portable sunscreen stick is incredibly easy to toss in your handbag to make reapplications easier throughout the day. Plus, it blends out easily and is suitable for the entire family.£17.20 AT AMAZON

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  • Best sunscreen stick for sensitive skinCeraVe Sunscreen Stick Broad Spectrum SPF 50
    • SPF level: 50
    • Chemical or mineral: Mineral
    Why we love it: This non-comedogenic mineral sunscreen stick is perfectly suitable for those with sensitive and acne-prone skin. Leaves minimal residue free of white cast and provides a pleasant, matte finish.£12.70 AT AMAZON
  • Coppertone Pure and Simple Baby Sunscreen Stick SPF 50 on a white backgroundCourtesy of BrandBest water-resistant sunscreen stickCoppertone Pure and Simple Baby Sunscreen Stick SPF 50
    • SPF level: 50
    • Chemical or mineral: Mineral
    Why we love it: If you’re spending any time swimming or sweating, Linder suggests reaching for this drugstore pick. The SPF 50 may be hypoallergenic and made from naturally-derived zinc oxide, but it offers water-resistant protection for up to 80 minutes. It also contains cocoa butter to make it easier to spread, plus nice and hydrating for the skin.£16.62 AT AMAZON
  • Best moisturising sunscreen stickLa Roche-Posay Anthelios Stick SPF 50+
    • SPF level: 50
    • Chemical or mineral: Mineral
    Why we love it: When it comes to moisturising skincare products, there aren’t many that are better than those created by La Roche-Posay. Designed for sensitive skin, this sheer mineral sunscreen stick provide broad spectrum protection that keeps all skin tones safe with UVA and UVB protection.£17 AT AMAZON
  • Best sunscreen stick with hyaluronic acidHello Sunday The Take-out One Invisible Sun Stick SPF 30
    • SPF level: 30
    • Chemical or mineral: Chemical
    Why we love it: Water-resistant, sweat-resistant and great for all skin types, including dry skin, sensitive skin and oily skin? Yes please. Scented with lime, geranium and mint, this ultra sheer, hyaluronic acid-clad chemical sunscreen is a smart choice as an everyday addition to your regimen.£18 AT SPACE NK

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  • Best sunscreen stick with a non-sticky formulaClarins Invisible Sun Care Stick SPF50+
    • SPF level: 50
    • Chemical or mineral: Chemical
    Why we love it: This sunscreen face stick from Clarins contains high-level filters and plant-based extracts that help provide protection against UV rays. And the best part is that it comes in recyclable packaging too.£19.20 AT CLARINS
  • Best sunscreen stick with aloe veraIsntree Hyaluronic Acid Airy Sun Stick
    • SPF level: 50
    • Chemical or mineral: Chemical
    Why we love it: Powered by the hydrating and protective powers of hyaluronic acid, aloe vera extract and various antioxidants, this sunscreen stick provides SPF 50 protection that requires minimal reapplication. Amazing.£25.90 AT PURE SEOUL
  • Image may contain Cosmetics and LipstickBest illuminating sunscreen stickNAKED SUNDAYS SPF50 Sheer Glow Makeup Balm
    • SPF level: 50
    • Chemical or mineral: Mineral
    Why we love it: A slightly tinted option, this is not only an SPF 50 balm stick but also a subtle highlighter for the high points of your face. It has a mineral formula, is fragrance-free and is also completely vegan. The product (made in Australia) can also be used on areas such as the lips as a lip balm.Make sure to check out our Sephora discount codes.£22 AT SEPHORA

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