These 12 Dermatologist-Approved Sunscreen Sticks Make UV Protection So Easy

These 12 Dermatologist-Approved Sunscreen Sticks Make UV Protection So Easy

When it comes to keeping your skin protected, everyone knows that wearing sunscreen is essential. But the best sunscreens are ones that you can easily apply and carry with you everywhere you go—which is, of course, where the best sunscreen sticks come in.

While traditional sunscreens are typically in the form of a lotion, cream, or spray, sunscreen sticks come in the form of small-sized solid bars that you can quickly and easily swipe onto your skin without getting your hands messy—which makes it a perfect option for when you’re on-the-go. “Many people prefer stick sunscreens because they are ultra portable, and they stay in place when applied to the skin without getting into your eyes,” says Joshua Zeichner, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

Because of their mess-free application, sunscreen sticks are also great for applying—and re-applying—throughout the day, says Diane Madfes, M.D., F.A.A.D., a board-certified dermatologist and Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. “Some people prefer applying a coat of sunscreen lotion in the morning and then using sunscreen sticks as touch ups throughout the day,” she says.

Meet the Experts: Joshua Zeichner, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City; Diane Madfes, M.D., F.A.A.D., a board-certified dermatologist and Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

But which sunscreen stick is best for you? Finding the right sunscreen stick for your skin type can be challenging, which is why we’ve rounded up the all the best dermatologist-approved sunscreen sticks right here, from top-rated face sunscreens to the best mineral sunscreens for your body.

(Cetaphil, Sun Bum, Shiseido)
1) Sunforgettable Total Protection Sport Stick SPF 50



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This top-rated mineral sunscreen was crowned the best overall sunscreen stick by the Good Housekeeping Institute, and for good reason: Not only does it offer broad spectrum SPF 50 protection, its water- and sweat-resistant formula also contains ultra-hydrating antioxidants like squalane and jojoba esters, which work to nourish and soften skin. “The formula blends onto skin easily—and doesn’t budge even when you sweat,” one Beauty Lab scientist confirmed.

Plus, reviewers also love that it makes for quick, easy, and mess-free application, with one shopper writing, “Easy to apply, fantastic coverage, and no heavy feeling on your skin.”

2) SPF 35 Active Mineral Sunscreen Face Stick



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If you’re looking for a reliable sunscreen stick for your face, Dr. Madfes recommends this pick from Badger, which she calls “a great mineral sunscreen that offers both UVA/UVB protection and is fragrance-free.” The skin-nourishing formula contains antioxidants for hydration and is gentle on faces, with reviewers saying that it easily “stays on under eyes and cheeks without stinging eyes.”

Plus, its compact size makes it handy to keep in your bag for quick touch-ups. “This is a great sunscreen stick to keep in your pocket!” Dr. Madfes says.

3) Ultra Sheer Dry Touch SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen Stick



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Need a sunscreen stick that won’t leave your skin feeling greasy? This popular pick from Neutrogena—which contains 21.6% zinc oxide mineral and vitamin E—was named the best sunscreen stick for oily skin by the Good Housekeeping Institute, with its dry-touch finish and formula that blends smoothly on both face and body without making your skin shiny or greasy.

Reviewers rave about its dry-touch application, too. “Best sunscreen stick I’ve tried, doesn’t leave a white chalky look on your face and has a nice matte and dry-to-the-touch feeling instead of a sticky greasy feeling like other sticks I’ve tried,” writes one reviewer.

4) Protect + Soothe Mineral Sunscreen Stick



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Specifically designed to be gentle on sensitive skin, this fragrance-free mineral sunscreen from Aveeno is formulated with pure oat essence that soothes skin, as well as 21.6% zinc oxide that provides great broad spectrum protection. Reviewers love that it doesn’t irritate skin or cause breakouts, with one customer writing: “My face is very sensitive and very dry and I could never find the right sunscreen until I bought this...[It’s] easy to spread, doesn’t make me break out with pimples, and it’s not greasy.”

5) Clear Sunscreen Stick SPF 50+



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For a sunscreen stick that won’t leave behind a white cast, try this one from Shiseido—a pick recommended by Dr. Zeichner. “This ultra-light formula glides on to the skin completely clear, leaving no residue or white cast behind,” he says. “It’s a stick, but doesn't feel like one.”

In fact, its lightweight, clear formula also earned praise from the Good Housekeeping Institute for being easy to apply—and re-apply—both over and under makeup, making it a great pick for when you need regular touch-ups throughout the day.

6) UV Stick Sunscreen



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Suitable for all skin types and on both face and body, this handy mineral sunscreen stick earned praise from the Good Housekeeping Institute for providing great broad spectrum protection with its high level of 22% zinc oxide. Not only that, Beauty Lab experts also love that it provides hydration, thanks to the vitamin E and bisabolol in the formula.

“This sunscreen goes on smoothly, rubs in easily without that greasy feeling. Easy to store in a small purse or backpack to use on the go,” writes one satisfied customer on Amazon.

(Elta MD)
7) Mineral Sunscreen Stick



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If your skin type is dry, try this affordable mineral sunscreen from Cerave. Packed with hyaluronic acid and ceramides that help to boost hydration, the soothing formula will leave your skin feeling soft and well-moisturized. Plus, it uses an innovative technology with micro-fine zinc oxide that helps the formula blend in smoothly and have a clear finish. Reviewers also love that it comes in a super-compact size of 0.47 oz. Writes one Amazon shopper: “Very convenient to have in your purse. The small size of the container is perfect for travel and the stick is easy to apply and to rub in.”

8) Original Sunscreen Face Stick

Sun Bum


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For a top-rated and best-selling pick, try Sun Bum’s Original Sunscreen Face Stick—it boasts more than 8,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, with reviewers raving that it’s easy to apply, comes in a great compact size, and has a “divine” banana scent. “The Sun Bum Face Stick is a summer and vacation must-have! This product smells incredible, and works extremely well,” raves one reviewer. “It sits right in a bag, and takes two seconds to rub on your nose. The SPF worked great, and I never burned!”

9) Glow Stick



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Supergoop! sunscreen is loved by celebrities like Bobbi Brown and Christie Brinkley, and it’s easy to see why. The brand offers a diverse range of top-rated SPFs, including the Glow Stick, a face sunscreen that’s designed to leave your skin with a dewy glow. Not to mention, the hydrating formula is packed with antioxidant-rich Amazonian oils that helps nourish skin. “It leaves a beautiful glow to my skin that lasts all day long, and has zero smell,” raves one reviewer. “It has allowed me to achieve a golden look to my skin that I’ve never been able to before...This is a must have for me now.”

10) Sheer Mineral Sunscreen Stick



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You can’t go wrong with a reliable drugstore pick like Cetaphil’s Sheer Mineral Sunscreen Stick. Its gentle, non-greasy formula contains vitamin E as well as other skin conditioners to soothe and nourish skin. “This sunscreen rubbed into my face so smoothly!” writes one reviewer. “I have moderate acne on my forehead and this did not irritate and did not break out my semi-sensitive skin. Feels like you’re not wearing sunscreen.”

11) Tinted Solar Stick



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Looking for a good tinted sunscreen stick for your face? This mineral sunscreen provides great coverage with a lightly tinted formula, while still protecting your skin with SPF 40 and water-resistance of 80 minutes. The formula—which contains shea butter, vitamin E, and vitamin C—goes on with a matte finish, which reviewers love. “I absolutely love this tinted stick. It is totally sheer and once absorbed, not sticky,” writes one Amazon customer. “I use it for a base under my powder foundation as well and it is beautiful.

12) Sunscreen Stick



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This popular sunscreen for kids (though it’s great for adults, too) is loved for its formula that’s gentle on sensitive skin, and for being easy to apply on fussy children, thanks to its convenient roll-on application. “This thing is the best for little kids. It’s small enough to get in all the creases of tiny faces, and no mess,” writes one parent reviewing the product on Amazon. “It slides on like a deodorant stick and it’s not liquid nor smears into their faces or eyes. Also easy to travel with in diaper bag.”

17) Why trust us

For more than 70 years, Prevention has been a leading provider of trustworthy health information, empowering readers with practical strategies to improve their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Our editors interview medical experts to help guide our health-focused product selections. Additionally, Prevention also examines hundreds of reviews—and often conducts personal testing done by our staff—to help you make informed decisions.

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Sunscreen sticks are great for protecting your skin on the go, thanks to its mess-free application. Here, dermatologist share their top picks.