11 Best Smelling Sunscreens To Buy In 2022

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We are all aware of how crucial sunscreen is to safeguard us from the sun’s harmful UV rays. With the best smelling sunscreen, you don’t have to worry about sunburns or body odor resulting from sweat. A citrusy or fruity sunscreen can keep you smelling fresh and give you a much-needed respite from the severe damage that the sun can cause to your skin. That’s a benefit of two in a single product. Yay! Dermatologists strongly recommend sunscreens that give you broad-spectrum protection, but the lack of delicious-smelling sunscreens can often discourage people from using them on a regular basis.

If your sunscreen leaves you with a white cast and the unpleasant smell turns you off, we are here to help you. Below is a list of sunscreens that can help you stay consistent with using them consistently and ensure you smell great!

11 Best Smelling Sunscreens

1. Elta MD UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46 Facial Sunscreen

This transparent zinc oxide SPF 46 facial sunscreen offers broad-spectrum coverage against the harmful UVA and UVB rays of the sun. It has an incredibly calming and soothing effect on sensitive and acne, pigmented, and rosacea-prone skin. If applied every 2 hours, it gives effective protection against sunburn, redness, discoloration, and unwanted tanning. This sunscreen that smells good contains very high purity 5% niacinamide, is extremely lightweight, and doesn’t leave a white cast or residue. This silky sunscreen also contains hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, and lactic acid which boosts the health of the skin, and can be used with or without makeup.
PROS:

  • Oil-free
  • No synthetic fragrance
  • No parabens
  • Won’t clog pores
  • Dermatologist-recommended

CONS:

  • Contains octinoxate

2. CeraVe Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen

Protect your delicate skin with this fantastic 100% mineral sunscreen that contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide sunscreen filters, leaving your skin with a healthy and beautiful glow. You can be sure that you will never have that embarrassing white residue on your face, that so often can happen with mineral or physical sunscreen! This lightweight and easy-to-blend sunscreen effectively prevents the harmful UVA and UVB rays of the sun from damaging your skin. It’s unique formula has hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and 3 essential ceramides— 1, 3, and 6-11, that lock in moisture, soothe the skin, and restore the natural barrier of the skin. This good smelling sunscreen and tinted moisturizer with SPF 30 and a non-greasy formula can be used both alone and under makeup.

PROS:

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Paraben-free
  • No synthetic fragrance
  • No chemical filter
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Does not contain oxybenzone
  • Suitable for daily use
  • Dermatologist-recommended

CONS:

  • May not be suitable for darker skin tones

3. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Face & Body Stick Sunscreen

Get superior protection from the harmful UVA/UVB rays of the sun with this broad spectrum SPF 70 daily sunscreen stick. Its lightweight and oil-free formula contains avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, and oxybenzone which are extremely effective in keeping your skin safe and healthy. You can look forward to a no-mess, hands-free application with this stick sunscreen that glides on easily. This 1.5-ounce sunscreen stick is specially formulated with Helioplex which ensures the protection of your skin, giving a non-greasy finish. This unique matte finish sunscreen is also water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, and is ideal if you go swimming. This good smelling sunscreen feels clean and light as it goes on easily, absorbs instantly, and is weightless and invisible on your skin.
PROS:

  • PABA-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Non-shiny finish
  • Dermatologist-recommended

CONS:

  • May not be suitable for extremely sensitive skin

4. Banana Boat Sport Ultra Sunscreen Lotion – Sport Lotion SPF 50

There’s nothing stopping you now from your active lifestyle with the powerful protection of this sports strength sunscreen. This non-greasy, breathable lotion is designed specifically for outdoorsy people and sport enthusiasts who need that extra broad spectrum protection from the harmful UV rays of the sun, and also don’t want it running into their eyes when they sweat. This sunscreen that smells good is water and sweat-resistant for up to 80 minutes before it needs to be reapplied. It’s completely safe for you and the environment as it contains no oxybenzone or octinoxate.

PROS:

  • Reef-friendly
  • Lightweight
  • Absorbs quickly
  • Recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation

CONS:

  • May cause staining on clothes

5. Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch Lotion Sunscreen

The tropical fragrance and luxurious feel of this sunscreen lotion will transport you to an exotic world of fantasy while its broad spectrum protects your skin from the harsh UV rays of the sun. Its island inspired scent with a hint of mango is sure to be a delight to the senses as it protects you from sunburn and hyperpigmentation with its SPF 30 formula. Its non-greasy, oil-free formula contains mango fruit extract, vitamins C and E, and shea butter which feels light on the skin and softens it so that your skin looks radiant. This good smelling sunscreen has the added advantage of being water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, so it’s perfect for swimming.

PROS:

  • Reef-friendly
  • Ultra conditioning formula
  • No animal testing
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Free of oxybenzone or octinoxate
  • Recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation

CONS:

  • Some feel it has some sparkle in it.

6. Alba Botanica Hawaiian Sunscreen Spray – Nourishing Coconut (SPF 50)

This nourishing SPF 50 lightweight sunscreen comes in a 6-ounce bottle, and is an amalgamation of silky smooth oils that are instantly absorbed by the skin for a perfect non-greasy and light finish. This good smelling sunscreen is enriched with botanical emollients like coconut extract, avocado oil, aloe vera, shea butter, and apricot fruit extract to name a few, and is suitable for all skin types. These not only moisturize your skin but also offer effective, broad spectrum protection from harmful UV rays. It’s also water and sweat-resistant for up to 80 minutes. It features a pleasant coconut fragrance that’s a delight to the senses and transports you to a tropical paradise.

PROS:

  • 100% vegetarian
  • Biodegradable
  • Cruelty-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Phthalate-free
  • No artificial colors
  • No synthetic fragrances
  • Contains no oxybenzone or octinoxate
  • Recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation

CONS:

  • Contains avobenzone

7. Sun Bum Premium Moisturizing Sunscreen Spray

This 6-ounce bottle of magic sunscreen spray moisturizes and protects your skin from harmful UV rays with its broad spectrum SPF 30. Infused with vitamin E, this sunscreen smells like a pleasant, warm summer day, and is especially appealing to those who like to spend their time outdoors. This non-comedogenic sunscreen does not block your pores and is great for those with sensitive or acne-prone skin. This oil-free sunscreen is water and sweat-resistant for up to 80 minutes and is great for those who love swimming.

PROS:

  • Vegan
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Oxybenzone-free
  • Octinoxate-free
  • Retinyl palmitate-free
  • Dermatologist-tested

CONS:

  • Not reef-safe

8. Australian Gold Continuous Spray Sunscreen – Bronzer

This unique broad spectrum SPF 30 scented sunscreen not only protects you from the harmful UV rays of the sun, but also has an instant bronzer that dries fast and gives an immediate radiant glow to your skin. Packed in a 6-ounce bottle, this sunscreen spray is water-resistant, so you can enjoy your swim for about 80 minutes before you reapply it. It’s oil-free formula contains native Australian acacia extract and kakadu plum that offers potent antioxidant benefits. It has a fantastic fragrance called cocoa dreams that is the signature fragrance of Australian Gold. Extremely convenient and easy to apply, you don’t have to restrict any of your outdoor activities any more.

PROS:

  • Cruelty-free
  • PABA-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Gluten-free

CONS:

  • Some feel the spray nozzle could be improved.

9. Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen

This fabulous unseen sunscreen is truly invisible with no annoying residue and also doubles as a makeup primer. This lightweight and oil-free broad spectrum sunscreen features SPF 40. Packed with potent antioxidants, this feel-good sunscreen protects your skin against UVA, UVB, IRA rays and blue light emitted from your computer, phone, and tablet. Its unique non-greasy formula glides smoothly onto your skin without leaving a shiny finish, and leaves your skin with a satiny makeup-gripping finish. This sunscreen that smells good contains clean, soothing, and powerful ingredients such as frankincense, red algae, and meadowfoam seed that hydrate, nourish, and protect your skin. It’s clear texture enables you to use it alone or under makeup.

PROS:

  • Reef-safe
  • Beard-friendly
  • Non-toxic ingredients
  • Oxybenzone and octinoxate-free
  • Suitable for all skin types and skin tones

CONS:

  • Chemical sunscreen which may not be suitable for super sensitive skin

10. Reef Repair Sunscreen – SPF 50

Packed with the benefits of coconut oil, avocado oil, red raspberry seed oil, vanilla essential oil and many more ingredients, this SPF 50 broad spectrum sunscreen gives your delicate skin the much-needed protection from harmful UV rays. This all-natural, eco-friendly 4-ounce bottle of mineral sunscreen is incredibly moisturizing and water-resistant for up to 80 minutes. This sunscreen significantly lowers the chances of skin damage from sunburn, aging, wrinkles, and UV exposure. This zinc oxide based sunscreen is completely chemical free and provides skin safety to you and your family. It’s non-sticky, non-oily, water based, and comes on transparent with minimal rubbing, spreading evenly over the skin. It doesn’t leave a white cast or residue like many sunscreens.

PROS:

  • Reef-safe
  • Biodegradable
  • Oxybenzone-free
  • Octinoxate-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Silicone-free
  • Titanium dioxide-free
  • Suitable for sensitive skin

CONS:

  • Some may find it difficult to spread.

11. Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense Sunscreen

This physical daily sunscreen is a powerhouse of potent antioxidants which, apart from protecting your skin from harmful UV rays with its broad spectrum SPF 30 UVA/UVB protection, gives it the required moisture. This helps in drastically reducing fine lines and wrinkles, leaving your skin looking healthy, rejuvenated, and youthful. With 20% zinc oxide and several natural ingredients like aloe vera, sunflower sprout extract, grape juice extract, coconut oil, sunflower seed oil, jojoba oil, and many more, this sunscreen keeps your skin safe in every way. This scented sunscreen has a subtle, refreshing fragrance with hints of marula oil, thermal mud, fruit enzymes, and vitamins.

PROS:

  • No chemical screens
  • No silicone
  • No artificial fragrance
  • Alcohol-free
  • Suitable for all skin tones and types

CONS:

  • Some may find its texture a bit greasy.

Now that you have been through our review of the 11 best smelling sunscreens, let us give you a few tips on what to look for while choosing one for your delicate skin so that it’s always protected and fragrant.

How To Choose The Right Smelling Sunscreens

  • Broad-spectrum protection

This is an extremely important factor as it protects your skin from the harmful effects of both UVA and UVB rays. Repeated and prolonged exposure to these rays can lead to bad sunburn, dark spots, poor collagen production, early skin aging, and in extreme cases, skin cancer. Your broad spectrum sunscreen should be minimum SPF 30 and greater.

  • Active ingredients

Sunscreens with chemical formulas absorb the UV rays and convert them into heat, which is then released by the body, and prevents the skin from burning. They are very good while swimming as they are water-resistant, easy to apply, and don’t leave a white cast. On the other hand, they have to be applied more frequently than mineral sunscreen.
Mineral sunscreens, on the other hand, form a barrier on your skin that reflects the UVA and UVB rays. Their formulas contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide formulas which may not spread very evenly on your skin, and leave behind a white residue. But their effect is usually more long-lasting than chemical sunscreens.

  • Water-resistance

This is especially important if you are prone to sweating or if you are fond of spending time in the pool, and swimming. No sunscreen is sweat or waterproof. What it can offer you is water resistance for 40 or 80 minutes. So it’s very important that you remember to reapply the sunscreen when sweating, swimming, or towelling yourself dry.

  • Formula type

Many people prefer creams and lotions rather than sprays as they last on the skin longer. They also give a more uniform protective covering to your skin than sprays. A cream sunscreen works better on a dry skin, while a spray works better on kids as it’s easier to apply, but it may need to be reapplied frequently.

  • Skin type

If you have oily skin, look for ingredients like isododecane or silica in a lightweight sunscreen. Ingredients like aloe, glycerine, dimethicone, and oils are perfect in a sunscreen if you happen to have dry skin. With dry skin, it’s also advisable to avoid gel or spray sunscreens with alcohol.

Sunscreen is a must, and especially so if you live in a sunny location. The UV rays of the sun can be very damaging to skin, and a pleasant smelling sunscreen not only protects your skin but also saves you from embarrassing body odor. A lot of people tend to avoid sunscreens because their smell leaves much to be desired. So the next time you decide to step out of your house, don’t hesitate to slather it on because you will be pleasantly surprised by the tropical fragrance that will hit your senses. We hope our review of the 11 best smelling sunscreens will help you face the outside world with confidence, safety, and a very pleasant fragrance.

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Poulami Nag

Poulami Nag is a writer and associate editor at MomJunction. She did her MA in English from Miranda House, University of Delhi and has qualified UGC-NET. Her journey as a content writer began in 2017 and since then she has garnered diverse interests along the way. Her knowledge of literature and language has given her an eye for detail and... more