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Whether you’re a weekend warrior that lives for beach trips with friends, or one of many students who takes full advantage of that apartment balcony to catch some rays, protecting your skin from the sun is incredibly important during the summer months.

Of course, for many of us this is not necessarily breaking news, especially if you had a mother like mine who would spray you with so much sunscreen before heading to the beach as a kid that the air would be thick with a vague coconut-banana scent for hours after. That being said, with experts pointing to an increased risk of sunburns due to global warming and a depleting ozone layer, slathering on the SPF on a regular basis is more important now than ever.

It’s clear that a good sunscreen is a makeup bag must, but with endless options available, how do you pick one that’s right for you? Many may avoid this important skincare routine step out of concern for breakouts, high price tags on certain brands, or simply out of forgetfulness (guilty).

Below you’ll find some of my favourite sunscreens to help avoid a nasty sunburn this summer and help protect your skin.

If you’re price-conscious: The Ordinary Mineral UV Filters SPF 30 with Antioxidants ($9.90 CAD)

Ringing in at less than $10, The Ordinary (a Her Campus uOttawa favourite) produces a simple yet effective sunscreen that offers Broad Spectrum SPF 30 UVA/UVB Protection. Bonus: the hydrating formula is also alcohol-free, as well as vegan and cruelty-free.

If you’re worried about breakouts: Cetaphil Pro Dermacontrol Oil Control Moisturizer SPF 30 ($20.99)

Cetaphil’s SPF works extra hard for your skin; the product acts as a moisturizer and sunscreen and provides shine control all at once. Even better: the SPF was specially formulated for oily skin with a non-greasy, fragrance-free formula to prevent breakouts.

If you can never remember to put it on: Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 ($45.00)

While ringing in at a slightly higher price than the other options on the list, the beauty of Supergoop’s sunscreen is that it works great as a makeup-gripping daily primer, all while delivering high SPF. Never forget your sunscreen again by making it the first step of your beauty routine.

If you’re planning on going for a swim: Sun Bum Face Lotion SPF 50 (Octinoxate & Oxybenzone Free) ($12.99)

Certain sunscreen ingredients are not safe for marine life. In fact, some regions, including the state of Hawaii, actually ban sunscreen made with the particularly harmful ingredients oxybenzone and octinoxate. If you’re planning on taking a dip somewhere besides a backyard pool, it might be a good idea to go with Sun Bum Face Lotion SPF 50, which is vegan and reef friendly and does not contain oxybenzone or octinoxate.

The foundation of every great beauty regime is healthy skin, and protecting it from harmful rays with sunscreen can ensure it continues to stay healthy for years to come. Whether you’re looking for an affordable sunscreen, a blend that prevents breakouts, or anything in between, there truly is an option for everyone this summer to keep healthy and prevent any nasty burns!

3rd Year Human Resource Management student at the University of Ottawa
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