My fair-skinned roommate came home the other weekend frantically searching for aloe to soothe a bright red sunburn down the front of her legs. No, she hadn’t been at the beach or lying out on a rooftop—she was just running errands on a sunny day. “I need an everyday body lotion with SPF so I’m always covered,” she declared. Sounds like a no-brainer, I thought, there must be tons. Only…not so fast.
A search of my local Sephora, Duane Reade, and the Allure beauty closet turned up plenty of sunscreens and endless body lotions, but only a handful of body lotions with sunscreen—and they all had a pretty low SPF level. I asked cosmetic chemist Randy Schueller (who also edits thebeautybrains.com) to tell me why:
“To be an effective sunscreen, a product must form a good film on skin and be resistant to sweating,” he explained. “Once you formulate a product to meet these criteria, it’s less likely to look and feel like a body lotion.” Which explains why body lotions with SPF tend to only go as high as 20: “The higher the SPF value, the more ‘sunscreen stuff’ a formula needs to have. And products with a lot of those ingredients tend to feel heavy and greasy and leave a white residue on your skin unless you rub them in really well.” Not exactly what you want from your body lotion.
So there you have it. If you’re looking for serious sun protection, a sunscreen is still your best bet (just layer it over your favorite skin-smoothing body lotion). Only need coverage for a quick commute? We love the four body lotions pictured above: Eucerin Daily Protection Moisturizing Body Lotion, Glytone Retexturize Body Lotion, and Avon DD Firm&Restore Body Cream all offer SPF 15; L’Occitane Jenipapo Body Jelly Milk has SPF 20 and smells like a tropical vacation.
article source: allure.com