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05/25/2018 16:23 EDT | Updated 05/28/2018 16:15 EDT

The Best Face Sunscreens You Can Find In Canada

The Holy Grail: effective protection without the oily feel.

TheKit.ca

Fact: Hundreds of beauty products launch every season. Other fact: Zero per cent of humans have time to try each one. In TheKit.ca's If You Only Buy One series, we do the deep digging and test driving to declare the top beauty products out there.

The slightest whiff of coconut takes me back to childhood summers spent at my grandma's house. My mom and aunts would laze by the pool, devouring Danielle Steel softcovers and burnishing their skin with pina-colada-scented tanning oil. I remember sitting on my Minnie Mouse towel, admiring the way their gilded limbs glistened in the August light and wishing I, too, would one day attain such a pinnacle of bronzed beauty.

Today, like many '80s babies, I've replaced the tanning accelerators of my youth with a daily slather of broad spectrum SPF.

I miss those days when the sun was a friend, a synonym of idle summer fun, and not some big scary monster. As I got older, I grew to loathe it. It was the culprit behind my mom's lupus flare-ups and the reason my grandma had to have malignant moles removed.

It was also the reason the girl with the biggest smile at school had to start walking with a cane. She had asked multiple doctors to biopsy a spot she found weird, but they kept telling her not to worry; she was young and healthy. When one finally relented, it was too late. She bravely fought for years but lost her battle at 26.

ljubaphoto via Getty Images

Today, like many '80s babies, I've replaced the tanning accelerators of my youth with a daily slather of broad spectrum SPF. Derms agree it's the first line of defence against premature aging and also an essential measure in preventing dangerous skin damage.

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If you're thinking, "But it's so thick and goopy and such a hassle," I feel you. But the truth is, formulas have come a long way. In my search for the most undetectable shield ever created, I put nearly 20 facial sunscreens to the test, evaluating tone, texture and tack factor. Here is what I found.

  • If You Only Buy One Sunscreen, Go For ..
    The Kit

    La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Tinted Ultra-Fluid Lotion Spf 50, $34, laroche-posay.ca

    This feather-light fluid melts into skin with no sign of stickiness. Plus, it’s tinted to eliminate the pesky white cast that often accompanies mineral filters. But what really makes it a winner is Mexoryl, an ingredient patented by L’Oréal (La Roche-Posay’s parent company) and touted for its high protection against UVA rays and impressive photostability.

  • If You’re Going On Vacation
    The Kit
    Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Sunscreen SPF50, $16, Drugstores

    Travelling somewhere hot? Make sure to pack this refreshing gel sunscreen. The tube’s big enough to tackle your entire body yet small enough to slip in your carry-on.

  • If You Want To Turn Back The Clock
    The Kit
    Dermalogica Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF 50, $99, dermalogica.ca

    Double up on age prevention with a morning moisturizer that safeguards skin against UVB and UVA rays while cranking up collagen production thanks to firming peptides.

  • If You're An Urban Dweller
    The Kit
    Shiseido Urban Environment UV Protection Cream SPF 40, $40, beautyboutique.ca

    A city setting calls for increased protection against environmental aggressors. This oil-controlling formula not only fights oxidation, but also improves foundation application.

  • If You Want To Go Natural
    The Kit
    Consonant The Perfect Sunscreen SPF 30, $45 (50 ml), consonantskincare.com

    Presenting an all-natural water-resistant formula that’s not at all thick or greasy. Bonus: It’s Canadian and packed with nourishing aloe vera and grape-seed and rice-bran oils.

  • If Your Skin Is Parched
    The Kit
    Indeed Laboratories InDefense30 Dual Action Moisturizer SPF 30, $18, indeedlabs.com

    A daily defence against brown spots and wrinkles with a side of intense hydration. This dual-action cream balances moisture levels for a softer, smoother complexion.

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