Best sunscreen sticks 2022: Water-resistant, hydrating, tinted and more SPF purchases

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SPF is basic skincare for year-round protection from the sun’s rays, with broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection considered the gold standard. This dual-use SPF helps prevent premature aging associated with UVA rays and the potentially dangerous damage that UVB rays can cause.

Although generous application is necessary to ensure full coverage, sunscreen should also be added regularly throughout the day for optimal protection. Whether you’ve applied all-over makeup before or are out in the sun, we’ll admit this can be a task that’s all too often overlooked.

Come on, sunscreen sticks – the perfect way to apply SPF quickly, without any mess. These purse-sized purchases typically roll on the skin like a sun balm hybrid, providing on-the-spot sun protection. They are useful for targeting specific areas of the face such as the nose, ears and eyes, and are often worn by skiers.

From invisible and tinted, to water-resistant and hydrating, we’ve tested a wide variety of SPF stick formulas.

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How we tested

We sampled several sunscreen sticks for a month of testing, both on bare skin and on makeup. Our tester looked at the packaging, formula and level of sun protection, as well as how each SPF felt on the skin. From budget to treatment, read on for our list of the best SPF sticks at every price point.

The best sunscreens for 2022 are:

  • Best Overall Sunscreen Stick – No7 protect & perfect intense SPF50 advanced sun protection stick, 7.5g: £12.95, Boots.com
  • Best Clear Sunscreen Stick – Clarins invisible sunscreen stick SPF50, 17g: £19, Johnlewis.com
  • Best sunscreen stick for the eye area – Ultrasun Lip Protection Sun Stick SPF50, 4.8g: £8, Feelunique.com
  • The Best Affordable Sunscreen Stick – Soltan kids suncare SPF50+ roll-on sun stick, 50ml: £3.50, Boots.com
  • Best multi-tasking sunscreen stick – Piz Buin Mountain Lipstick and Sunscreen, 20ml and 2.3ml: £5.23, Amazon.co.uk
  • Best Vegan Sunscreen Stick – Sun Bum SPF30 Face Sun Stick, 13g: £11.99, Feelunique.com
  • Best Water Resistant Sunscreen Stick – Hello Sunday the take-out one invisible sunscreen stick SPF30, 30g: £15, Cultbeauty.co.uk
  • Best Luxury Sunscreen Stick – Sisley super sunscreen stick tint SPF50+, 15g: £82, Haveynichols.com
  • The best hydrating sun stick – Great goop! sun protection stick SPF50, 20g: £22, Cultbeauty.co.uk
  • Best Sunscreen Stick for Minimal Fragrance – La Roche Posay anthelios XL SPF50 sun stick, 9g: £18.69, Amazon.co.uk

No7 Protect & Perfect SPF50 Intense Advanced Sunscreen Stick, 7.5g

Better: Globally

Evaluation: 9/10

This slim wrapper is only a little bigger than a lippy to fit in a small purse, but the SPF stick itself has enough width to glide across your face. There’s a rotating dial at the base of the tube that releases the stick and we tended to apply it to our lips, as well as our nose. The ingredient list includes peptides, which are linked to improving the appearance of fine lines, and we saw a smoothing, priming finish while the formula is comforting.

Clarins Invisible Sun Stick SPF50, 17g

Better: Transparent sun stick

Evaluation: 9/10

We were immediately drawn to the sunny orange formula of this SPF stick, which has a summery scent of fresh citrus. The packaging seems sturdy to fit in our bag and the twist tube releases just enough product at a time. It’s sheer on the skin and this SPF manages to strike the optimal balance to achieve smoothing coverage without creating excess shine. Because of this, the sunscreen didn’t drag our makeup base, but rather added a subtle layer of SPF to seamlessly top up regularly.

We weren’t the only ones loving this product, as it’s already out of stock at most retailers. Luckily, you can sign up to receive an email letting you know when it’s back.

Ultrasun Lip Protection Sun Stick SPF50, 4.8g

Better: Sun cream stick for the eye area

Evaluation: 9/10

Although this is technically an SPF lip buy, our tester used this slim stick for sunscreen refills around the eyes. The SPF twist-up stick offers broad-spectrum protection with a factor of 50, while including skin-soothing ingredients such as argan oil, vitamin E and shea butter. We found it glides or dabs easily on the skin, providing buildable, lightweight product coverage on the delicate skin around the eyes. Our tester also likes the subtly sweet and creamy scent.

Soltan kids suncare roll-on sunscreen SPF50+, 50ml

Better: Affordable sun protection stick

Evaluation: 9/10

This SPF has a roll-on applicator that releases a 50 factor Soltan liquid sunscreen lotion and is much less messy than squeezing it out of a bottle. We found the chunky shape provided great coverage all over our body, including under the arms and legs. As a children’s SPF, we applied the roll-on stick to our entire family on a day at the beach. It’s water-resistant for extra sun protection with peace of mind, though we made sure to apply extra SPF after going overboard. The bargain price also earns extra points.

Piz Buin Mountain Lipstick & Sunscreen, 20ml & 2.3ml

Better: Multitasking sunscreen stick

Evaluation: 8/10

This multi-tasking SPF has two components – the nozzle, releasing SPF50 cream, and an SPF30 lipstick in the tube cap. You can alternate between the two, depending on which area of ​​your face you’re focusing on, and the stick is ideal for lips. The stick element is quite small compared to the rest of the SPF tube, but its rounded shape hugs the lips perfectly and leaves a thick cream-scented coating, thanks to ingredients like synthetic wax and vanilla. We enjoyed this effect on days when our lips were chapped.

Sun Bum face sun stick SPF30, 13g

Better: Vegan sunscreen stick

Evaluation: 7.5/10

This broad-spectrum SPF30 stick smells of banana and contains calming ingredients, vitamin E and aloe. The twist-up stick is very easy to use, releasing a sheer, balm-like SPF that we smoothed onto our facial skin. It’s pretty handy for covering places like the tops of the ears too. We took care to keep it out of direct sunlight, to prevent the stick from melting. As a vegan and water-resistant buy, the stick has a remarkably lightweight case to carry it around.

Hello Sunday the take-out invisible sun stick SPF30, 30g

Better: Water Resistant Sunscreen Stick

Evaluation: 7.5/10

As its name suggests, this sun stick is totally transparent on the skin. We’re fans of the refreshing citrus scent, the fun purple packaging, and how easily the stick glides over the face and body. Lightweight and suitable for sensitive skin, we think because the formula is oil-infused and slightly oily, it works best on drier areas. Both sweat and water resistant, the substantial stick is a decent size that would last for ages.

Sisley super stick solar tint SPF50+, 15g

Better: Deluxe Sun Stick

Evaluation: 8/10

This buy SPF treatment is also tinted to cleverly double as a demi-matte makeup base, which we were particularly impressed with. The mineral sunscreen includes moisturizing ingredients, shea butter and mango seed butter. Our tester noted that the softening SPF stick creates even coverage that balances skin tone and doesn’t budge at all. The water-resistant formula is an SPF50 tinted smoothing stick that stays put, without any product slipping. We also liked how fresh our skin was with this.

Super goof! Radiance sun stick SPF50, 20g

Better: Moisturizing sun stick

Evaluation: 8/10

This clear, broad-spectrum stick comes in a twist-up tube and has a hydrating finish from nourishing ingredients like Amazonian Oil. We saw a glowing effect, minus any excess product residue and the formula absorbed into the skin without feeling greasy. Besides creating coverage on our face, we also applied it to our neck, décolleté and shoulders as sunscreen throughout the day. Our tester noticed some dew with use, and this stick doubled as a highlighter for our cheekbones and Cupid’s bow.

La Roche Posay anthelios XL SPF50 sun stick, 9g

Better: Sunscreen stick for minimal fragrance

Evaluation: 9/10

This SPF50 white stick comes in a lightweight screw-on tube, with silver details. Our tester found that the formula spreads easily on the face and body and absorbs well. We didn’t see any chalk after application, and the SPF didn’t need much scrubbing either. The buttery finish of ingredients like shea and cocoa butter are also comforting to our easily irritated skin. Additionally, there is only a slight scent to detect, which would be ideal if you prefer an SPF with minimal scent.

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