Forgoing this skin care essential on a warm-weather cruise is not an option, but how do you choose a formula when there are so many out there, with new ones debuting all the time? Shop our tried-and-tested selection, perfect for those who can’t get enough of the sun, those who want to avoid it at all costs, and those who fall somewhere in between. In short, we have every cruiser covered, whether you’re sailing the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Mexico, Hawaii, or someplace more exotic:
1. Sun Bum SPF 70 Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion
That this sun care company is based in Florida (not far from Port Canaveral, where many cruise ships depart) — and presumably staffed by people who love the beach as much as you do — suggests that it understands a sun worshipper’s needs better than anyone. As such, its popular oil-free, water-resistant sunscreen range now comes in 3-ounce versions. The high SPF rating on this one makes it a favorite of ours, and the Skin Cancer Foundation agrees. $12, shop.trustthebum.com.
2. Lavanila Laboratories Healthy SunScreen Face Cream SPF 40
Any skin care product designed to prevent sun damage and impede wrinkles is bound to include some scary-sounding chemical ingredients. Instead of lathering up with a science project, consider this all-natural formula made with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, including gentle titanium dioxide, moisturizing shea butter, and antioxidant-packed green tea. Bonus: It comes in a carry-on bag-friendly, 1.8-ounce size. $28, lavanila.com.
3. AmorePacific Color Control Cushion Compact SPF 50
You’re not a sunbather, but you do plan to spend the majority of your cruise outdoors, whether you’re dining alfresco or shopping the ports. This convenient makeup compact contains a sponge saturated with a cooling tinted sunscreen that you apply to your face with a puff. The genius thing? All four shades are SPF 50, giving you reliable sun protection, along with natural-looking, skin tone-enhancing coverage. $60, sephora.com.
4. Shiseido UV Protective Stick Foundation SPF 37
Less than 3 inches tall, Skin Cancer Foundation-approved, and great for touch-ups — just swipe on and blend. Use it when the heat of the day has passed but you need a little protection for pre-sunset cocktails … and want your skin to look smooth, even, and luminous well into the night. $28, shiseido.com.
5. Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Gentle Breeze SPF 30 Lotion
Would you like some mosquitoes with that waterfront mai tai? No? Then use this. Multiple generations swear by the bug-repelling, deet-free — and great-smelling — effects of Avon’s Skin So Soft collection. This option is also nongreasy and a sunscreen, so it’s the ultimate two in one. $14, shop.avon.com.
6. Kiehl’s Activated Sun Protector 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50
A multitasking, water-resistant option for face and body, this formula is designed for sensitive skin, offering potent UVA/UVB protection with a meticulously researched, age-fighting blend that includes vitamin E. $29, kiehls.com.
7. L’Occitane Jenipapo Oil SPF 15
Spritz this on when you’re feeling too lazy to reapply a lotion thoroughly. Inspired by fruit trees that grow in Brazil’s Cerrado savanna, the lightweight oil absorbs quickly when massaged into your skin and is delicately scented with citrus, lily of the valley, and frangipani. $30, usa.loccitane.com.