Sunscreen sticks are a mess-free, fuss-free way to ensure you're protected against harsh UV rays all day! Because of their solid form, sunscreen sticks are typically less sticky and oily than other sunscreen types. They are also more convenient, easy to apply, and handy, making them perfect for travel.
In this article, we will be providing you with a list of the 10 best sunscreen sticks you can purchase online. Not only that, but we'll also let you in on how to choose the best sunscreen stick for yourself through a detailed buying guide—with insights and tips from board-certified dermatologist Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz!
Dr. Katrina Habaluyas Luz is the face behind Ask Your Derma. She is a board-certified dermatologist in Metro Manila. She is also an educator and digital creator on all things skin, hair, and nails. She is a Diplomate of the Philippine Dermatological Society and offers online video consultations. You can also catch her on her Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube channel.
Our recommendation articles are carefully researched and crafted by the mybest Philippines team of writers and editors. To stay true to our company’s mission and vision to help users’ selection process easier, we also collaborate with experts from various fields to ensure that our content stays factual and useful.
The expert oversees the Buying Guide only, and does not determine the products and services featured.
Table of Contents
Here are some key points to consider:
For more detailed information, read through our buying guide below.
SPF and PA ratings are used to measure the level of protection sunscreens can provide against UVB and UVA rays, respectively. While sunscreens with SPF 15 to 29 can give medium protection, experts recommend a minimum rating of SPF 30 for up to 97% protection from sun damage.
On the other hand, PA ratings determine the sunscreen’s ability to protect skin from UVA rays that cause skin aging. Although sunscreen sticks may range from PA+ to PA++++ ratings, it is suggested to choose those with PA++ and up for moderate to high protection.
One of the non-negotiables when choosing sunscreen is the SPF. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. It basically measures protection against the development of redness after exposure to the sun. At least an SPF 30 is needed as this filters ~97% of UVB rays. As for UVA, a broad-spectrum sunscreen typically would include an additional rating for UVA such as PA (look for the PA+, PA++, or PA+++) on the label.
As previously mentioned, UVA and UVB rays have different effects on the skin. While UVA rays penetrate the skin to cause aging and wrinkle formation, UVB rays damage the skin’s surface and can cause sunburns and skin redness.
Thus, sunscreens that are labeled as “broad-spectrum” are something to look for. This label means that it is formulated to protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays.
Another non-negotiable is broad-spectrum. Sunscreens protect the skin by preventing and minimizing the damaging effects of ultraviolet (UV) rays. Now, UV radiation has a broad spectrum ranging from 40 to 400nm and is divided into different portions. Particularly important for us are UVB (290–320) and UVA (320–400nm).
Sunscreens typically come in two formulas—physical and chemical. Read below to know their differences and to find out which one suits your skin’s needs best.
Also known as mineral sunscreens, physical sunscreens are made with mineral-based ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium oxide that sit atop the skin. These ingredients block UV rays and deflect them away from the skin.
Because they protect the skin from the surface, physical sunscreens are most suitable for those with sensitive skin, as they are less likely to cause irritation. However, they tend to have a heavier feel and may leave a white cast on the skin.
Physical sunscreens, aka mineral or inorganic sunscreens containing titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, are generally less irritating, making them a good option for those with sensitive skin and for pregnant women.
While physical sunscreens sit on the skin’s surface as a shield, chemical sunscreens have ingredients that absorb UV rays, then convert them to heat that is released and dispersed from the skin. Examples of these ingredients are oxybenzone, octisalate, avobenzone, and octinoxate.
Because they penetrate the skin, chemical sunscreens tend to be more irritating, especially for children or those with sensitive skin. They also act more slowly than physical sunscreens, usually taking effect 20 minutes after application. However, they are less likely to create white casts compared to physical sunscreens.
Chemical or organic sunscreens typically contain ingredients such as para-aminobenzoic acid, oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate. On the plus side, they're generally easier to rub into the skin without leaving that white cast.
Sunscreens are generally formulated to protect your skin from sun damage. However, it’s recommended to choose sunscreens that are suitable for your skin type for some added benefits. Below are some things to consider.
Picking a sunscreen stick that has hydrating ingredients in it may prevent your skin from drying out due to makeup and sun exposure, among other factors. Examples of hydrating ingredients that you can look for in a sunscreen are hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and glycerin.
Hyaluronic acid and glycerin are humectants that help attract water to the skin, leaving it well-moisturized. Ceramides, on the other hand, are lipids found in skin cells that help retain the skin’s moisture for plumper skin.
Look for sunscreen sticks that have moisturizing ingredients too!
If your skin has a lot of excess sebum, it’s best to steer clear of products that would add even more oil. That said, it is recommended to choose sunscreen sticks that are oil-free to avoid making your skin greasier. You could also try out sunscreens that are breathable and feel light on the skin.
The last thing you want is a sunscreen that makes your skin greasy or clogs your pores. In general, oil-free and lightweight formulas are less likely to do that. Test out at the end of the day if you need to double cleanse to make sure all the sunscreen residues are removed from your skin.
People with skin that’s prone to developing rashes and redness need to be extra careful when choosing skincare products. Because of this, it is recommended for people with sensitive skin to pick sunscreens that do not contain additives like synthetic fragrances, parabens, or alcohol. It is also better to choose sunscreens that are dermatologist-approved to ensure safety.
When it comes to sunscreen sticks, a patch test is still a must! This makes sure that you're less likely to develop a reaction and that you like how the sunscreen looks and feels on your skin.
As a consumer, it is important to always look for products that will give you value for your money. Therefore, you should consider buying sunscreen sticks that have additional features. For example, a water-resistant sunscreen remains effective even after swimming or sweating from workout.
Sunscreens are applied before makeup, but there are some formulations that can also work as a makeup product. For instance, there are sunscreens that can double as a makeup primer. Tinted sunscreens may also be used as a sheer foundation on days when you don’t need much coverage.
Look for multifunctional products - sunscreen sticks available in the market may contain moisturizing ingredients, anti-oxidant properties, and even tone-up effects too!
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Hyaluronic Acid Airy Sun Stick
Moisturizing and Brightening Sunscreen for All Skin Types
Natural Perfection Double Shield Sun Stick
A Mild Formula With Double Protection
California Aloe Fresh Powdery Sun Stick
Aloe-Infused Sunscreen With a Powdery Feel
Invisible Sun Care Stick
Lightweight Sunscreen That Prevents Photo-Aging and Skin Dehydration
Avocado Cica Soothing Sun Stick
Soothing Sunscreen Stick That's Dermatologically Tested
The Face Shop
Dr. Belmeur UV Derma Mineral Sun Stick
Gentle Mineral Sunscreen That's Suitable for Sensitive Skin
Face Guard Sunscreen Stick
Vegan and Compact Sunscreen That Offers a Mess-Free Application
Go-Getter Moisture + Sun Stick
Moisturizer and Sunscreen in One Environment-Friendly Product
Perfect Cica Calamine Sun Stick
Botanical Extract-Rich Sunscreen With Oil Control Benefits
Skin Defense Tinted Face Stick
Tinted Sunscreen for Sheer Makeup Coverage
Formulated with the MVPs of skincare, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, this sunscreen will surely give you multiple benefits! Aside from its high SPF and PA ratings, it has 8 types of hyaluronic acid, which gently moisturize the skin from the surface to its deep layers. On the other hand, its niacinamide brings forth brightening and anti-aging benefits.
Aside from its hydrating properties, this product also promises to soothe the skin through its kelp, aloe vera, and bamboo extracts. What's more interesting is that while it provides protection at the highest PA rating, it has a non-sticky feeling, as well as a light and cooling sensation when applied.
Made especially for people with dry and sensitive skin, this sunscreen has a mild formula that's tested for ophthalmology suitability and sensitive skin safety. It also leaves a smooth and non-sticky finish and is infused with hydrating ingredients like glycerin and prickly pear extract.
This sunscreen stick also boasts its double protection feature, which shields the skin from damages caused by UV rays from the sunlight, as well as infrared (IR) rays from sun heat. It is also packed with naturally derived ingredients like schisandra chinensis and bamboo extracts that protect the skin from external irritants.
Say goodbye to that lagkit feeling with Nature Republic's sunscreen stick! Aside from being water- and sweat-resistant, this product also has a matte finish, which will not leave your skin feeling greasy. And despite its matte finish, this sunscreen provides adequate hydration through its calming California aloe.
Not only that, but it is also very easy to use because of its portable packaging, smooth glide, and curve-shaped stick that follows the contour of any face and body shape. It also provides maximum protection from both UVB and UVA rays with its SPF50+ and PA++++ ratings.
With a goal to give you a "bare skin" look, this product ensures that no one will notice that you're wearing a sunscreen through its comfortable and invisible texture! Despite that, it still promises to give you optimum protection from both UVA and UVB rays.
Moreover, this sunscreen's protection capability is powered by its Sunplant Complex, a combination of aloe vera and sycamore that aids in the prevention of photo-aging and dehydration. It also boasts a zone sensibility feature, meaning it provides extra protection to your skin's most sensitive areas like the eye area, cheeks, ears, and nose.
Made to cool skin that's been exposed to the sun for too long, this sunscreen utilizes the power of aloe vera to soothe heated and irritated skin. It also boasts a triple-benefit factor with its three plant ingredients - avocado extract to moisturize, centella asiatica extract to control sebum, and aloe vera to calm your skin.
Moreover, it contains porous powder to absorb excess oil from the skin, thus leaving a matte finish upon use. In terms of safety, this product has been dermatologically tested safe and effective. It is also additive-free, so it contains no sulfates, talc, and artificial coloring, among others.
Formulated with The Face Shop's UV Derma Damage Care System, this sunscreen ensures gentle and advanced protection from sun damage. Its key ingredients, calamine and zinc oxide, help calm skin irritation while protecting it from both UVA and UVB rays.
This product also utilizes vitamin E derivatives, which do not only protect the skin from damage but also give it ample moisture. It is also free from parabens, sulfates, and alcohol, so it won't dry out your skin.
Made with vegan-friendly ingredients, this product has sunflower seed oil, olive fruit oil, cocoa seed butter, and kakadu plum extracts that will moisturize your skin while protecting it from sun damage and free radicals.
This on-the-go sunscreen is also gentle on the skin, gives a "barely there" feeling, and leaves the skin smooth, making it a good product to apply to your face and lips. It's even safe to apply on tattooed areas of your body! Lastly, it has a water-resistant formula, which lasts for up to 80 minutes after applying.
Looking for something local but is definitely a premium quality sunscreen? Habitude has got you covered! This homegrown product is formulated with 20% zinc oxide, one of the safest mineral-based ingredients in most sunscreens, which protects the skin from UV damage.
Aside from sun protection, it also effectively moisturizes the skin with plant-based ingredients like carrot seed oil, tomato leaf, and aloe vera extracts. Moreover, it is hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, and additive-free, so you can be sure of its safety. It also comes in a compostable paper tube, making it an environment-friendly product!
Infused with skin-friendly plant-based ingredients like Gotu Kola extracts, sunflower, and tea tree oil, this sunscreen ensures well-moisturized skin while being protected from sun damage! Its main components are calamine and cica complex, which soothe irritated skin, making it a great option for people with sensitive skin.
Furthermore, this product is great for those with oily skin because it contains Medi Flower's 3 Powder Complex. This removes excess sebum from the skin while smoothening it out. And because of its mild formulation and fresh finish, it's suitable for both children and adults, too!
If you're looking for a sunscreen that can also work as a base foundation for your makeup, this might be the one you need! This tinted sunscreen offers sheer coverage for your face and protects it from both UVA and UVB rays. Plus, its combination of mineral and chemical-based ingredients can also shield skin from blue light.
Thanks to the shea butter and sunflower seed oil in its formulation, this product is ideal for those with dry skin. It also ensures protection from pollution because it contains antioxidants brought by vitamin E. Since it's dermatologically tested, hypoallergenic, and non-comedogenic, those with sensitive skin can also benefit from this product.
Below are some of the most asked questions on the web answered by Dr. Katrina.
Going to the beach or just running errands outdoors under the blazing heat of the sun? Whatever it is, we got you! Check out the links below for more items you might need the next time you're going out on a sunny day.
Author: Kate Basa
Editor: R. Umlas
Our buying guide was carefully researched and crafted by the mybest team of writers and editors, in collaboration with the expert featured in this article. We used the buying guide as a basis for choosing and ranking the product recommendations, and we looked at reviews and ratings from different E-commerce sites like Lazada, Shopee, and more.
For expert-reviewed articles, we ask experts to check and review our buying guide to make sure there aren't any false, misleading, or outdated information. Our experts do not participate in choosing the recommendations, and they do not endorse any of the products we mention.
No. 1: ISNTREE｜Hyaluronic Acid Airy Sun Stick
No. 2: AHC｜Natural Perfection Double Shield Sun Stick
No. 3: Nature Republic｜California Aloe Fresh Powdery Sun Stick
No. 4: CLARINS｜Invisible Sun Care Stick
No. 5: Farmskin｜Avocado Cica Soothing Sun Stick
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The descriptions of each product is referenced from the content available from the manufacturer, e-commerce sites etc.
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