Best Sunscreen to Prevent Tanning – Which sunscreen is best to avoid a tan?

Published Categorized as Beauty Tips

Looking after your skin is one of the most important things to do not only to prevent aging, but to ensure that you have healthy skin that is resistant on a daily basis. Having a strong skincare routine is one of the best ways to achieve this. But another very important factor that contributes to healthy and young skin is keeping it out of the sun. Whilst many people love to tan, a lot of people can’t think of anything worse!

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Best Sunscreen to Prevent Tanning Which sunscreen is best to avoid a tan?

I know, this doesn’t sound very important for those who love to lie in the sun and go off exploring and swimming when on holiday. But don’t worry, it doesn’t mean you have to avoid the sun entirely. You can be in the sun and minimize your tanning experience as well. One of the greatest ways to enjoy the sun but ensure that you stay safe and protected, whilst also looking after your skin, is to lather on the sunscreen.

In fact, even when you aren’t lying in the sun or on vacation, it is an excellent idea to ensure that your daily moisturizers, or even your makeup, contain SPF of at least 30. This helps to protect your skin 24/7 and ensures that you are doing all you can to stay young and glowing.

Now, knowing the best sunblock to prevent tanning can be a tricky challenge in itself. There are so many different types and brands of sunscreen out there and so I have narrowed it down for you! It really does depend on what you are looking for and how easily you tan. But having a specific lotion for your face and a specific one for your body can be a great first step towards preventing tanning. Whilst all sunscreens could be considered anti-tanning sunscreen to an extent, some are said to enhance your tanning experience whilst others aim to prevent any skin color change at all.

So, I have split the article into different categories to help you find the best sunscreen to prevent tanning based on the area you wish to protect and the activity you wish to protect your skin during!

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Which Sunscreen Is Best to Prevent Tanning on My Body?

ISDIN Eryfotona Actinica Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50+

ISDIN Eryfotona Actinica Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50+ Zinc Oxide 3.4 Fl. Oz.
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Coming in at the top choice for the next sunscreen to prevent tanning is ISDIN Eryfotona Actinica Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50+. When choosing any sunscreen to prevent tanning, you really want to go for maximum SPF, so a 50+ is great for this,

This sunscreen not only focuses on preventing tanning, but its level of protection is aimed towards healing pre-existing sun damage and then continuing to prevent any further damage.

Too much sun exposure can cause skin thickening, wrinkling, changes in skin tone and in serious cases may lead to cancerous lesions. This sunscreen claims to protect you against all, making it a top choice for the best anti tanning sunscreen out there.

The lotion contains many enzymes to help heal your skin, but also lots of minerals to keep your skin not only protected in the sun, but hydrated and healthy as well.

Recommended by many dermatologists, it is a fantastic option for those with sensitive skin too and so it really is an all-round great product.

It is important to note that because it is a mineral cream, it provides a much whiter layer than other sunscreens but if applied on the face with a BB cream, this is not noticeable. For any full body protection against any tanning, you should expect to see a whiter color to the cream as anything oily will help encourage tanning.

This product is fantastic for your body, but can also be used on the face and so whilst it is slightly more expensive than other creams on the market, it really does have a lot to offer and will go a long way.


  • Anti tanning sunscreen
  • Contains a unique formulated enriched with enzymes and minerals to help heal and protect skin
  • Suitable for face and body


  • Slightly more expensive
  • May leave a white residue

Best Sunscreen for Face to Prevent Tanning

EltaMD UV Daily SPF 40

EltaMD UV Daily SPF 40 Tinted Sunscreen Moisturizer Face Lotion, Tinted Sunscreen with Hyaluronic Acid, Broad Spectrum Hydrating Sunscreen, Non Greasy, Sheer, Mineral-Based, 1.7 oz Pump
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When it comes to protecting your face, I am going to introduce you to two of the top products on the market. One is for daily use, whilst the other is aimed specifically at those who will be spending a lot of time in the sun and do not wish to tan.

If you are looking to protect mainly your face, then EltaMD UV Daily SPF 40 lotion is best for you. It can be worn on a daily basis and is non-greasy, sheer, and perfect to apply alongside makeup.

This sunscreen contains hyaluronic acid, much like many of the best facial moisturizers, and so you are getting two products in one.

Although only SPF 40, this product is designed to protect your skin on a daily basis during regular activity – maybe this is even just your commute to and from work.

This sunscreen is slightly tinted but will blend in well with your natural skin color once properly applied. This gives you a natural looking glow and so often people do not feel the need to also apply any makeup alongside this.

The cream is formulated with transparent zinc-oxide and is fragrance free and paraben-free, meaning it won’t clog your pores or irritate your skin.

The pump system means that you do not waste any and it is an easy application with only needing a little at a time.

Not only does it contain all of these wonderful ingredients and can be worn on a daily basis, but it is also cruelty-free! SO there is no concern around animal testing when using this product.


  • Affordable
  • Suitable for daily use
  • A natural tint
  • A special formula to help enrich your skin
  • cruelty-free


  • SPF is not as high as others
  • The tint may not be of interest to everyone

All Good Face Sunscreen Butter

All Good Face Sunscreen Butter - UVA/UVB Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ Water Resistant, Coral Reef Friendly, Zinc, Beeswax, Vitamin E, Coconut Oil (1 oz)
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Next up when it comes to the best sunscreen for the face to prevent tanning, we have All Good Face Sunscreen Butter. This product is perfect for those of you who will be spending a lot of time in the sun, particularly exercising or in the water.

It as a strong SPF50+ and is waterproof and sweat proof.

This calms in a tin and takes on a more balm-like consistency. Containing both zinc and coconut oil, it is a fantastic formula that not only protects you from the sun and tanning, but also keeps your skin hydrated and moisturized.

This stronger sunscreen can be worn daily, but it is more popular for those who are out in the ocean for long periods of time or spending a lot of time in the direct sunlight.

With similar qualities to EltaMD, it is an amazing option but simply has a stronger SPF and is not so commonly used for day-to-day wear.

Whilst claiming to be non-greasy, it does have a slightly oilier effect than EltaMD, which is one of the reasons people tend to use it on vacation and when spending long hours in the sun, but perhaps not on a daily basis to work.


  • Affordable
  • SPF50+
  • Water resistant
  • Enriching and hydrating formula
  • Easy and convenient balm in a tin


  • Can feel greasy

Which Sunscreen Is Best to Prevent Tanning in Water?

Banana Boat Simply Protect

Banana Boat Baby 100% Mineral, Tear-Free, Reef Friendly, Broad Spectrum Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50, 6oz. - Twin Pack
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Whilst All Good Face Sunscreen is excellent for the water, if you are going to be spending hours out in the ocean, surfing perhaps, then it is better to get a sunscreen designed specifically for this.

Banana Boat Simply Protect, whilst being designed for kids, is a wonderful formula that many surfers use. It can be used on the face and the body. And although it may seem odd to use a children’s sunscreen, this also means it comes with many beneficial factors to everyone, not just kids.

With a SPF50+ it is guaranteed to protect you, but is also perfect for sensitive skin. As it is designed to be used on babies, it is fragrance-free and these products are often a lot more delicate and so adults who have easily-irritated skin can benefit a lot from this.

Not only is it great for sensitive skin, but is also tear-free, so getting it in your eyes won’t be half as bad as other creams, and if it does travel into your eyes from the water or sweat, you won’t need to worry about suffering too much.

Finally, on top of all of these wonderful benefits, Banana Boat Baby sunscreen is reef friendly. This means that if you are spending a lot of time out at sea, the cream you are using is not harmful to the ocean which is an excellent factor to consider when selecting the appropriate sunscreen for you!


  • Affordable
  • Tear free and suitable for sensitive skin
  • SPF 50+
  • Waterproof
  • Face and body appropriate
  • Reef-friendly
  • Fragrance-free


  • nothing notable

Best Sunscreen Stick for Surfing

Neutrogena Sunscreen Stick

Neutrogena Beach Defense Water-Resistant Sunscreen Stick with Broad Spectrum SPF 50+, PABA-Free and Oxybenzone-Free, UVA/UVB Protection, Face & Body Sunscreen Stick, 1.5 oz
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Although the products mentioned previously are waterproof and excellent for spending a lot of time out at sea, when it comes to surfing a lot of people tend to go for a stick.

This is because most of their body will be covered up and they simply require an easy-to-use stick to protect the main areas of their face from becoming sun-damaged.

Neutrogena Sunscreen Stick is one of the best on the market and is affordable and easy to find.

You can access this in most drugstores, but if not it is available online. This stick is small and easy to carry and is designed specifically to protect against long hours in the sun, whilst at the beach.

The special formula is aimed at staying when in salt water, but also when lying on the beach and having sand on you which often takes off sunblock.

This stick is also factor 50+ and is great for your face and shoulder, although it can be used all over the body.

If you are out surfing, then getting yourself a sunblock stick is one of the best ways of protecting yourself.


  • Affordable
  • Accessible in drugstores
  • SPF 50+
  • Water and sand resistant
  • Easy-to-use stick which is convenient for surfing


  • Stick is not ideal for body use

Best Spray Suncreen to Prevent Tanning

Banana Boat Sunscreen – Sport Ultra

Banana Boat Sport Ultra, Reef Friendly, Broad Spectrum Sunscreen Spray, SPF 30, 6oz. - Twin Pack
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Up again, we have Banana Boat Sunscreen. However this one is not aimed at kids, but instead aimed at those partaking in sport and who want a clear and easy to use spray can.

These cans make application a lot quicker and smoother than using creams and can be a lot more convenient if you are constantly having to top up your protection during sport.

Not only is it cheap and easy to purchase, but you can buy 2 in a pack so that the entire family can be protected from tanning and burning.

However, this does come in SPF 30 and so is not as strong as other sun creams, but with easy application you will remain protected and covered for longer and so you may actually see better results.


  • Affordable
  • Strong SPF
  • Spray can for easy application
  • 2 in 1


  • SPF30 so not as strong as others
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How Do I Stop Getting Darker in the Sun?

The best way to avoid tanning in the sun is to try and stay out of the sun as much as possible. Keeping in the shade, wearing hats, wearing clothing that keeps you covered, and even using an umbrella for any commutes on a sunny day can be a great way to avoid tanning.

Alongside this, ensure you are using a sunscreen like those recommended above. One that is a factor 50+, one that will stay on, make sure you reapply it and if you are in the water or taking part in activity that will cause sweating then be cautious to reapply more frequently.

Overall, shade and strong sun protection from an SPF 50 are the key ways for how to not tan.


Will SPF 50 prevent tanning?

Whilst SPF 50 will help prevent tanning more than other SPF numbers, if you are out in the sun then it is inevitable that your skin is at risk of tanning.
Ensure that you are reapplying your SPF50 as much as you can, and try and stay in the shade if you want to prevent tanning.
SPF 50 is a great idea regardless, as although you may still darken slightly, SPF 50 stops you from burning as much and will help keep your skin protected and hydrated which could cause more serious problems if not done properly.

Do you still get a tan if you wear sunscreen?

Although sunscreen is there to protect your skin, you may still achieve a tan to some degree when using it. It protects your skin from sun damage from the UV rays, however the color of your skin may still be altered by the rays of the sun.
Wearing sunscreen will help keep your skin protected and hydrated, and so the sun is less likely to dry your skin out and you may actually achieve a deeper tan in the long run, although it may take longer to get there than if you go out in the sun unprotected.

What’s the best sunblock to prevent tanning for dark people?

In all honesty, the best sunscreen for dark skin to prevent tanning is exactly the same as those with light skin. All sun creams work the same regardless of the skin color they are being applied to.
Quite often those with darker skin do not burn as easily and are not impacted as easily by the sun, but if you want to prevent dark skin from tanning, you should follow the exact same steps as anyone with lighter skin and ensure you are using an SPF 50 cream and applying this regularly.

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Final Thoughts

So, there are a number of different things to consider when choosing the best sunscreen to prevent tanning.

You need to decide if it is for your body or face, or both. You need to consider what the sunscreen is being used for – are you swimming, surfing, sunbathing or simply commuting to work each day?

Some sunscreens come with many other beneficial factors which are worth considering, such as moisturizing agents and bronzing agents for those who are using it on their face and do not wish to add makeup.

If you want to avoid tanning, try and stay in the shade as much, but whether you want a tan or not, make sure you are using an SPF 50 to keep your skin protected! Tanning is only one impact the sun can have on our skin so to stay happy, healthy and looking as young as you can, get the SPF 50 on and keep your skin safe!

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