I’ve Tried Over 50 Sunscreens—Here’s Why This $22 Formula Is My Newest Favorite

It’s lightweight, but it will actually moisturize your skin. So many SPF formulas claim to double as moisturizers, but to be honest, I haven’t found many that feel truly hydrating. It’s more like they just coat my skin in a slick layer of grease. That, or any moisture that is added just pills or sweats off. This formula is featherlight—you can’t feel it on your face—and leaves skin lightly dewy and topped up with moisture for as long as you’re wearing it. 

It covers all of your bases in terms of protection. Guards Up[1] boasts a really special, three-way protection protocol against the elements—environmental pollution, electronic pollution from screen time, and the sun. As I learned during a product preview with the brand, the non-nano zinc oxide physically blocks UVA and UVB rays, while the antioxidant-rich formula fights off environmental and blue-light damage for 360 protection. In turn, this gifts your skin with additional anti-aging perks.

It’s nontoxic, reef-safe, cruelty-free, and vegan. Just like Versed’s entire roster of clean and affordable products, Guards Up[2] is made as sustainably and kindly as possible. It’s free from artificial fragrances and dyes, parabens, silicones, sulfates (SLS/SLES), added phthalates, formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing agents, PEGs, NPE, BHT, triclosan, triclocarban, petroleum, coal tar, mineral oil, talc, and other chemical sunscreen agents. 

It’s safe for all skin types and skin concerns. One of the reasons I’m most impressed with this SPF is the fact that it hasn’t resulted in even one pimple, and Versed made sure to design the formula to effortlessly melt and rub into all skin tones, without any chalky residue or as chalky cast left behind. 

It’s recyclable. Not only is Guards Up[3] eco-friendly in that it’s reef-safe (thanks to the non-nano zinc oxide, which happens to be the safest SPF active available), but it’s also made with 79% PCR (post-consumer recycled) plastic. Additionally, the paper box it’s delivered in is made of FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified paper. In order to recycle Guards Up[4], simply remove the cap, cut into the tube without cutting it into two pieces, remove any excess product, and rinse. Then, replace the cap and toss the whole thing in the recycling bin, including said FSC packaging. 

Hot tip from Versed: “Before you toss anything in your recycling bin, check if the local curbside recycling program for your zip code accepts plastic items that look like our packaging. If they don’t, bring your items to the recycling station located at the front of every Target store.”


  1. ^ Guards Up (www.pjtra.com)
  2. ^ Guards Up (www.pjtra.com)
  3. ^ Guards Up (www.pjtra.com)
  4. ^ Guards Up (www.pjtra.com)
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