This Might Actually Be the World's Best-Smelling Sunscreen

And it's derm-approved.



Not many beauty brands have a story quite like Vacation by Founded by Marty Bell, Poolside started as a viral internet radio station. The throwback site features all the pixelated nostalgia of decades past with synth-filled playlists and visuals that transport you back to 1980s Miami. All you're missing is the beach—and the latest launch called "Vacation" is offering the next best thing. The brand released a collection of poolside summer essentials to give you a virtual vacay, including a fragrant sunscreen: Classic Lotion SPF 30 ($18).

The retro-inspired team at Vacation tapped Miami sunscreen entrepreneurs Lach Hall and Dakota Green alongside Dr. Elizabeth Hale, a Board Certified Dermatologist and a VP of The Skin Cancer Foundation, to develop the SPF. The line includes an SPF 30 Chardonnay Oil ($22), a Super Spritzer Face Mist ($12), and two sunscreens, one of which sports the brand's signature smell. Developed by industry-leading perfumers Carlos Huber and Rodrigo Flores-Roux, the scent is also available as a fragrance, "VACATION" by Vacation ($60).

For a primer on choosing your sunscreen, application, and more, we reached out to the derm behind the sunscreen, Dr. Hale. Read on to see what she had to say about summertime skin.

Finding Your Formula

There's plenty of variations to choose from with Vacation's new collection: The brand offers the Classic Lotion SPF 30 ($18) and the Mineral Lotion SPF 30 ($20). But, which one is right for you? Hale explains, "while both the Classic and Mineral Lotions from Vacation provide broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection and are water-resistant for 80 minutes, some people have a personal preference for a physical Zinc Oxide or fragrance-free formula, which they'll find with the Mineral Lotion."

Vacation, Sunscreen
Vacation by Mineral Lotion SPF 30 $20.00

The Mineral Lotion SPF ($20) is fragrance-free, transparent, and packed with nourishing ingredients. Shea butter enhances the texture and application while ingredients like cucumber, vitamin E, and allantoin soothe and hydrate skin.

Vacation, Sunscreen
Vacation by Classic Lotion SPF 30 $18.00

"The Classic Lotion is my personal go-to for the body; it uses safe and effective chemical ingredients for UV protection, rubs in quickly, and as a bonus, it smells great," Hale adds. The Classic Lotion ($18) features the brand's signature scent and a cocktail of skin-nourishing moisturizers like coconut oil and aloe vera.

"If you have a darker skin tone, it is likely that you'll experience a slight white cast with physical formulas that use zinc oxide or titanium," Hale explains. "Instead, look for a chemical formula that rubs in clear on all skin tones like the Classic Lotion, or a tinted zinc product that matches your skin."

SPF Application

When it comes to sun protection you have to apply (and reapply) to make it work. "I tell my patients to apply a shot glass-sized amount for the whole body, and a nickel-sized dollop for your face and neck," Hale adds.

The recommended application is every two hours, and if your plans include swimming, sweating, and toweling off, you should reapply more often. "If you're spending a lot of time in the water, you should be reapplying more often with a broad-spectrum sunscreen," Hale shares. "I am also a fan of sun-protective clothing, such as a rash guard, if you're planning to spend a long time swimming."

Just in case you needed a refresher on why sunscreen is so important: as Hale points out, the majority of skin cancers and 90% of premature aging are caused by unprotected sun exposure. Sunscreen is the best way to slow down signs of aging and protect against skin cancer when you're outside. As a reminder, skin cancer is the most common cancer in the US "and is also the most preventable type," according to Hale.

My Review

Okay, so maybe “the world’s best smelling sunscreen” isn’t an exaggeration for the Classic Sunscreen. Don’t expect that typical sunscreen smell. The fragrance is super subtle and light—it smells a bit like a tropical vacation or a trip to the pool. Both formulas were so lightweight and non-greasy, I actually forgot I was wearing sunscreen. My skin just felt moisturized. Thankfully, there was no cast with either formula, but since I’m just a little bit obsessed with the scent, I’ll likely be opting for the Classic sunscreen for all-over sun protection (and the Vacation fragrance).

Grab your sunscreen at and check out their Summer Sweepstakes: with any purchase you'll enter to win your choice of prize from the selection.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Goyal A, Sharma A, Kaur J, et al. Bioactive-based cosmeceuticals: an update on emerging trendsMolecules. 2022;27(3):828. doi:10.3390/molecules27030828

  2. Sethi A, Kaur T, Malhotra SK, Gambhir ML. Moisturizers: the slippery roadIndian J Dermatol. 2016;61(3):279-287. doi:10.4103/0019-5154.182427

  3. American Academy of Dermatology Association. Sunscreen FAQs.

  4. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Health effects of UV radiation.

  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Basic information about skin cancer. Updated April 18, 2022.

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