Finding a great sunscreen to wear to the beach isn’t exactly a daunting task. Find the SPF you want in a broad-spectrum and water resistant formula, and you’re done.
Finding a great sunscreen to wear for everyday use, on the other hand, can be a bit of a beast. Is this enough SPF? Will this leave my face greasy? Will this be too thick? Too thin? You’re trying to protect your skin; it shouldn’t be this difficult!
We’ve taken the guesswork out of facial sunscreen for you with our top 10 tips:
- Remember that you need to wear sunscreen if you’re going to be in the sun for more than 20 minutes. As a general rule, it’s good to put on SPF when you’re getting ready in the morning.
- If you will be spending more than 20 minutes in the sun, or will be participating in outdoor activities, use an SPF 50.
- For everyday use, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends an SPF 30 sunscreen.
- Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Broad-spectrum means the lotion will protect you against UVB (rays that cause sunburn) and UVA (rays that penetrate deeper into the skin and cause premature aging and wrinkling) rays. Sunscreens not labeled “broad-spectrum” may only protect against sunburn, not aging, wrinkles or other damage.
- If you’re looking for a product to wear under your makeup, look for a lightweight, oil-free moisturizer. Make sure it contains either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide listed as an active ingredient.
- For sensitive skin, look for a mineral sunscreen (rather than chemical).
- If you don’t want to wear a full face of makeup, but still want a little bit of tint, try a BB creme with SPF 30.
- Avoid sunscreens that contain Vitamin A. According to the EWG, roughly 20 percent of sunscreens and moisturizers with SPF contain the vitamin, possibly because it may slow aging when used in indoor lotions or moisturizers. In products exposed to the sun, however, it can speed the growth of cancerous tumors and spur excess skin growth.
- Lotions and creams will provide better, more protective coverage than sprays.
- Don’t forget your lips! A lip balm with SPF 15 will help protect your lips from burning and chapping.
What are your favorite sunscreens to use? Let us know in the comments!