How to choose the right sunscreen for you

Sunscreen is one of the most important weapons in your summer beauty arsenal. It helps shield you from harmful UV rays that can cause skin cancer, wrinkles, and other skin damage. But with all the different brands out there, it can be hard to know which sunscreen will work best for you. The simplest approach to figuring it out is trying a few different sorts until you find one you like. 

What you need to know about SPF

Sunscreen is classified as either an SPF and an SPF 30. SPF stands for sun protection factor and indicates how long you should spend in the sun to protect your skin (which causes your skin to burn). SPF 30, commonly used as a reference number for sunscreens, protects you for about 15 minutes in the sun. This is about as much protection as you would get if you went out in the sun for about 15 minutes. Most sunscreens are labeled with a number between SPF 50 and SPF 100. This denotes the level of protection the product provides. It is most common to find products labeled SPF 100. SPF 50 blocks out 98% of UV rays and provides broad-spectrum protection, which means it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Some sunscreens also provide an SPF factor of 35 to 45.

Know your skin type and pick the right sunscreen

Sunscreen should be used for all skin types and should be applied 15 to 30 minutes before going outside, but you need to know your skin type and how long it takes to get the optimal protection from the product. If you are oily skinned, you'll likely need more coverage than if you have dry skin. Make sure the sunscreen you buy is oil-free so you can use less. For every person's face, sunscreen should be SPF 30 or higher. It's best to use sunscreen for young babies, infants, and toddlers if you can. They can't put it on themselves, so you can better protect their skin if you can put it on them.

Read the labels

Sunscreen is often packaged in a tube, though you don't have to choose that. Whether you choose a full-coverage or a compact, look for the label with the number SPF on it. You'll know when you see the number of protection you'll get with the SPF 30 or SPF 50 and when you see the number of hours of protection. However, be careful not to assume that SPF stands for "sentinel protection" because it does not. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, SPF does not provide the same amount of protection as other skin cancer prevention strategies, such as staying out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with zinc oxide, avobenzone, or titanium dioxide, according to many studies.

Apply sunscreens correctly

We understand the feeling of wanting to slather your entire body in sunscreen, but it's not as simple as you might think. Any amount of skin contact with the sun is not safe, so make sure to apply a sufficient amount to avoid overexposure. People make the number one mistake when applying sunscreen is using too much or applying it in the wrong spots. Apply it to your entire body, even your toes and your legs and your face. This is a great way to help keep your skin as protected as possible during sunny, hot days since, when applied properly, it will also not sting your eyes or make you uncomfortable. Look for skincare benefits. Different types of sunscreens have different ingredients to protect you from harmful UV rays.


In the end, choosing the right sunscreen can be as easy as deciding on the one you like the look of. You do spend a lot of time slathering it on, after all. Read through the below tips for creating your perfect sunscreen regime, and you'll be slathered in SPF and long-lasting protection soon enough. 

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