The sunscreen you choose to use on your skin depends on your skin type and need for protection. The currently available options each have pros and cons, so you will need to decide based on what is most important for you. Here are a few tips on how to choose the right sunscreen suited to your level of sun exposure and skin type.
Type of Light Exposure
Incidental vs. intense exposure:The kind of sunscreen you use will vary depending on the type of outdoor exposure you are expecting. For incidental sun exposure - when you are outside for only a few minutes at a time – experts recommend an SPF of 30. For longer, more intense sun exposure, like days on the beach or other outdoor activities, you should use water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF over 30 and re-apply it every two hours. Don’t rely solely on sunscreen; you should also wear hats, use umbrellas and cover your skin for additional protection. For both types of exposure, make sure your sunscreen provides broad-spectrumprotection.
Your Skin Type
If you have oily or acne-prone skin, you will need to avoid sunscreens that clog your pores. Some acne medications increase sun sensitivity, so rigorous daily sun protection is very important when you use those products. Zinc oxide soothes and protects the skin while reducing inflammation and oil production. Thus, products with this mineral miracle are better for people with oily skin. With that said, although physical sunscreens may be better for oily skin, they are heavy and thick and may not feel better for oily skin. If you have dry skin, you can try a moisturizing sunscreen. Many oil-based sunscreens are excellent and offer broad-spectrum protection.
If you have any skin allergies or sensitive skin, you may want to limit yourself to physical sunscreens rather than the chemical ones, as the ingredients in physical sunscreens are less likely to irritate. Many people are not aware that their irritated skin and acne bumps may be due to allergies to sunscreen ingredients, with oxybenzone being a common cause of skin reactions. To avoid irritation, read the labels of your cosmetics, as many contain sunscreen and pay attention to which ingredients make your skin react. If you absolutely cannot use any sunscreen, you can apply antioxidants vitamins, like C and E, to your skin, as natural sun protectants. Regular application of vitamins C and E can help reduce UV damage.
People with darker skinmight prefer using chemical sunscreens as they are clear when applied to the skin. However, people with darker skin are also more likely to have sensitive skin which is irritated by some chemical sunscreens. In that case, use physical sunscreens formulas made with micronized zinc oxide, as the particles are small enough to allow them to blend in and disappear into the skin, while providing non-irritating sun protection.
The most common skin concern voiced by people with melanin-rich skin is hyperpigmentation and every recommendation for prevention or treatment of hyperpigmentation includes daily use of sunscreen. If you want your skin even-toned and protected, the key to a beautiful and healthy glow is daily sunscreen for all skin types and tones. Your choice for which type of sunscreen will depend on your sun exposure and skin type, but you have many effective options to choose from. Caring for your skin is very much about prevention, and wearing sunscreen is one of the easiest, yet most effective, things you can do for healthier skin now and in the future.