Select the Most Effective Sunscreen for Your Skintype

Sunscreen by skin type

While we should protect our skin year-round, the summer months are when UV protection jumps to the forefront of thought.  The days are longer and hotter, and the sun’s rays are at their very peak.  May through August are when the visible signs of sun damage, such as burns and freckles, are most likely to occur.  And whether you’re at the beach on vacation, the ballpark over the weekend, or just working out in the yard, summertime is also when you may be considering sunscreen more seriously.  Great job, but let’s make sure you’re doing it right, so you can enjoy the outdoors this season.

Be sure to check your sunscreen for the SPF, or “Sun Protection Factor.”  An SPF of at least 30 is recommended daily (even cloudy days or when you’re just headed into work), and 45 or higher should be used when you know you’ll be outdoors (like the beach, park, and yard examples above).  Even without long days and burns, cumulative exposure over many years can accelerate aging and greatly increase the risk of developing skin cancer.  However, SPF isn’t all that there is to consider.  Before you grab the first bottle you see on a store shelf, take some time to consider not only the overall efficacy of the product but how it may interact with your own unique skin type.  Here is what you should look for:

All Skin Types – While your selection may change based on your skin’s needs, there are a couple of factors that should apply to sunscreen for all skin types.  Your sunscreen should always offer “broad-spectrum” coverage, meaning that it will protect you from both harmful UVA and UVB rays.  The SPF factor should be a minimum of 30 and should be reapplied every two hours.  If you’re swimming or sweating, you’ll want an option that is water-resistant.  Additionally, consider those that use zinc oxide for UV blocking and feature helpful antioxidants to ward off damaging free radicals.

Oily – For those who have oily skin, sunscreen should be not only effective but lightweight.  Look for formulas that are also free of oils.  These products will not only offer protection but should be light enough to wear easily under makeup.

Dry / Mature – Dry or aging skin has its own, unique set of needs.  Unlike oily skin, this concern merits a moisturizing formula with the use of ingredients such as sodium hyaluronate (hylaluronic acid), useful for retaining moisture and restoring suppleness to the skin. 

Sensitive – For those with sensitive skin or who have just undergone a cosmetic procedure, sunscreen should be free of any possible irritants.  Look for options that are both oil-free and chemical-free, containing no fragrances or preservatives.  These ingredients can overwhelm sensitive skin, leading to irritation and inflammation.

Acne / Rosacea – Again, these are skin types that require minimal potential irritants.  Look for chemical-free options that do not include ingredients such as PABA or oxybenzone on the label.  Instead, search for ingredients that are known to soothe and promote healthy skin.  These can include niacinamide (Vitamin B3), hyaluronic acid, and lactic acid.

Your sunscreen shouldn’t leave you feeling greasy or cause irritation.  Quite the opposite.  Sunscreen should keep UV rays at bay while also promoting healthy skin.  Consider your own skin type and concerns and select your sun protection based on your specific needs.  At Dermasurgery Center, we carry only products that we fully believe in.  For sunscreens, those products come from the EltaMD skin care line.  Click here to explore these products and learn more.