Sun-Protection Essentials: Which Sunscreen Should I Choose?

Afraid to wake up one day to a reflection of wrinkles, brown spots, and leathery skin? It’s time to get sun smart! This skin-care guide will give you the dos and don’ts of sun protection whether you’re hitting the slopes or surfing the waves. Just make us one promise—you’ll stay away from tanning beds!


• Narrow down the field—go for a broad-spectrum (protects against both UVB and UVA), water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.

• Daily moisturizer already has an SPF of 15 or greater—is that enough protection? This works but only for everyday activities with only a few minutes of sun exposure throughout the day.

• Spending extra time outdoors? Four-plus hours of sun exposure requires an SPF of 30 or higher. Just remember. Though sunscreens come with a sun-protection factor of 45, 60, 70, and even 100, no amount of SPF will fully protect you from the sun.

• Physical versus chemical. Whats the difference? Physical sunscreens protect skin from the sun by blocking the suns rays, while chemical sunscreens absorb the suns rays.

• Have sensitive skin? Stick to physical sunscreens. They work best on all skin types and are less likely to irritate. Downfall—they leave a white cast after application and dont offer as much UVA protection as chemical sunscreens.

• When it comes to your face, buy a product you love. Choose a noncomedogenic formula just for the face. It wont clog pores, absorbs well, and looks good under makeup. Remember, the nicer the product, the more likely you are to use it.

• How about makeup? Does it offer enough sun protection? Absolutely not. The application process is different, often foundation is just used to spot treat redness or uneven skin tone, and isnt applied to the whole face.
Last Updated: September 07, 2010

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