How to pick the best sunscreen!

Summer is here, which means it’s time to get outside and enjoy some sunshine! Since the sun is out in full force, it’s really important to wear sunscreen to prevent sunburns that can lead to skin cancer. June is Skin Cancer Awareness month. Unfortunately skin cancer affects 1 in 5 Americans by the time they are 70, which is why it is so important to protect yourself! Thankfully sunscreen can reduce the risk by more than 40%! Not all sunscreens are created equal, some are much better than others. This article is designed to teach you tips on how to pick the best sunscreen!

Sunscreen Recommendations:

  • Choose a broad spectrum sunscreen as this protects against ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. 
  • Get SPF 30 or higher. Many people don’t know that the SPF number is the number of minutes of protection (i.e. the time duration you should reapply). The higher the SPF number the longer you can go between reapplication! Be sure to apply at least once every 2 hours at the maximum.
  • Water resistant does not mean waterproof. Even water resistant sunscreens are only water resistant for 40 to 80 minutes. Sunscreens should be reapplied after you’ve sweat or been in the water. 
  • Apply liberally! Maybe people will put on a light layer, which does not fully protect your skin. Be sure to add enough to get a thick layer on your skin.
  • Mineral based has less potentially toxic ingredients. Try to find a sunscreen that uses zinc oxide or titanium oxide as a 
  • Check the expiration date before using. Sunscreens that are expired have lower effectiveness.
  • Read the ingredients carefully! Choose sunscreens that have Avobenzone instead of Oxybenzone (an ingredient found in some chemical based sunscreens but it has been found to be a hormone disruptor and potentially lead to skin sensitization, so it’s best to avoid).
    • Here’s a list of things you want to make sure are not in your sunscreen:
      • Aminobenzoic acid
      • Trolamine salicylate
      • Cinoxate
      • Dioxybenzone
      • Ensulizole
      • Oxybenzone
      • Meradimate
      • Sulisobenzone
      • Padimate O

My Favorite Brands:

Other Considerations:

Sunscreen cannot prevent 100% of sun damage. If you’re going to spend an entire day outside, consider getting SPF shirts and SPF hats!