Beauty How-To: Find the Right Sunscreen

Sunscreen is so important that a trip down the SPF isle at a drug store ends in us holding one dozen bottles of sun-blocking-who-knows-what. Use our tips of the trade to find the perfect sunscreen for your skin.
Double Your Protection:
There are two types of harmful UV rays. UVB rays are responsible for burning the skin and potentially causing skin cancer. UVA rays penetrate deeper, causing aging and wrinkling, and increasing the risks of UVB damage. Your best protection comes from a broad spectrum of sunscreens that block both UV types.

Decode the SPF Formula:
While a higher SPF number indicates a longer duration of protection, it also means greater strength. If your skin tends to turn cherry in 10 minutes, then an SPF 15 sunscreen ideally prevents the burn 15times longer–in this case, 150 minutes. An SPF 4 only grants you 40 minutes in the sun.

Step It Up for the Outdoors:
While an SPF 15 moisturizer does well enough for minimal daily exposure, you should be taking it up a notch for a day at the beach or other outdoor activities. Look for water resistant, high SPF sunscreens. Fifty to Eighty percent of UV rays still get through on cloudy days, so don’t skip protection, no matter the weather.

Slather It On:
Most of us don’t apply enough sunscreen to achieve the labeled SPF protection. It should take at least 1 ounce (picture a shot glass full) to cover all exposed areas of the skin. Apply 15 to 30 minutes ahead of time for greatest absorption.

Be Kind to Your Sensitive Skin:
There are a multitude of sunscreen formulas to take care of your particular skin needs or allergies. Hawaiian Tropic carries an oil-free sunscreen to help prevent clogged pores and irritation. No-Ad sunscreen offers broad-spectrum UV protection and is Paba-free.

Save Face:
It can be a pain to apply separate products every morning, so look for combination moisturizers and foundations with SPF protection. For light daily coverage, use a tinted moisturizer that evens out skin tone, hydrates, and protects.

Protective Powder:
While SPF foundations offer convenience they can break down just as quickly as sunscreen. A simple solution is to touch up with a protective powder, like that has an SPF of about 30. You’ll block the UV rays, reduce shine, and it won’t clog your pores.