As you may already know, you need to wear sunscreen every day and year-round, even when the sun isn’t out. UV rays have been proven to be the leading cause of skin cancer and aging skin. But how do you know which sunscreen is the best for your skin type?

First off, there are two types of sunscreen, chemical and physical. Chemical sunscreen contains ingredients such as avobenzone and oxybenzone, absorbs UV light so it cannot penetrate the skin and needs about 30 minutes to start working. Physical sunscreen contains titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide, “bounces” sunlight off your skin, starts protecting immediately after application.

  • Acne-prone skin: Look for products labeled non-comedogenic. Physical sunscreens are best for acne-prone skin because they can actually help fight acne. When picking a sunscreen, try to avoid coconut oil, octyl stearate, and isopropyl palmitate.
  • Normal-to-Oily: Pick a lightweight or gel sunscreen if you have oily skin. Instead of reapplying every hour, you can also purchase a powder sunscreen to lay on top of your skin to absorb oil. Don’t replace normal sunscreen with a powder sunscreen though. The powder is simply there to help oil, it won’t provide enough protection alone.
  • Sensitive-Dry: Before you apply sunscreen, apply a moisturizer on top. Avoid any sunscreen that contains alcohol, because after you’ve reapplied countless, your skin will be even dryer than before you applied. Try heavy, cream-based lotions and make sure your moisturizer has SPF.  
  • Combination: Tailor your sunscreen usage to the condition your skin is in the day of. If you’re on the drier side that day, try one that is a richer formula to lock in moisture. If your skin is rather oily, do a light-weight SPF.
  • Darker Skin Tones: While darker skin tones have natural protection from the sun, it’s not 100% safe. You should still be applying sunscreen to combat aging and protection from skin cancer. Choose a sunscreen based on your skin type above, especially if you’re in the sun for a long period of time.
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