As summer temperatures rise and you spend more time outside, you’ll probably want to keep a tube of sunscreen or one of the newer sunscreen powders in your gym bag or glove compartment. If you pop into any makeup counter, drugstore, or grocery store, you’re likely to see at least a half-dozen sunscreen brands. While the ubiquity of sunscreen makes it easy to stay sun-safe, the variety of options makes it hard to choose!
That’s why we’re going over the sunscreen basics and listing some of our favorite formulas. With this handy email, you can figure out what works best for you and avoid getting burned.
First things first: There are two main types of sunscreen. Physical sunscreens deflect sunlight with the active ingredients titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. The old versions used to feel thick and sometimes leave a white cast on the skin. Newer versions of microniadized zinc and titanium feel great, are not thick and do not leave a white sheen on your skin.
Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, use chemicals like avobenzone and oxybenzone to absorb UV rays and make them less harmful. These formulas blend invisibly into skin. The drawback is that the chemicals in sunscreen may be absorbed in minute quantities when applied in large amounts every 2 hours. This has recently gotten some bad press but there’s no conclusive proof that they’re harmful. Still, pregnant women, young children, and cautious types may want to go for physical sunscreen.
If you already know which type of sunscreen you prefer, you may be wondering: Which brand is the best? We’re glad you asked!
> For your face and body, try ISDIN- Eryfotona Actinica SPF 50, a fast-absorbing sunscreen that feels smooth on the skin it absorbs quickly, layers well under makeup, doesn't smell like SPF, is made with antioxidant-rich vitamin E, as well as an ingredient that helps repair previous sun damage.
> We also love ISDIN’s Eryfotona Actinica SPF 50 for your face, or Total Defense and Repair from SkinMedica.
> For your lips, EltaMD’s UV Lip Balm Broad-Spectrum SPF 31 neutralizes free radicals with antioxidants and offers both physical and chemical sun protection.
> For on-the-go, grab an ISDIN Mineral Brush, your solution to reapplying SPF at 2 p.m. without messing up your mascara.
> For when you’re exercising or going swimming, make sure you reapply even a “waterproof” sunscreen every two hours
Whichever sunscreen you choose, remember to use it in conjunction with other sun-safety measures, like wearing protective clothing and scheduling
an annual skin check with a board-certified dermatologist. As always, get in touch with us if you have any questions. We hope you get outside and enjoy healthy, comfortable skin all summer long!
Yours in good health,
Your English Dermatology Team