I know that you know the sunscreen is important to your skin’s health because it helps prevent skin cancer and premature skin aging so instead of spending this post detailing why you need sunscreen and what to get (broad spectrum, SPF 30+, water-resistant), we’ll share just a few things to note:
#1: The best sunscreen is the one you will use!
Do you want an organic, all-natural sunscreen? A sunscreen that won’t turn your skin white (or purple for darker complexions)? An easy-to-apply option? All of these (and more) exist. There are SO many options on the market that I think you’d be hard-pressed to not find an option that will work for you. You may even find sample/travel-sized options so that you can try the product before buying a full bottle. So the answer to “what is the best sunscreen” varies greatly depending on what your specific needs are and what specifically bothers you. Scent really bothers some people whereas others hardly notice it, I might like a body stick format for hands-free coverage but to you that takes more time than applying sunscreen the old fashioned way. It really is up to you!
#2: Proper Application & Reapplication is more important than SPF
SPF 70 does not give you twice the protection of SPF 35, but rather only about 1-2% more (SPF 35 offers 97% protection from UVB, and SPF 70 offers about 98%). More important than the SPF is that you are applying enough on the initial application and that you are reapplying every 2 hours or after getting wet (swimming, heavily sweating, etc). The American Academy of Dermatology notes that most people apply only 25-50% of the recommended amount of sunscreen. Remember that you should be using 1 oz of sunscreen for the body (about a shot glass full). If you still have your same sunscreen at the end of the summer, you did not use enough.
#3: Sunscreen is PART of being Sun Safe
Wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, rash guards, long-sleeves and other clothing items, staying in the shade and avoiding too much sun exposure during peak hours (10 AM-4 PM) are all also key ways to protect your skin no matter what outdoorsy activities you are up to this summer!