Everyone wants to spend the summer without worrying about sunburns, non-melanoma skin cancer, wrinkles, and premature aging. But picking the right sunscreen is easier said than done. Since there are factors to consider when shopping for sunscreen — like whether or not it will clog pores or make your skin greasy — it’s easy to give up and buy whatever’s cheapest. Here are the features of a good sunscreen that make the whole process much easier!
A) HOW LONG DOES IT PROTECT?
Generally, products with an SPF of 15 or higher should last up to 40 minutes in the sun. If you apply more sunscreen than one coat of this product on top of your other layers of protection (such as sunblock, foundation, moisturizer, or powder), it might only last an hour or so. If your skin is susceptible and you live in a climate that is hot enough to burn you in five minutes, it is better to apply a product with 90 minutes of protection than one with 50.
B) WHAT IS ITS CONSISTENCY LIKE?
Most people have varied opinions when it comes to the matter of sunscreen consistency. Some prefer a cream that is easily spreadable and lighter on their skin; others want something that can be rubbed vigorously into the skin without feeling greasy. Still, others prefer a lotion that they can use as a regular moisturizer. It often depends on your skin type. Generally, though, some sunscreens are more water soluble than others.
These will go on thicker and form a protective layer on your skin before evaporating away and leaving the other layers of protection underneath them dry and unprotected. These products should be avoided in humid weather or by those with oily skin that gets shiny after applying them for extended periods.
C) WHAT DOES IT SMELL LIKE?
Some people prefer sunscreen with a strong fragrance, while others mind it being at all. The scent of some products is caused by added chemicals that help keep it from rubbing off on clothing and activities. It may also be the result of added vitamins and other natural ingredients. If you have sensitive skin or are worried about allergies, it is better to go for a fragrance-free product.
D) IS IT WATER-RESISTANT?
This feature is critical to look out for because sometimes you forget to apply sunscreen before going out in the rain or sweating in the gym, only to realize later that the water washed away your protection before you even had a chance to reapply. The water resistance comes in two different forms: 80 minutes and 40 minutes. The former means the product will not wash off when the wearer is swimming or sweating heavily in hot and humid weather. The latter does not offer that same water resistance.
A good sunscreen naturally protects the skin from harmful UV rays. Besides protecting the skin, it may also include antioxidants and other nutrients that help fight against aging. Plus, a good sunscreen will be water-resistant as well as non-greasy and fragrance-free. In summary, searching for a good sunscreen that is lightweight, fragrance-free, and does not irritate sensitive skin is best. It should also be matte to prevent the transfer of these ingredients onto your clothes and body.