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How to Choose the Right Sunscreen for Your Skin

Jul 15, 2021

When it comes to caring for your skin, most products are largely optional. The one product that shouldn’t even be up for debate, however, is sunscreen. While only about 11 percent of Americans use sunscreen daily and half never use sunscreen at all, it’s one of the most important things you’ll ever do for your skin. However, even if you’re on board with using a sunscreen every day, regardless of the forecast, you may be confused about which one to choose.

With such a wide array of products on the market, it’s easy to be intimidated. What’s more, you may be concerned about how sunscreen will impact your skin in the short term. Sunscreen shields your skin from harmful ultraviolet rays, protecting you from the visible signs of aging as well as more serious issues like skin cancer. If it makes your sensitive skin break out or flare-up, or makes your oily skin feel slick and greasy, however, you’re unlikely to want to wear it. Fortunately, no matter what type of skin you have, there’s a sunscreen designed to work for you.

  • Regardless of skin type, everyone should start with a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Broad-spectrum sunscreens offer protection against both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are the ones that age your skin, while UVB rays cause sunburn; both are known to increase your risk of skin cancer. Experts recommend choosing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher for optimal protection.
  • Choose sunscreen to fit your activity, often reapplying if you’re in the sun. Even on cloudy days, and even when you’re inside, you should be wearing sunscreen. When you’re out on the beach, though, you should up your game. Choose a water-resistant sunscreen, and frequently reapply to prevent skin damage.
  • Your skin type can help dictate the kind of sunscreen you use. People with normal skin can use just about any sunscreen, as long as it doesn’t upset the skin’s balance. Choosing a sunscreen that contains antioxidants can be helpful, protecting against pollution as well as the sun. As to the other skin types:
    • For dry skin, choose a sunscreen that hydrates. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, or glycerin, which can help soften and soothe skin.
    • Those with oily or combination skin should choose something oil-free or non-comedogenic. A sunscreen that’s lightweight and won’t clog the pores is beneficial, and a matte finish can help keep your skin from looking greasy.
    • Sensitive skin often does best with physical sunscreens. In addition, sunscreen with ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide can be less irritating than chemical sunscreens.

When you need expert advice and help caring for your skin, contact Arlington Dermatology. For over 40 years, our Board-Certified dermatologists have been serving patients, making the health and welfare of our patients our top priority. We offer innovative treatment methods using state-of-the-art medical equipment in our conveniently located, patient-friendly facility in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. Contact us or call 847-392-5440.