Best Sunscreens for Each Skin Type
- By Dr. Alan J. Parks
- March 29, 2021
We’re sure you’ve heard us say it before but at DermWarehouse, we love our sunscreen and we can’t stress enough the importance of applying it every single day, year round – the sun is the number one cause of aging! This means applying (and reapplying) sunscreen to your face AND your body anytime you’re planning on being outside. It sounds like a lot of work, but trust us- you’ll be glad you did when your skin is wrinkle and dark spot-free!
Why is sunscreen so important anyway?
As nice as it feels to have a warm sun beating down on your face, the sun emits serious levels of UV radiation. Why is UV radiation so bad, you ask? Excessive amounts of UV radiation cause collagen and elastin to break down a lot quicker than they normally would. This means that your skin will age a lot quicker in the sun without protection. It also causes an overproduction of melanin in the skin, leading to hyperpigmentation and dark spots. On a more serious note, the sun’s UV rays are a top factor in developing any of the three types of skin cancer. Skin cancer is oftentimes treatable, but continuous exposure to UV rays increases your chances of developing skin cancer, which is why it’s so important to apply sunscreen every day.
What kind of sunscreen should I be applying?
It can be overwhelming to pick a sunscreen with all the different brands, types, and levels of SPF out there. Below, we’ll give you a few recommendations based on your skin type, but if you have additional questions, it’s always best to check in with your dermatologist or our skin care specialists! There are a few things you should look for in a sunscreen regardless of skin type:
- First, you should be looking for “broad spectrum” on the label. This means that the formula protects you against UVA and UVB rays, both of which can cause damage to your skin.
- For your face, always look for a sunscreen with SPF 30 or above- and reapply throughout the day!
- If you’re particularly active, look for a water-resistant sunscreen. You don’t want the protection sliding off when you break a sweat!
Acne-Prone Skin: If your skin is prone to breakouts and reactions, opt for a mineral sunscreen over a chemical one. (Chemical sunscreen is absorbed by the skin, which can cause a reaction, while mineral simply sits on top of your skin to deflect the sun’s rays.) Additionally, look for a sunscreen that’s non-comedogenic (doesn’t clog pores.)
- One of our favorite sunscreens for acne-prone skin is the Elta MD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46. Not only does it provide sun protection, but it also has niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and lactic acid.
- Another favorite is the Colorescience Sunforgettable Brush-On Sunscreen SPF 30. It provides light coverage for the face and won’t break out the skin.
- The Murad City Skin Age Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50 is also a great option, due to the fact that it’s a 100% mineral sunscreen.
Combination Skin: Like acne-prone skin, certain ingredients, including heavy sunscreens, can break you out on some parts of your face or dry you out on other parts. For combination skin, you’ll want a sunscreen that is light enough to not cause excess oiliness, but hydrating enough to keep dry skin balanced.
- The CoTZ Flawless Complexion Tinted SPF 50 is a mineral sunscreen with a non-greasy, oil-free formula. It prevents future signs of aging without causing breakouts or drying out the skin.
- For sun protection with light coverage, the Revision Skincare Intellishade Original SPF 45 is great for combination skin. This sunscreen moisturizes your skin, but also absorbs excess oil and makes the skin appear matte, making it perfect for combination skin.
Dry Skin: When you have dry skin, it can feel like the smallest change in your skincare routine can cause irritation and flaking. You’ll want to use a mineral sunscreen if you have especially dry skin, as it sits on top of your skin to protect it from the sun instead of absorbing into the skin, like a chemical sunscreen. It’s also helpful to use sunscreen infused with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid.
- The Elta MD UV Replenish Broad-Spectrum SPF 44 is ideal for those with dry skin, as it is infused with hyaluronic acid and antioxidants to protect skin while keeping it hydrated and nourished.
- The Unsun Cosmetics Mineral Tinted Sunscreen not only protects your sun and minimizes pores, but it also keeps dry skin hydrated and moisturized with natural extracts.
Mature Skin: If you have mature skin, you’re likely already showing signs of aging. It’s not ideal, but it’s a natural process that can’t be stopped- but it can be slowed down. The sun is the number one cause of premature aging, and suitable sun protection can help decrease the rate at which your skin develops fine lines and wrinkles.
- The Jan Marini Rejuvenate & Protect with Marini Physical Protectant SPF 45 set contains the C-ESTA Vitamin C serum and the Physical Protectant SPF 45 to provide both UV and free radical protection while simultaneously repairing and preventing signs of aging.
- The Elta MD UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40 uses hyaluronic acid along with mineral sunscreen to smooth fine lines and other signs of aging and is great for mature skin in need of some extra hydration.
Normal Skin: Lucky you! If your skin is fairly normal, you can focus on looking for a great overall sunscreen to protect your skin. You might want extra hydration or anti-aging benefits combined with sun protection, or even just a normal sunscreen that you can have on you at all times.
- If your skin is pretty normal and you’re looking for a great overall sunscreen, the Obagi Sun Shield Mineral Broad Spectrum SPF 50 is perfect for you. It’s a mineral sunscreen that’s water-resistant, dries clear, and contains ceramides, niacinamide, and other hydrating ingredients.
- The iS CLINICAL Eclipse SPF 50+ is a broad-spectrum sunscreen that’s great for all skin types. It also contains Vitamin E and antioxidants to brighten and soothe the skin while protecting it from the sun.
Oily Skin: With oily skin, the thought of putting on sunscreen might seem terrifying- many sunscreens can make your face look greasy. When looking for a sunscreen, you should look for an oil-free formula that’s lightweight and won’t cause breakouts.
- The Dermalogica Oil Free Matte SPF 30 is ultra-sheer, oil-free, and contains ingredients like niacinamide and caffeine to regulate oil production while providing amazing sun protection.
- The SkinMedica Essential Defense Everyday Clear SPF 47 has a lightweight mineral formula that won’t clog your pores or make your face feel greasy, making it ideal for oily skin.
Sensitive Skin: When you have sensitive skin, it can feel like everything you use causes your skin to become irritated. With sunscreen, it’s best to look for a mineral sunscreen with minimal ingredients, or with ingredients like ceramides or Vitamin E.
- When your skin is sensitive, it can be hard to find skincare products that won’t irritate your skin or cause you to break out. The SkinMedica Essential Defense Mineral Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 32 comes in a slightly-tinted formula that has minimal ingredients to prevent sensitive skin from acting up.
- DCL’s Antioxidant Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 is antioxidant-infused and has a mineral formula to gently protect your skin without causing irritation.
Full Body: Don’t forget to protect the rest of your body! The skin on your body is just as susceptible to aging and skin cancer. If you’re planning on spending a day at the pool or taking a long hike, it’s important to make sure your skin is protected.
- A great sunscreen for your full body, the Elta MD UV Pure Broad-Spectrum SPF 47 is gentle and can be used on children and adults.
- The HydroPeptide Solar Defense Body Spray SPF 30 is easy to apply and nourishes skin with aloe and Vitamin E. Be sure to reapply every 2 hours that you’re in the sun!
If you have concerns, check with your our skin specialists for our recommendations on what’s best for your skin! And remember- sunscreen shouldn’t be skipped!