Sun Protection Pills Won't Shield Your Skin From the Sun, But These Sunscreens Will
As many of us know, exposure to the sun’s UV rays can be attributed to some of the most harmful effects on the skin. Both UVA and UVB rays that radiate from the sun can damage the skin resulting in sunburns, premature signs of aging, or even some skin cancers over time. That’s why you should go the extra mile with your sun protection, especially if you plan to be spending time outdoors.
What we mean by “go the extra mile” is apply broad-spectrum sunscreen day in and day out, reapply it onto exposed areas at least every two hours, cover up with protective clothing, seek shade, and avoid peak sun hours—between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.—when rays are strongest. We don’t mean replace your habitual sunscreen use with a dietary supplement that claims to protect your skin from the sun. As the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced on May 22, 2018, there are some products purporting to provide protection from the sun that aren’t delivering on the advertised benefits. For example, there are some companies that are illegally marketing pills and capsules labeled as dietary supplements that claim to protect consumers from the harms that come from sun exposure. These pills can give consumers a false sense of security that their skin is protected against the negative effects of UV rays.
So, what does this all mean for you? Be cautious not to fall for products with unproven drug claims, and do your research. As the FDA warns, there is no pill or capsule that can replace your sunscreen. It may sound convenient to pop a pill and not have to worry about sun damage to your skin, but the reality is that you need to keep your skin guarded from harmful UV rays with products that have met the FDA’s standards for safety and effectiveness.
THE BEST SUNSCREENS FOR UV PROTECTION
There’s currently no product on the market that can help protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun better than broad-spectrum sunscreen. While sunscreen can’t fully protect your skin against the sun’s ultraviolet rays, the Skin Cancer Foundation has noted that using a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher can help guard your skin from over 90 percent of incoming UVB rays.
So, ready to get started on your sunscreen routine? Then check out some of our top sunscreen picks—from the L’Oreal portfolio of brands—below!
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin SPF 60 Sunscreen
One of the biggest concerns that drives people away from using sunscreen is the fear of breakouts and blemishes. Well, you can ease your fears and still keep your skin guarded from the sun by using this sunscreen from La Roche-Posay. This lightweight formula has a blotting-effect texture that won’t clog pores or cause breakouts.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clean Skin SPF 60 Sunscreen, $19.99 MSRP
CeraVe Sunscreen Stick SPF 50
For a smooth application of your sunscreen, try out CeraVe’s Sunscreen Stick. It contains SPF 50, and boasts a lightweight, oil-free formula that won’t weigh down your skin. It’s formulated with ceramides and hyaluronic acid and can help nourish your skin while you’re out and about.
CeraVe Sunscreen Stick SPF 50, $9.99 MSRP
Vichy Capital Soleil SPF 60 Sunscreen
If you have sensitive skin, this sunscreen lotion is your best bet for sun protection. This sunscreen contains broad-spectrum SPF 60, and can protect your skin against free radical damage.
Vichy Capital Soleil SPF 60 Sunscreen, $30.50 MSRP
SkinCeuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50
Sometimes, sunscreens can leave a white and ashy residue in their tracks. That’s why we’re loving the translucent formula of this sunscreen! It has an SPF of 50 to keep your skin guarded, and leaves behind a sheer finish on skin.
SkinCeuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50, $34.00 MSRP
Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Mineral Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50+
This sunscreen from Kiehl’s is formulated with advanced UVA/UVB technology to help prevent early skin aging caused by the sun. Its lightweight formula makes it the perfect match for all skin types.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Sport SPF 60 Sunscreen
One major thing people forget is that sunscreen wears off throughout the day, especially if you’re being active, so it has to be reapplied at least every two hours if not sooner. Some sunscreens can keep up with an active lifestyle better than others, like La Roche-Posay Anthelios Sport SPF 60. This sunscreen is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, and can absorb skin moisture even during outdoor activities.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF 60 Sunscreen, $29.99 MSRP
Vichy Capital Soleil SPF 50 Sunscreen
You should always apply sunscreen on your face, especially since the skin is so delicate in comparison to the rest of your body. One of our favorite facial sunscreens is the Vichy Capital Soleil SPF 50 Sunscreen for its dry-finish formula that protects from UVA/UVB rays and free radical damage. It stays water-resistant for up to 40 minutes, making it perfect for those sweat-filled summer days.
Vichy Capital Soleil SPF 50 Sunscreen, $25.50 MSRP
SkinCeuticals Light Moisture UV Defense SPF 50
Need a little hydration in your skin? Then look no further, because this sunscreen is your answer. This lotion acts as a daily moisturizer that’s formulated with SPF 50 for UVA/UVB protection.
SkinCeuticals Light Moisture UV Defense SPF 50, $39.00 MSRP
La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF 60 Spray Sunscreen
Not a fan of lathering yourself in sunscreen? Then this lightweight spray-on sunscreen from La Roche-Posay is the perfect product for you to get your SPF fix. It’s alcohol-free and water-resistant for up to 80 minutes of fun in the sun. Its fast-absorbing, non-greasy formula will leave your skin with a silky-smooth, dry texture without buildup or residue.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF 60 Spray Sunscreen, $35.99 MSRP
SkinCeuticals Physical Matte UV Defense SPF 50
This tinted sunscreen stands out from the pack for its mattifying formula. It contains an oil-absorbing base, and leaves a matte finish.
SkinCeuticals Physical Matte UV Defense SPF 50, $34.00 MSRP
Editor's note: Remember that while applying and re-applying sunscreen throughout the day, especially if you are swimming or doing activities outdoors is not enough. It’s important to seek other sun protection measures such as those mentioned at the beginning of this article.