How to Find the Best Sunscreen for Your Skin Type
Want to know how to find our best sunscreen for your skin type? We created a step-by-step guide to help you find a sun protection product that can work for you—and your skin—ahead.
Sunscreen is—in a way—like life insurance for your skin. When used properly—i.e. applied daily and reapplied at least every two hours—it can help protect the surface skin from sun damage. That being said, many of us are (unknowingly) guilty of choosing a sunscreen that is not formulated for our specific skin type. This is a commonly-missed opportunity to help care for your skin while also helping to protect it. Hear us out! Not all sunscreens are created equal. In fact, there are sunscreens formulated for specific skin types—so, if you’re applying a sunscreen that was made for a different skin type than that of your own, you may be experiencing some skin care woes. Worry not, we share a guide to finding the best sunscreens for your skin type, ahead.
STEP ONE: KNOW YOUR SKIN TYPE
The first step in finding a sunscreen designed for your skin type is determining what your skin type actually is. Do you experience dry skin on your cheeks, but oily skin on your T-Zone? This could be a sign of combination skin. Is your complexion oil-ridden and acne-prone? Sounds like your skin type may be oily. If you need help determining your skin type, we recommend scheduling an appointment with your dermatologist.
Already know your skin type? Skip ahead to step two!
STEP TWO: DO YOUR RESEARCH
Once you’ve determined whether you experience dry skin, oily skin, combination skin, acne-prone skin, and so on, it’s time to do some research. Take a look at your sunscreen collection; if your skin is oily but your everyday sunscreen says that it is formulated for dry skin types, it may not be the right choice for you. Instead, you’ll want to reach for a sunscreen that is formulated for oily skin.
Sunscreen For Dry Skin
SkinCeuticals Ultimate UV Defense SPF 30: As far as dry skin is concerned, you’ll want to reach for a product that not only helps protect the skin’s surface from the sun’s damaging UV rays, but also leaves skin feeling moisturized and replenished. For that we turn to SkinCeuticals Ultimate UV Defense SPF 30. The cream-based sunscreen can help to nurture and protect all skin types, especially dry skin.
SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense Sunscreen SPF 50: Another great option for dry skin types is SkinCeuticals Physical UV Defense Sunscreen SPF 50. Not only does it offer UVA and UVB protection, but it also enhances your skin’s natural skin tone. Plus, its formula is water and sweat-resistant—for up to 40 minutes—and is formulated without parabens or chemical filters.
Sunscreen For Oily Skin
Vichy Ideal Capital Soleil SPF 45 Sunscreen: We love turning to Vichy’s Idéal Capital Soleil SPF 45 Sunscreen when we’re looking for a sunscreen that offers a dry-finish. Formulated to help protect the surface skin from both UVA and UVB rays, this sunscreen boasts a cooling, fresh formula with a silky, “barely there” after-feel. What’s more? It’s suitable to use on both the face and body!
SkinCeuticals Physical Matte UV Defense SPF 50: Complexions that boast excess shine should consider a sunscreen that offers a matte finish, and SkinCeuticals Physical Matte UV Defense SPF 50 fits the bill. This broad-spectrum sunscreen is tinted with an oil-absorbing base that helps maintain a long-lasting matte finish. Wear it alone or under your makeup.
Sunscreen for Visibly Aging Skin
La Roche-Posay Anthelios AOX: For mature-looking skin, we recommend reaching for a sunscreen that has been formulated with antioxidants to help protect the surface skin from the effects of the sun’s damaging UV rays. Try La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios AOX. A Broad Spectrum sunscreen with SPF level of 50 and a high potent antioxidant complex of baicalin, vitamin Cg, and vitamin E, this Daily Antioxidant Serum with Sunscreen can help protect skin from free radicals caused by UV rays and may also work to improve the complexion’s radiance.
L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition SPF 30 Day Lotion: With the ticking hands of time comes the inevitable loss of radiance that’s often synonymous with youthful-looking skin. The good news is that with L’Oréal Paris’ Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition SPF 30 Day Lotion, you can achieve that highly sought-after glow once again, without sacrificing your sun protection. Formulated with a blend of essential oils—and broad-spectrum SPF 30—this day lotion is ideal for mature skin types, as it helps restore glow and provides the skin with nourishing moisture. With continued use, the skin will feel firmer, more toned, and elastic.
Sunscreen For Sensitive Skin
Kiehl’s Activated Sun Protector: A sunscreen that can help protect the surface skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays while also formulated for sensitive skin is ideal for sensitive skin types. We recommend Kiehl’s Activated Sun Protector.The formula with Titanium Dioxide sunscreen, a 100% mineral sun filter, provides Broad Spectrum protection with an SPF level of 50 and is suitable for sensitive skin. What’s more? The water-resistant (for up to 80 minutes) sunscreen is ultra lightweight and non-greasy, too!
Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Mineral Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50: Turning to a mineral-based, antioxidant-enhanced formula is also a smart option for those who have sensitive skin. The Super Fluid UV Mineral Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50 sunscreen is a titanium dioxide sunscreen formulated with vitamin E protection and UVA/UVB technology. Not to mention, the lightweight formula blends to a universal sheer tint.
Sunscreen For Combination Skin
La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Melt-In Sunscreen Milk: We love La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios 60 Melt-In Sunscreen Milk for a number of reasons. For one, it’s formulated with advanced UVA and UVB technology and antioxidant protection. Second, it’s oil-free, fast-absorbing, and water resistant for up to 80 minutes, leaving behind a soft, velvety finish.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin: Combination skin types can benefit from a dry-touch sunscreen that absorbs pore-clogging oil, like La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios Clear Skin sunscreen. Enhanced with the brand’s beloved thermal spring water, you can expect this sunscreen to provide your skin with SPF 60 protection and up to 80 minutes of water-resistant coverage.
STEP THREE: APPLY & REAPPLY DAILY
Once you’ve found your ideal sunscreen for your skin type, you’ll want to apply it every day, multiple times a day—no matter what. Whether there are clouds in the sky, or you’re spending the day at the beach in direct sunlight, sunscreen should be a vital part of your everyday skin care routine. And we hate to break it to you, but one application of sunscreen per day isn’t going to cut it. Keep a bottle of your chosen sunscreen with you and reapply at least every two hours—sooner if you take a dip, sweat profusely, or towel-dry—to help protect your surface skin. Pair your daily sunscreen use with additional sun protection measures like seeking shade when possible, wearing protective clothing, and avoiding peak sun hours.