Sunscreen is a must for every skin type. In addition to being your most crucial anti-aging tool, sunscreen prevents sun damage that breaks down the DNA in your skin and causes skin cancer. UV (ultra violet) rays from the sun cause premature aging due to the production of free radicals, which are molecules that break down collagen in the skin. There are two types of UV rays: UVA rays and UVB rays. Think of the UVA rays as A-aging and the UVB rays as B-burning, both causing damage to the skins DNA. While UVB rays penetrate the epidermis (the skin’s surface), UVA rays can travel all the way to the dermis (a deeper layer of the skin). When looking at sunscreens and their SPF rating, SPF refers to the ability to deflect UVB rays only.

There are two main types of sunscreens: physical sunscreens and chemical sunscreens.

It’s also important to note that chemical susncreens are easier to layer under makeup; however, they tend to be more irritating for those with sensitive skin.

So how do you pick the right sunscreen? Each formula is made differently, so here’s our guide to choosing the appropriate type.

If you have sensitive or acne-prone skin and are looking for a lightweight sunscreen to wear alone or under makeup, try EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum 46.

If you have darker skin tone, Elta MD also makes UV Clear in a tinted version so you can make sure to avoid having a white cast.

If you’re looking for something with a little more coverage, try Revision Skincare Intellishade Anti-Aging Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 45. This tinted moisturizer will adjust to your skin tone and comes in both an original and matte formula, based on preference.

If you are someone with melasma or are looking for a thicker physical blocker, the Avene Mineral High Protection Tinted Compact SPF 50 remains a holy grail at our office. This 100% mineral sunscreen is a cream-to-powder formula that provides a nice coverage, and is perfect for hypersensitive skin. This formula comes in two colors, so you can choose the one best suited for your skin tone.

For the body, try Coola Unscented Classic Sport Sunscreen SPF 50. This particular body sunscreen is also water resistant for up to 80 minutes! Don’t forget to apply that sunscreen, particularly on your hands, feet, and ears (areas that are often forgotten)!

Many people use spray sunscreens, however, it’s very easy to miss spots using these types of sunscreens on the body. Instead, try using those convenient mists for covering the scalp. The Soleil Mineral Based Sunscreen Continuous Mist Broad Spectrum SPF 50 is a great option.

Coola also makes a great makeup setting spray with SPF 30. After applying makeup, this is a great topper to keep your makeup lasting throughout the day as well as giving you some additional SPF!

Lastly, you can’t forget your lips! Try our Coola Liplux SPF 30 to keep those lips protected from the sun’s harmful rays.

Shop our favorite sunscreens, skincare and more on Derm to!

Head back to our blog here!

Form background image


Ready to get started? Find a location near you and schedule your appointment to experience the best dermatological and aesthetic care around. You can reach us by messaging us through the Klara app on this site or texting (703) 215-2139.