What Type of Sunscreen Do You Need?

The countdown to summer is on—and that means it’s also time to reintroduce sunscreen to your skin care routine if you haven’t already done so. While it’s a year-round essential, many people simply don’t use it until the temperatures soar and the sunshine beats down on their skin. As long as you use it, you’re in good shape. But are you using the right type of sunscreen?

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), there’s no specific type that is better than another. However, it is important to seek out a formula that meets the following criteria: it should have a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or more, provide broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays, and be resistant to water. All of these factors will offer you greater protection from burning, the visible signs of aging, and skin cancer.

Based on your skin type, where you’re going to be, and what your preferences are, you can select from a wide range of sunscreens. Here are several we love and highly recommend for their protective benefits:

For Normal Skin

If you have normal to combination skin, you’ll benefit from a lightweight formula that increases your ability to resist harmful ultraviolet rays and minimizes the odds of developing fine lines and wrinkles. PCA Skin Active Broad Spectrum SPF 45 Water-Resistant ($25.99) is a potent product that lasts whether you’re taking a dip in the ocean or relaxing by the pool. It contains caffeine, a hyper-charged anti-aging ingredient that works overtime to save your skin.

For Oily Skin

Dealing with oily skin can be especially frustrating in the summer, when sebum production seems to go into overdrive. Luckily, products like bareMinerals Prime Time BB Primer-Cream Daily Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($21.99) help soak up the shine while giving your skin the protection it needs when you’re outside. And if you happen to have a few dry patches, this will help stave off the flakes and improve the overall appearance of your skin with regular use.

For Dry Skin

Dry skin can be difficult to treat, especially when it comes to selecting an effective sunscreen that won’t make the problem even worse. Seek out formulas enriched with moisturizing ingredients, like gentle oils or squalene. Avene Hydrating Sunscreen Balm SPF 50 ($13.99) contains shea butter and glycerin, both potent “drinks” for your skin that help nourish. Vitamin E protects your skin from antioxidant damage, while Avene’s signature thermal spring water provides some calming protection.

For Sensitive Skin

Don’t let blotchy skin and hypersensitivity stop you from wearing sunscreen. If anything, you need it more than ever to minimize the odds of aggravating already irritated skin. Try Dermablend Cover Crème Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($25.99) if your goal is to cover the redness while protecting your complexion. This provides full coverage, so you can rest assured that the ruddy nose, dark spots, and undereye circles will all be beautifully concealed. With up to 16 hours of coverage, it’s available in 21 shades and won’t budge.

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