Sure, you've heard you need to wear a little every day. Mantra aside, we're betting you have more questions (and gripes) about sunblock than you do intel. So we got the dermatologists on the phone, and broke down the latest innovations to make choosing the right sunscreen for you all the more easier.
Products offering broad-spectrum protection ward off UVA rays (which penetrate deeply and damage DNA) and UVB rays (which bring on the burn). They can do so with either chemical or mineral ingredients. Chemical sunscreens are typically formulated with a combo of synthetic ingredients that can include avobenzone, Mexoryl, and octinoxate, these products absorb (rather than block) UV rays, nixing their power to damage skin. You must apply them 15 to 30 minutes before stepping out. On the other hand, physical sunblocks, which are generally considered the less irritating sort for sensitive skin, rely on minerals like titanium dioxide and zinc (rather than chemicals) to reflect UV light. Although some can look chalky on skin, they start working immediately upon application. Scroll down to find out our pro picks to keep you covered from head to heels.
1. Chemical Sunscreen For Face: La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Clear Skin Dry Touch SPF Sunscreen
In addition to its potent UVA and UVB shields, including Mexoryl, this noncomedogenic fluid features an anti-shine complex designed to control sebum and sweat so you don't look like you've been playing beach volleyball before you even hit the sand.
La Roche Posay available at drugstore.com | $20
2. Physical Sunblock For Body: Avène Eau Thermale Mineral Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+
So gentle it's also suitable for your face, this titanium dioxide and zinc oxide pick has been proven to provide skin with 50 percent more hydration for up to eight hours after application, thanks to glycerin and spring water. Vitamin E adds antioxidant protection.
Avene available at drugstore.com | $36
3. Phyiscal Sunblock For Your Face: MDSolar Sciences Mineral Crème SPF 50
4. Chemical Sunscreen For Body: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen SPF 30
Water-and sweat-resistant and formulated with Helioplex (a technology that combines stabilizing ingredients to help provide longer-lasting UVA protection), this nonsticky salve suits those who are generally averse to the heavy, tacky feel of sunscreens.
Neutrogena available at drugstore.com | $11
5. An Antioxidant Not To Be Forgotten: Radical Skincare Advanced Peptide Antioxidant Serum
We're not trying to complicate your morning routine here (that's what contouring is for), but applying an antioxidant serum under your SPF is worth the extra 10 seconds. In addition to UVA and UVB rays, the sun's got a whole spectrum of light, including infrared rays (IRAs). When skin is exposed to IRAs over long periods of time, they can break down firming collagen proteins and produce skin-cell-harming free radicals. Antioxidants can help quash IRA damage, deactivating free radicals missed by your SPF.
Radical Skincare available at sephora.com | $190