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.