Charleston Dermatology Blog

Sunscreen 101: Which is right for you?

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There are few things more stressful than finding the right sunscreen for summer.

Everywhere you look there’s a new product or a new commercial claiming to have the best sunscreen in the world for every skin type. But the truth is, when it comes to sunscreen, it’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of deal.

In order to find the right sunscreen for your skin type, you have to take the extra step of looking at the ingredients on the bottle. Not sure what to look for? Here’s a basic breakdown based on your skin type. For a more in-depth analysis, schedule an appointment with one of our dermatologists.

Very Fair Skin

If you are one of those people who always burns easily and never tans, then you would fall into this category. Look for sunscreen that has 30 to 50 and higher SPF.

Dry Skin

If you have dry skin, moisturizing sunscreens will help keep your skin looking and feeling healthy. Popular moisturizing sunscreens include lanolin, oils and silicones like dimethicone. 

Medium Skin

If you tend to not burn very easily and always tan well, then you will fall into this category. Look for sunscreens that have at least 30 SPF.

Dark Skin

For people with darker skins, avoid physical sunscreens, especially titanium-based products because they can look chalky or white on your skin. Broad spectrum sunscreen with at least 15 SPF are best.

Allergy, Acne and Rosacea-Prone Skin

If you have extremely sensitive skin, it is best to avoid products that have any type of preservatives or fragrances, PABA, oxybenzone or alcohol. Sunscreens with salicylates and ecamsule are best.

Overall, everyone should look for sunscreen that has broad spectrum protection. Some ingredients to keep an eye out for include benzophenones, cinnamates, sulisobenzone, salicylates, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, avobenzone (Parsol 1789) and ecamsule (Mexoryl Sx). All of these ingredients have been shown to provide broad spectrum protection.

If you are more interested in UVA protection, these are the ingredients you need to look for: ecamsule, arobenzone, titanium dioxide, sulisobenzone and zinc oxide.

Still intimidated about selecting the right sunscreen? Schedule an appointment with us today!

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