Sunscreen is vital for healthy skin, but how do you choose the right one? First, understand the two main types. “Chemical sunscreens use various chemicals to absorb UV light, whereas the physical or mineral ones use metal oxides like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide,” explains Dr. Keith A. Harris, a board-certified dermatologist at Harris Dermatology, which has locations in Fort Myers and Naples. “They both do the same thing; they just do it in different ways.”
Chemical sunscreens tend to blend better, but their ingredients can be absorbed into the bloodstream—though Harris points out that no negative effects have yet been found. Mineral sunscreens aren’t absorbed into the blood, but often leave a white sheen on the skin. Harris says what really matters is using a sunscreen that is water-resistant, broad-spectrum (meaning it protects against UVA and UVB rays), and at least SPF 30.
Check if your sunscreen fits those requirements or try one of these:
Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield SPF 50 from Colorescience comes in four shades and can be brushed onto your bare face or over makeup. Recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation, this mineral sunscreen includes antioxidants and hyaluronic acid to protect and hydrate your skin.
First sold in Cocoa Beach, Australian Gold offers a variety of sunscreens containing ingredients from Australia. Its Plant Based SPF 50 Lotion offers chemical sun protection while nourishing your skin with coconut oil and aloe vera.
Bare Republic’s Mineral SPF 50 Sport Sunscreen Spray in Vanilla Coco provides a fully mineral sunscreen in an easy-to-use spray bottle. This reef-friendly, dye-free sunscreen that’s made in the U.S. also includes hydrating grape and carrot seed oils.