Wearing sunscreen during the summer is like wearing a Versace gown or an Armani suit to the Oscars—it’s a no brainer. The question of which sunscreen to choose, however, is often a more difficult decision.
For some dermatologist-approved tips on smarter sunscreen application, click here.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, one in five Americans will have skin cancer in his or her lifetime. Applying sunscreen is the first defense against developing the disease, and AAD recommends reaching for screens with broad-spectrum protection (which block both UVA and UVB rays) that have an SPF of 30 or higher and are water resistant.
SPFs and broad-spectrum classifications are easy enough to understand, but what about sunscreens that claim to be natural, organic, or both?
Natural sunscreen products rely on mineral-based active ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Also known as physical sunscreens, these compounds sit on top of the skin and deflect rays. Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, bind to the skin and absorb rays. When picking a natural sunscreen, opt for zinc oxide, as it provides better broad-spectrum protection.
For more sunscreen guidance, consult the Environmental Working Group’s Annual Guide to Sunscreens, which rates sunscreens, moisturizers, and lip products and provides insight into the best and worst ones on the market.