Choosing a sunscreen can feel like a shot in the dark. In the sun care aisle, you’ll find everything from SPF 90 to tanning oils that offer no sun protection whatsoever. You need to know which SPF level is best for the amount of time that you plan to spend in the sun and for your skin type.
So what should you look for when purchasing a bottle of sunscreen? You don’t have to be a dermatologist to keep your skin healthy this summer.
Keep these five tips in mind when deciding how to lather up:
1) Dermatologists recommend SPF 15 or higher for skin types across the board. If you’re especially fair, you may need to buy a higher level, but make SPF 15 your baseline (and check with a dermatologist if you find that your skin burns easily).
2) Save yourself time with a higher SPF. The higher SPF the sunscreen, the less often you’ll need to reapply. So, if you’d like to spend a day in the pool but don’t want to reapply your sunscreen every hour, go with an even higher SPF (like 50) and follow the bottle’s directions for how often to reapply due to sweat or being in the water.
3) Check the label for protection against UVA and UVB rays. Another term for this kind of protection is broad spectrum. If the sunscreen you’re assessing doesn’t feature this type of protection, choose another.
4) More SPF is great—but doesn’t mean full protection. Higher SPF ratings like 90+ offer additional protection against UVB rays, but no SPF is perfect. No single sunscreen out there that can protect you 100%, so lather up often and thoroughly.
5) Before is better. Don’t wait until you’re beachside to apply sunscreen. You should lotion up 15 minutes before heading outside to maximize the sunscreen’s ability to protect you.
If you have any concerns about sun protection or skin cancer runs in your family, don’t take any chances. Get personalized advice from a dermatologist.
Keep your skin safe this summer, and while you’re enjoying a day beneath the sun, bring along a Rukus Solar—our Bluetooth-enabled, solar-powered sound system that actually benefits from the sun’s rays (and doesn’t require any sunscreen at all!). Check out the Rukus Solar on Amazon, or enter to win a Rukus Solar now through May 20.