How to pick the best sunscreen for your skin?
Not sure what SPF to buy? Here's what you need to know to choose the safest and most effective sunscreen for your skin.
Firstly, let's remember that there's no such thing as "safe tanning" and extensive sun exposure is one of the main factors contributing to premature aging. Thus, you should always wear sunscreen, even if you tan easily and quickly.

It can be easy to assume that purchasing cosmetics with SPF is sufficient, but this may not provide adequate protection. For example, to get the best protection from foundation cream, you'll have to apply a lot of it. So, it's best to use special sun protection products.

There are two types of sun rays: UVB rays that affect the skin surface, causing burns and tanning, and UVA rays that affect the deep layers of the skin, damaging cells.

Out of the entire radiation spectrum, only 5% is made up of the first type of rays, while the second type, which is the UVA rays, makes up 95% and poses the greatest risk.

UVA starts the photo-aging process and provokes the emergence of malignant skin diseases. That's why quality sunscreen should protect your skin against both UVA and UVB rays.

When choosing a sunscreen, look for not only "SPF" (UVA protection) but also the abbreviations "PPD", "PA/PA+", Broad Spectrum A/UVA, or the UVA symbol in a circle on the product packaging.

American dermatologists recommend choosing sunscreens with SPF 30-50.

The things that provide direct protection from the sun are known as sun filters. They come in two types:

  • physical (mineral) - titanium dioxide, zinc oxide
  • chemical (also called organic). Here you can find a complete list of these filters

Products with physical filters are usually thicker in texture, give a whitish tint to the skin, and are better suited for sensitive skin as they are less likely to cause irritant reactions. If you have oily and problem skin, you will probably be more comfortable with physical filters - they leave a matte finish on the skin for a long time.

The drawbacks of sunscreens with physical filters are that they must be renewed every 2-3 hours and rinsed off with a hydrophilic cleanser.

Chemical filters can be of a new and old generation.

New-generation chemical filters are photostable, which means they can be refreshed less frequently - after 6-7 hours in urban conditions. Here you can find a list of recommended ones.

Old-generation chemical filters have their drawbacks. They lose their protective properties faster and require renewal every 2-3 hours, just like mineral filters. Also, such filters have a high irritant and allergic potential, so they are not the best choice for people with sensitive skin.
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For many, the best solution will be to find products with a combination of chemical and physical filters, as they tend to have a more comfortable texture.
Please note that we do not collaborate with any brands, and this is not an advertisement article. However, we may earn a commission from Amazon if you buy something from any affiliate links on our site.
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