The majority of people are aware that sunscreen shields you from the sun’s damaging rays. In the summer or when they are spending a lot of time outside, people frequently wear sunscreen. What about the remaining months of the year? or if you spend most of your time inside? Do you need to use sunscreen every day?

We’ll discuss the effects of the sun on your skin, the advantages of applying sunscreen for all skin types, and the reasons it’s a good idea to use sunscreen every day.

Why It’s Important to Pick the Right Sunscreen for Your Skin Type

Skin is shielded from visible light and ultraviolet (UV) rays by sunscreen (the light that human eyes can see). Without sufficient protection, exposure to light speeds up the aging process of your skin and raises your risk of developing skin cancer. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, frequent daily usage of SPF 15 sunscreen lowers the chance of getting squamous cell carcinoma by 40% and melanoma by 50%.

According to dermatologist Scott Paviol of Paviol Dermatology in North Carolina, “Sunscreen should be a prepared, purposeful choice—not an afterthought at the gas station or grocery store.”

In order to prevent skin irritation, it is important to find the best sunscreen for your skin type. Additionally, it makes it more likely that you’ll actually use sunscreen on a regular basis. This increases the likelihood that cancer and early aging will not affect your skin.


What’s the best kind of sunscreen: Spray, lotion, stick or gel?

Your personal preference determines whether your sunscreen comes in a cream, spray, or another form. According to Zeichner, sunscreens are available as creams, lotions, gels, sprays, sticks, and many other unusual formulations. The sunscreen that you actually apply is the best, in the end.

Of course, using a sunscreen properly is essential to its effectiveness. According to Zeichner, you should cover all of your exposed skin with an ounce of sunscreen. He notes that this is comparable to the size of a golf ball or the volume of a shot glass. Zeichner suggests saving about a nickel-sized amount for your entire face and to reapply every two hours or right away after vigorous exercise or swimming.

Mudgil suggests spraying the sunscreen directly onto your hands and applying it to your face with your fingers for a more even application if you just have a spray sunscreen and need to reapply it to your face.

How to Determine Which Sunscreen Is Right for You

When shopping for sunscreen, factors to take into consideration include the following:

Broad spectrum. Dermatologists stress how crucial it is to choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that will shield your skin from UVB and UVA rays. Skin cancer and skin redness are both brought on by UVB radiation. In addition to photoaging, or early skin aging, UVA rays can also cause cancer.

SPF 30 or higher. According to dermatologist Naiara Braghiroli, M.D., who also serves as the director of the Miami Cancer Institute’s Skin Cancer and Pigmented Lesions Clinic, sunscreen loses some of its effectiveness once it is applied to the skin. For instance, SPF 30 provides coverage more akin to SPF 15 than SPF 30. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the SPF number on sunscreen (or the Sun Protection Factor) reflects how much longer the sun’s UV radiation would take to cause skin to get red (if used as prescribed) than how long it would take without sunscreen. For instance, an SPF 30 only permits about 3% of UVB radiation to reach your skin.

Anything lower than SPF 30 will provide insufficient coverage, says Dr. Braghiroli. If you’re going to be outside for a prolonged period, like if you’re at the beach or playing sports, she recommends using SPF 50 or higher. Experts also recommend applying sunscreen at least 30 minutes before venturing outside.

Water-resistant. Even when you’re swimming or perspiring, sunscreen that is water-resistant keeps providing protection. Some sunscreens are extremely water resistant, which makes them last longer. It’s crucial to continue using these sunscreens as directed on the package.

Mineral vs. chemical. Zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide are the two most common natural components used to make mineral or physical sunscreen. In order to deflect the sun’s UV rays away from your skin, these sunscreens serve as a physical barrier between your skin and the sun.

Chemical sunscreens, which are often created with avobenzone, octinoxate, and oxybenzone, seep into your skin and may even enter your circulation, according to some studies, before reflecting UV radiation back. Dr. Braghiroli advises mineral sunscreen for people who engage in outdoor activities or spend a lot of time in the sun because it is more durable and lasts longer on the skin.

The Best Sunscreens for Different Skin Types

It’s crucial to choose the best sunscreen for your skin type. Here, specialists offer their finest recommendations for various skin types.

Dry Skin : Dr. Paviol advises looking for sunscreen products with moisturizing components like glycerin (a natural sugar alcohol that aids in moisture retention), hyaluronic acid (a natural protein that holds moisture), and ceramides (natural substances in the skin that seal in moisture).

Oily Skin: People with oilier skin may prefer a chemical sunscreen over a mineral/physical sunscreen (made with zinc oxide), says Dr. Braghiroli, as chemical sunscreen tends to be drier than mineral sunscreens. However, there are still many mineral sunscreen options available.

Sensitive Skin: According to Dr. Paviol, mineral sunscreens with zinc or titanium dioxide as the active components are typically less irritant to the skin. Additionally, says Dr. Goldstein, they can be especially helpful to individuals who suffer from rosacea, dermatitis, or sensitivities to perfumes or preservatives.

Hyaluronic acid, nicotinamide/niacinamide (a type of vitamin B3), and vitamin C (needed to produce collagen), according to Dr. Braghiroli, can also be helpful ingredients.

Acne-Prone Skin: Dr. Goldstein advises using “lighter lotions and treatments that are expressly non-comedogenic (not inclined to clog pores)” for acne-prone skin because thicker products might clog pores and trigger flare-ups. Niacinamide can also aid in reducing redness in this area, says Dr. Paviol.

Melanated Skin: Those with melanated, or darker, skin should look for sunscreens that are tinted or that rub in invisibly. Dr. Braghiroli stresses that while melanin does provide natural protection for the skin, it doesn’t mean patients are completely safe from skin cancer, necessitating sunscreen.

Kids’ Skin: According to Dr. Braghiroli, children are more susceptible to sunburns, especially during the summer, therefore take great care while purchasing sunscreen for them. She also advises against using sunscreen on babies who are under six months old. A baby’s skin should be protected instead by loose-fitting cotton clothing (such as caps and long sleeves) and shade.

Long-sleeved shirts, jeans, and hats are particularly beneficial for older children, especially if they have a UV protection factor (UPF). Children “absorb chemicals at a far higher rate than in adult skin,” according to Dr. Goldstein, hence mineral sunscreens are favored for them.

Should you wear sunscreen every day? 

Even if you are unaware of it, solar damage accumulates over time. You are always exposed to UV radiation, even if you don’t spend a lot of time outside doing anything active, because of gloomy days and windows. Your risk of skin cancer and other damage might rise over time as a result of cumulative exposure.

It’s a good idea to wear sunscreen every day on exposed skin, such as your face, ears, and hands’ backs, to protect you from UV ray damage.


What’s the best way to wear sunscreen

Sunscreen is effective, but only when properly applied. Following are some suggestions:

-Use sunscreen that offers UVA and UVB protection (broad spectrum).

-30 minutes before to venturing outside, apply it. This provides your skin with the necessary time to absorb the sunscreen and receive the necessary protection.

-Make sure you use enough; for adults, this equates to around a shot glass’ worth for their entire body and a dollop the size of a quarter for their face.

-Don’t forget about your scalp, lips, and ears (if any is exposed).

-Use sunscreen again every two hours.

-Even if you are wearing sunscreen that is water-resistant, reapply after swimming or perspiring.

How much SPF is enough? 

Different medical organizations have different recommendations on the minimum SPF you should use. Here are some specific guidelines:

The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend SPF 15 or higher.

-The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends SPF 15 daily and SPF 30 or higher if you’ll be outside in the sun.

-the American Academy of Dermatology and American Cancer Society recommend SPF 30 or above.

The most crucial points to keep in mind are that you should wear SPF 15 at the very least and that the higher the SPF, the more protection you receive.

You are exposed to ultraviolet rays every day, which raise your chances of developing skin cancer and premature aging. This solar damage begins to accumulate over time. You can help prevent skin cancer and aging of the skin by wearing sunscreen every day. Wearing hats and finding shade are two additional strategies to shield yourself from the sun.