While we’re all practicing social distancing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, it’s still important to protect ourselves from harmful UV rays. (Yes, that means wearing sunscreen when you leave the house for essential errands and using SPF while indoors because standard glass still leaves you exposed to some of the sun’s harmful rays.)
Exposure to UV rays can lead to several skin issues like hyperpigmentation, inflammation, fine lines, and — worst-case scenario — skin cancer. Therefore, finding a good sunscreen is a must — and there are several factors that go into what makes a good sunscreen.
How to choose (and use) the best sunscreen for your skin
Look for broad spectrum on the label: This ensures your SPF protects against both harmful UVA and UVB rays. (UVA rays prematurely age skin and UVB rays burn; both can cause skin cancer.) Our experts recommend choosing SPF 30 or higher.
Go for water-resistant options: Even if you won’t be jumping in for a swim, a water-resistant sunscreen will stay on longer while you’re sweating. If you are doing extensive outdoor activity, choose an SPF of 50 or higher to ensure you stay protected.
When in doubt, choose lotions: They’re easy to apply generously and evenly—which is key in order for them to work effectively. If you use a stick sunscreen, it requires at least four swipes on each area of the skin to get the job done.
Formula matters: Physical or mineral sunscreens (made with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) sit on top of the skin and deflect UV rays, while chemical sunscreens (made with ingredients like oxybenzone or avobenzone) work by absorbing them.
Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide: These mineral UV filters help to avoid sunburn and, when combined with other sun care methods, can lead to lessen the possibility of skin cancer and premature aging due to the sun.
Knotgrass extract (Polygonum Aviculare Extract) is a plant antioxidant that has been shown to help reduce the evident symptoms of harm sustained by infrared ageing and extrinsic causes.
Vitis Vinifera Fruit Cell Extract (Grape Extract): These plant-derived stem cells tend to guard toward environmental harm that causes fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration, as well as other symptoms of lifespan.
Garden Cress Sprout Extract (Lepidium Sativum Sprout Extract): This plant extract helps to prevent discoloration and poor skin tone.
Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (Aloe): Aloe vera has calming effects and aids in skin balance and warmth.