We should all be wearing sunscreen* with at least SPF 15 every day of the year, rain or shine. But I know many of you don't even buy a bottle until bikini weather arrives. Since that time of year is nearly upon us, allow me to simplify your sunscreen search.
First off, there are two types of rays emitted from the sun and they are easy to remember: UVB
URN the skin while UVA
GE the skin. Aging means freckles, wrinkles, lines, spots, loss of collagen and elasticity, DNA damage, and even possible cancer.
There are only 3 ingredients available in the U.S. that are capable of screening UVA rays, these are Avobenzone (also listed as Parsol 1789 or butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane), Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. The former is a chemical that is better suited to oily/problem skin, while the latter two are both minerals and therefore better suited to dry/normal/sensitive skin. However, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are no longer thick and white. They are now micronized to create sheer, blendable sunscreens that can be used on all skin types.
As with any product, there is always a reaction risk. My skin breaks out quite easily and is sensitive, so that puts me on the fence in terms of using chemical vs. mineral. After trying many different sunscreens, I have found that those containing Avobenzone work best for me.
Speaking of Avobenzone, there is one more technicality to consider before I present my recommended list. Avobenzone quickly breaks down when exposed to sunlight. You may be thinking, "What the...then how is it a sunscreen?!!?" However, when combined with another chemical called Octocrylene, Avobenzone become photostable. "Ah...I see, thank goodness!" Furthermore, this combination must be in the proper ratio. But don't worry about that because here is a list of the best photostable sunscreens containing Avobenzone guaranteed to screen out both UVA and UVB rays.
1. Aveeno Advanced Sunblock Lotion, SPF 30
2. Aveeno Continiuous Protection Sunblock Lotion, SPF 45
3. Aveeno Continiuous Protection Sunblock Lotion, Face, SPF 45
4. Aveeno Continiuous Protection Sunblock Lotion, Baby, SPF 45
5. Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer, SPF 15 (Fragrance-free)
6. Kiehl's Vital Sun Protection, SPF 15 (Fragrance-free)
7. Kiehl's Vital Sun Protection, SPF 30 (Fragrance-free)
8. Kiehl's Vital Sun Protection, SPF 40 (Fragrance-free)
9. Kiehl's Vital Sun Protection Spray, SPF 15 (Fragrance-free)
10. Kiehl's Vital Sun Protection Spray, SPF 25 (Fragrance-free)
11. Neutrogena Age Shield Sunblock, SPF 30 (Fragrance-free)
12. Neutrogena Fresh Cooling Body Mist Sunblock, SPF 30
13. Neutrogena Fresh Cooling Body Mist Sunblock, SPF 45
14. Neutrogena UltraSheer Dry-Touch Sunblock with Helioplex, SPF 55
Please use the following links to view these products:AveenoCetaphilKiehl'sNeutrogena
*Sunscreen is called sunscreen
for a reason. The term sunblock
is misleading because no product can completely block all rays from the sun. However, many can create a helpful barrier that screen
s out harmful rays. Some manufacturers use the term block, but it is still just a screen.