Sunscreen is the most essential step in any skin care routine; but since so many tend to be heavy, greasy, and thick, it's also the step that people are the most inclined to skip. The solution is simple: invest in one of the best lightweight sunscreens, of course. With the right one, it'll feel like you're wearing nothing on your face at all.
But first, some expert tips on how to choose a good sunscreen in the first place. Dr. Tsippora Shainhouse, M.D., F.A.A.D., a board-certified dermatologist and the founder of SkinSafe Dermatology and Skin Care in Beverly Hills, tells Bustle that you should always select a sunscreen labeled “broad-spectrum,” meaning it helps block both UVA and UVB rays. Go for an SPF of at least 30, but she does note that the SPF number only reflects the UVB protection, not the UVA. “SPF 30 means that only 1/30 (~ 3%) of the UVB rays can reach the skin to cause damage," Dr. Shainhouse explains. Just something to keep in mind!
Then, there's the chemical versus physical (or mineral) sunscreen debate. Both are effective as sunscreen agents, and choosing between the two mainly comes down to skin type and formula preference. Chemical ingredients, like avobenzone, work to break down UV rays, while mineral ingredients, like zinc oxide, deflect and dissipate the rays. Mineral sunscreens are often the go-to choice for people with sensitive skin, since they don't sink into skin like chemical sunscreens do (instead, they basically act as a reflective shield), but they also tend to leave more of a white cast behind. This isn't always the case, though; there are some mineral sunscreens out there that blend in totally transparent. For people who are all about lightweight sunscreen formulas, you may find that chemical sunscreens are less heavy than their physical counterparts (but again, there are exceptions to this rule).
All sunscreens should be reapplied every two to three hours if you’re out in the sun, and more frequently if you sweat profusely or go swimming, Dr. Shainhouse says. And other sun-safe choices, including limiting your time in the sun, particularly during peak hours, and wearing hats and other protective clothing, are recommended, too.
Now that you're fully informed about how to practice safe sun, scroll on the shop six of the best lightweight sunscreens on the market right now.
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