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A Step-By-Step Guide To Choosing The Right Sunscreen

Sunscreen on skin | Image: Getty Images

While people are becoming more aware of the importance of sunscreen in every skincare routine, it is also crucial that you make the right choice in choosing your sunscreen. Sunscreens are effective in preventing sunburn, slowing down ageing and reducing the risk of damage to the skin caused the sun’s UV rays.
As such, it is vital that your sunscreen performs its functions effectively which is why you need a good sunscreen. However, for many people, comparing one sunscreen to another can be tricky, and ever so often they don’t know what to look out for.


Here are 5 important things to look out for to help you with choosing the right sunscreen:

Always Read The Label
Like with choosing every other skincare product, you must look through the ingredients on the back of sunscreen products before making a choice. At the same time, sorting through ingredients that are sometimes hard to pronounce could get confusing.

Which is why a great tip to make your search easier, is to look for sunscreens labelled as broad-spectrum with an SPF of at least 30. This means that the sunscreen protects users against UVA and UVB rays. However, you should note that some product claims on SPF can be misleading as they are often quoted higher when their SPF value is actually less. Also, and in some cases, the SPF value on product labels only cover UVB protection.

Know The Difference Between Mineral And Chemical Sunscreens
Another tip to choosing the right sunscreen is to know the difference between mineral and chemical sunscreens. Mineral sunscreens often contain zinc oxide alone and sometimes are a combination of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These mineral sunscreens form a protective seal over the skin’s surface, protecting the skin by reflecting away UV light.

On the other hand, chemical sunscreens possess chemical compounds which absorb UV light to prevent it from penetrating the skin. These chemical sunscreens fully absorb into the skin and may irritate those with sensitive skin.


Opt for mineral-based sunscreen as their gentle zinc oxide or titanium dioxide properties offer total sun protection and cause no irritation to the skin. For people with less sensitive skin, chemical sunscreens are a great choice. They are weightless sunscreens with clear formulas making them perfect for daily wear.

Check For Water Resistance
When choosing a sunscreen, put into consideration its water-resistant properties. The human body sweats which could clean away your sunscreen and sometimes you might opt for a day at the beach and pool, which is why a great sunscreen must possess water-resistant properties.

Water-resistant sunscreens provide you with extra protection, this way your sunscreen remains intact even after sweating or getting into the water. Water-resistant sunscreens remain effective in water for between 40 to 80 minutes keeping you protected all the time. And you must remember to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours or less.

Understand The Difference Between Oxybenzone and Avobenzone
Oxybenzone is an inexpensive active ingredient often found in many sunscreens; it is also a very irritating raw ingredient. This is why when choosing a sunscreen for those with sensitive skin, you must make sure it doesn’t contain Oxybenzone.

An alternative to Oxybenzone, Avobenzone, is a more skin-friendly, broad-spectrum and clean chemical ingredient used in sunscreen. Sunscreens which contain Avobenzone are compatible for all skin types, causing no irritation at all after use.

Remember Vitamin D
Vitamin D is very critical for the total wellness of the human body health and immune function. While the only natural source of Vitamin D is from the sun, you, however, cannot expose your skin directly to the sun and its UV rays.

So, before taking a walk into the sun, make sure you are completely covered with a great sunscreen for complete protection from UV damages of the sun.

The importance of sunscreen in a good skincare routine cannot be over-emphasized. Sunscreen not only protects the skin from the damaging effects of the sun’s UV rays, but it also slows down the skin’s ageing process. This is why you must exercise great care in choosing a great sunscreen by following the step-by-step guide contained in this piece.

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