Sun Protection – How to Pick the Best Sunscreen

How to pick the best sunscreen

During this upcoming summer season you will most likely want to live in the water to avoid the heat. You should remember, however, that trying to keep cool in the pool has its share of dangers. Make sure to protect your skin from the harmful rays of the summer sun with the best sunscreen products available. 

Sunscreen does several important things for you and your family. The most visible benefit is that you can avoid receiving a painful burn after a fun time at the beach. However, sunscreen also blocks other harmful effects of the sun, including UVA rays that are closely linked to the development of skin cancer.

What To Look For When Choosing A Sunscreen

There are several important factors that you should consider when buying sunscreen. You may be wondering how to pick the best sunscreen when there are so many varieties and brands available on the market. Two of the main factors that will effect how well your sunscreen performs are SPF and ingredients.


One of the most important aspects of buying sunscreen is picking the right number SPF. SPF, or sun protection factor, refers to the how long it will take for you to get a sunburn while using the product. Under ideal conditions, with a SPF 30 sunscreen it will take 30 times longer for you to burn.

It is a common mistake to assume that higher SPF numbers always equal better protection and safer conditions. In reality, an SPF 100 sunscreen blocks 99% of harmful UVB rays, as opposed to a lower SPF 50 sunscreen that blocks 98% of harmful UVB rays. When in doubt you can choose an SPF between 30 to 50 for the best results, as long as you use the product as directed.


Higher SPF also means that more chemical are packed into your sunscreen, which when concentrated can damage tissues and hormones in your body. 

A common sunscreen ingredient that you should be aware of is oxybenzone. Studies conducted on oxybenzone indicate that the human body might absorb this sun-filtering chemical more than might be safe. Concerns over the effect on pregnant women and children mean that it might be best to avoid sunscreen products with the chemical if you are pregnant or plan to use it on your children. 

Products Without Oxybenzone

Which Sunscreen Is Best?

How to pick the best sunscreen

Beyond considerations of SPF and ingredients, you need to choose a sunscreen that makes the most sense for your specific needs.

Sunscreen products come in a variety of brands that are marketed for certain purposes. Use the guide below to make a more informed decision this summer!

The Best Sunscreen for General Use

For a sunscreen used for all-purpose, general use, look for a high SPF and broad spectrum coverage for maximum benefits. You should also consider products that are quick and easy to use, such as spray-on sunscreens or sunscreen sticks. 

Things to Look For: 

  • High SPF
  • Full Coverage
  • Easy Applications

Top Picks 

The Best Sunscreen for the Face

How to pick the best sunscreen

Your face is one of the most important areas to protect from the sun when you’re hanging out in the pool or at the beach. Reduce early age lines and the risk of skin cancer by choosing sunscreen products that offer full coverage.

Additionally, you most likely want a sunscreen for your face that won’t feel heavy, greasy, and sticky. 

Things to Look For:

  • Sunscreen Plus Moisturizer
  • Lightweight Feel
  • Ingredients Like Hyaluronic Acid & Antioxidants

Top Picks

The Best Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin

If you have issues with sensitivity, you shouldn’t feel that you need to avoid sunscreen. Plenty of sun protection products include ingredients that work well with skin prone to irritation and redness. Choose mineral sunscreens for a natural product that doesn’t use harsh chemicals. Also try to find fragrance free sunscreens that won’t irritate your skin. 

Things to Look For:

  • Mineral Sunscreens
  • Organic Ingredients
  • Fragrance Free Labels

Top Picks 

The Best Sunscreen for Acne-Prone Skin

You need to use sunscreen to help protect your skin from blemishes and the marks of aging, but some sunscreens can actually cause acne to flair up. You should look for products that won’t make your skin too oily or too dry, depending on your skin type. Many sunscreens now are made with ingredients that won’t clog your pores and increase blackheads. 

Things to Look For:

  • Pure, Clean Ingredients
  • Matte Finish For Oily Skin
  • Moisturizing for Dry Skin

Top Picks 

The Best Sunscreen That is Kid-Friendly

How to pick the best sunscreen

Kids have more sensitive skin that is more likely to be easily damaged by exposure to the sun. You should be aware of the types of ingredients that are better on young skin, such as zinc oxide sunscreen. This type of sunscreen doesn’t use fragrance, parabens, or dyes – all kinds of ingredients that cause skin irritation, especially for kids. Water resistant products are also a must for kids who love to spend all day in the water, which can make it difficult to reapply very frequently. 

Things to Look For: 

  • Zinc Oxide Sunscreen
  • Water Resistant
  • Long Lasting
  • Quick Absorption

Top Picks 

Choose Carefully To Protect Your Skin

Sun protection during the summer months is essential to a happy and healthy season. By choosing your sunscreen through careful consideration of ingredients and overall protection, you can enjoy your time on the beach or in the pool with ease. Remember that some products also have special features that make them perfectly suited for certain skin types or people. When you buy a product suited to your needs, you will see better results! 

This summer you should prevent irritating burns and eliminate future risk for skin cancer by using effective sunscreen products. As long as you pay attention so that you pick the right ingredients and SPF number, you and your family and friends can spend every day in the water worry-free.

18 thoughts on “Sun Protection – How to Pick the Best Sunscreen

  1. Destiny

    Oh yes this summer is going to be great and fun. As the easy passes I add things to my list. This sunscreen is indeed something I need to get, I will take my time to choose the best with the help of this article. Thanks for adding value to my upcoming summer break.

  2. Vapz


    this is exactly what I was looking for, a lit go sunscreen products from a knowledge source so that I can be able to make the best informed choice. I once used an SPF-10 sunscreen at the beach and it really didn’t give full protection because I still came out a little burnt and being someone with a sensitive skin, I found it hard to get something that my skin wouldn’t react to. So,I’m quite glad that I found this post on how to pick the best sunscreen. The spray type seems to be more convenient for me. If I may ask, do you think that the children’s sunscreen can also serve me as my skin is quite sensitive?

    • Arta

      Hello there

      Thank you for sharing your experience. It is important to determine the proper sunscreen for your skin to avoid any threats to your health I know many people using children sunscreen to protect their skin and it is especially favored by people with sensitive skin.

      Hope this helps, Arta

  3. Chris

    Well you certainly learn something new every day – for years now I was going under the impression that a high level of SPF was the way to go….but I had no idea about it’s concentration leading to damage of particular tissues and hormones (very worrying, especially for kids!). 

    What SPF would you recommend as being safe, yet at the same time providing a stable amount of protection from the sun?

    • Arta

      Hi Chris

      I would suggest going for SPF 30 if you are not tanned yet, and SPF 10 – 15 if you are tanned.

      If talking about kids, it definitely has to be starting SPF 50 and up for little ones, and SPF 30 for bigger ones.

      This also depends on the type of skin. If the skin is sensitive and pale, SPF should be higher.

      Hope this helps!


  4. Coach

    Great article. I can never decide which sunscreen to use for my son and me. He is a teenage tennis player and spends a lot of time in the sun, but at the same time his skin is sensitive and he is in the puberty stage so the possibility of acne breakouts is always there. 

    Given all this we just figured it takes too much time and energy to sift through to find the right product for us.

    But here comes your article, well presented and thorough, and giving up the right options. Thank you for this. I will certainly be passing it on to my son as well.

    Keep up the good work.

  5. Jannatul Ferdaus

    I have read your article very carefully, it is a great assumptions to choose the best sunscreen for sun  protection. You mentioned that , the main factors that will effect how well your sunscreen performs are SPF and ingredients. Most important aspects of buying sunscreen is picking the right number SPF. I think SPF 40 is perfect for sun protection. When you buy a product suited to your needs, you will see better result.Thank for sharing this post.    

  6. lynnsamuelson

    When I was younger I never paid attention to always wearing sunscreen but now I’m hyper-vigilant about it. There are so many out there now that don’t leave your screen greasy and/or streaked so there’s really no excuse not to. I’ve always assumed that a higher SPF provided better protection and never even thought about how the additional chemicals might be causing a different type of damage. Wow! I’ve used the La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 and really like the way it feels on my skin. Another great one that a friend swears by is called Unseen Sunscreen Supergoop. I think it’s SPF 40. Are you familiar with that one?


    • Arta

      Hey Erica

      Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. It is nice that you share your experience and knowledge about sun protection as it could help others.

      Supergoop sunscreens are favored by users due to both its cost, protection properties and easiness to use. So it is definitely also a good choice to try out.

      Cheers, Arta

  7. Kristena

    Thank you for all this informative information. I actually struggle quite frequently with choosing the right sunscreen. A lot of times when I choose one one of us still gets burned. My biggest issue is whether to get spray or lotion. Which one would you recommend? We usually get spray so we don’t have to worry about getting it off our hands, but the spray doesn’t always cover every where or you end up using a whole lot it because you can’t tell where it is covered. Do you have any suggestions for using the lotion one without getting it all over your hands because even if you rub it all in real well, it still leaves some on your hands?

    • Arta

      Hey Kristena

      Thank you for your comment. Sprays are considered more convenient and easier to use – that is true. However, it is stated by scientists that lotions are safer and better to use actually, even if you are left with greasy hands afterwards. And it is due to the fact that with the spray you can miss some area to be sprayed and it is not yet recognized whether or not the accidental inhale of the fumes poses any threat to the health.

      But actually, this is a great topic for the next post – we will investigate more on this topic and I will come back here with a link to the results of my investigation.

      But overall, greasy hands are the least you should worry about when choosing lotion over spray 🙂

      Cheers, Arta

      • admin

        Hey Kristena

        So we have had a deeper look into the evergreen topic – sunscreen spray vs lotion and our conclusions can be found here.

        Hope this helps!

  8. Stanley Loper

    Well written.  While not specifically mentioned I am part of a growing portion of the market for sunscreens, a user of medicines which cause skin sensitivity to the sun.  Some can cause such sensitivity that zinc oxide sunscreens with a high SPF are the recommendation.  While I know you can’t include everybody in an article perhaps you could consider including that?  The need to check the side effects of one’s medications and take action?  That might even be a topic for a post.

    • Arta

      Hey Stanley

      Thank you for your comment. Sun protection is a deep topic with a lot of nuances. Thank you so much for the idea for an article – we will investigate this topic and come back.

      Safe tanning, Arta

      • Hey Stanley
        Thanks again for the topic – we have investigated it and here you can read what is zinc oxide in sunscreen.

        Hope it helps, Arta

  9. Emmanuel Buysse

    My wife has no choice than picking the strongest one. She gets so easily burned, since her skin is the most vulnerable one you cna have. So he has to use a 50+, we went to a pharmacy to ask which one is the best. I also suggest doing that, so you won’t buy a wrong one, since some of them are quite malafide. Anyway, thanks for sharing it. 

  10. Aly

    Ooh, thanks for all of this information. I have fair skin that is also sensitive, so while it’s essential that my fair skin is protected from the sun, it can also be challenging to find one that doesn’t irritate the sensitivity. I’ve found that mineral sunscreens perform the best for me. My recent favorite is by Colorescience — it’s a brush on POWDER sunscreen that is not greasy at all! I love that I can stash it in my purse (or my car) and use it for touch ups throughout the day. 

  11. Mariana

    Great post and very useful! I really thought that a higher SPF was better, but it actually depends on the situation and what you are using it for. But as I usually use sunscreen for general use, I will keep using sunscreens with high SPF. Thank you for opening my eyes. From now on, I will be more careful when picking sunscreen and look what kind of ingredients they have. 



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.