Summer is all about spending as much time soaking up as many rays as you can before the cold winter arrives. The best way to do that safely is by slathering yourself in the best sunscreen you can find. But there are so many options, it’s hard to know which kind is the best for you and your family.
Let’s start with UV Rays: what exactly are they? UV stands for Ultraviolet radiation, and it’s a part of the “electromagnetic (light) spectrum that reaches the earth from the sun. It has wavelengths shorter than visible light, making it invisible to the naked eye” (Skin Cancer Foundation). There are two types of UV rays: A and B. UVA rays are slightly more harmful and can cause skin damage, aging, and cancer. UVB is the shorter wave of the two that also causes skin damage and some skin cancers. Most importantly, UVB is the reason why you get sunburnt. The best way to protect yourself against these rays is by using sunscreen and wearing protective clothing.
It’s important to choose a sunscreen that has a high SPF and broad-spectrum levels. SPF stands for sun protection factor. The higher the SPF on the bottle sunscreen, the longer the sunscreen blocks the UVB rays and protects your skin from the sun. Broad-spectrum protects from UVA and UVB rays, which helps prevent against sun damage.
When choosing a sunscreen, it’s best to check in with yourself first. What is your skin type? What kind of protection do you need? I have sensitive skin and like to use Neutrogena brand sunscreens. Their body sprays have a sheer formula that leaves my skin feeling fresh and not at all greasy. Some of their sunscreens are also waterproof, which makes it perfect for beach days. For the face, I usually stick with them, or I use Aveeno. I like both brands because they are primarily skin care companies, and make sure that their formulas are breathable and healthy.
If you are more athletic (which I am not), I recommend Coppertone sunscreens. Their SPORT brand is water resistant and stays on through sweat, making it perfect for any heavy-duty athletic activities. It also, like Neutrogena, has a breathable formula that won’t cause breakouts or clog pores.
For kids, I recommend Kiss My Face brands. I used it as a kid and found no issues with it. Their formula is organic, vegan, and cruelty-free, and is safe for all skin types.
Hope these tips suit you well and let you have lots of safe fun in the sun!