What Sunscreen is Right for My Skin Type?

What Sunscreen is Right for My Skin Type?

Why you should care

Oily, dry, aging, and more…we teach you how to shop sunscreen that’s ideal for your skin.

You already know your Sun Protection Factors (SPF), PA ratings, and broad spectrum protection; level up by matching your sunscreen to your skin type.

Okay, so if you don’t:

  • A high SPF provides protection against UVB rays, which can cause cancer and sun burn. Unless you’ve got very fair or sensitive skin, SPF30 is fine for everyday use. If you want to keep your original skin tone, opt for SPF50 – SPF85.
  • The PA rating is a Japanese system that rates protection against UVA rays, which can also cancer, temporary tans, and…wrinkles. Not all countries accept this system, so look for active ingredients like ecamsule, avobenzone, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, sulisobenzone, or zinc oxide with non-Japanese brands.
  • Alternatively, look for sunscreens labelled ‘broad spectrum’ as this means it offers protection from both UVA and UVB rays.

Now that you know your sunscreen ABCs, pull double duty with sunscreen that not only protects your skin from the big red beyond, but also nourishes and adds lustre.

Dry Skin

kate somerville daily deflector

SOURCE: katesomerville.com

As you can probably guess, baking in the sun isn’t going to help if you’ve got dry skin. Look for sunscreens with anti-oxidants and moisturising oils or lanolin; you should also opt for cream-, lotion-, or ointment-based formulas rather than gel-based or dry-touch ones. We love Kate Somerville’s SPF 50+ PA+++ Daily Deflector Moisturiser, available at Sephora stores.

Oily Skin

mdsolarsciences mineral crème

SOURCE: sweatthestyle.com

Dermatologists recommend you re-apply your sunscreen every few hours, especially if you’re sweating a lot but do they know what that feels like when you have oily skin?! Grease, perspiration, and product all coming together for a perfect symphony of shiny forehead and gunk.

Instead, opt for a lightweight water- or gel-based product with a fluid-like texture. Sunscreens that give you a matte finish, like MDSolarSciences Mineral Creme Broad Spectrum SPF 50 (available at 11street) are also great for concealing some of that sheen.

Acne-Prone or Sensitive Skin

Tarte Tarteguard Sunscreen

SOURCE: sephora.com

Like formulas for oily skin, a sunscreen with a non-greasy formula is the first step for acne-prone skin. If your skin is prone to breakouts or allergic reactions, you should also look for products that are non-comedogenic, fragrance-free, and hypoallergenic, as they won’t clog your pores or irritate your skin.

Stick to physical sunscreens rather than chemical sunscreens: physical sunscreens contain active mineral ingredients that sit on top of your skin and deflect rays, while chemical sunscreens contain organic compounds that transform UV rays into heat through a chemical with heat that’s then released from the skin.

The former is not absorbed by your skin, nor is there any heat activation, so it’s great for skin that’s a little delicate. Physical sunscreens tend to have that thick, chalky texture that we hate so we love that Tarte Tarteguard 30 Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 30 (available at Tarte’s online store), avoids this with a clear, lightweight formula.

Aging Skin

Kiehl’s sunsreen

SOURCE: Nordstrom.com

When we say aging skin, we mean all skin. Nothing ages your skin faster than sun damage, which causes photo aging effects like visible lines and wrinkles, sagging skin, liver spots, and uneven skin tone.

Look for sunscreens that offer additional protection against UVA rays and contain antioxidants (like Vitamin E, lycopene, green tea, and Vitamin C, among others) that help neutralise free radicals. We like Kiehl’s Activated Sun Protector 100% Mineral Sunscreen, available at most Kiehl’s stores.

Darker skin

biore uv aqua rich watery essence sunscreen

SOURCE: refinery29.com

If we had a dollar for every time someone asked “eh, dark skin also needs sunscreen?”. Anyway, the good news is that dark skin does have built-in SPF. Turns out all that melanin helps filter out UV rays! The bad news is that dark skin is still susceptible to sun damage because that filter is not 100% effective.

In addition to loading up on your UVA protection, you want a sunscreen that won’t make your skin look grey and ashy. Chemical sunscreens are great choices as they don’t contain the zinc oxide that produces this chalky after-effect, but you can also find physical sunscreens with micronised ingredients that will blend into your skin. We recommend CeraVe’s Broad Spectrum SPF50 Sunscreen with Invisible Zinc (available on Lazada) or the more budget-friendly Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50, available at most drugstores.

Why you should care

Oily, dry, aging, and more…we teach you how to shop sunscreen that’s ideal for your skin.

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