A Cheater’s Guide to The Best Sunscreen By Skin Type


Sunscreen is sacrosanct in summer, no matter where in the world you are, but it can present issues for those with finicky skin. Finding a formula that works for you doesn’t have to be complicated—in fact, by following a few simple tips, it becomes a breeze. Here, a foolproof guide to finding a sunscreen by skin type, just in time for the Fourth of July.

Sensitive Skin

According to dermatologist Steven Wang, those with sensitive skin should stick to zinc oxide and titanium dioxide formulas. “Those are the mineral sunscreens, and a lot of people with sensitivity might be allergic to other actives,” he says. Minerals, however, “minimize the potential risk for allergies.”


Avène SPF 50+ Mineral Ultra-Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion, $28
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Dry Skin

Chemical and mineral sunscreens work equally well for those with dry skin; look for a hydrating lotion or cream-based formula. “If you’re not spending too much time out in the sun—especially in wintertime—a lot of daily moisturizers with SPF protection are good,” he says. “Those ingredients will have a nourishing, oily texture that provides moisture to dry skin.”


Korres Suncare Yoghurt Nourishing Fluid Veil Face Sunscreen, $35
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Oily Skin

Active ingredients matter less with oily complexions—it’s the formulation that’s key. Wang recommends searching for daily-use sunscreens with a fluidlike texture. “Those will be much more pleasant,” he says. “There are also a lot of great products out there that don’t feel greasy, like Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch lotion, which has excellent texture.”


La Roche-Posay Anthelios Clear Skin Dry Touch Sunscreen, $20
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Normal Skin

“Obviously, normal skin can use anything,” Wang says—with one caveat. “If you’re spending a long time outdoors, you need to upgrade from SPF 30 to at least 50, then reapply every two hours.” For those planning on spending the long weekend swimming (or sweating), a water-resistant formula is equally important.


Neutrogena CoolDry Sport Sunscreen Stick, $10
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2 thoughts on “A Cheater’s Guide to The Best Sunscreen By Skin Type

  1. It’s so important to use a good SPF, especially in summer. It’s not very glamorous, but I love the Cancer Council Sunscreens. I really feel like I can count on them for a product that will protect me from the sun. So many brands have been outed recently about their actual SPF, so it’s really important to do good research! 🙂


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