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by Alexandra Nicole Nuralam

How To Choose The Right Sunscreen

beach protection
Image via @hypebaebeauty

Sunscreen should, without a doubt, be the first step of your skincare routine. Protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays is essential, but how exactly does one go about choosing the right sunscreen? Read on to spot which sunscreens you should just leave on the shelf.

#1: The SPF is lower than 30

With sunscreen, the higher the number, the better. A sunscreen with SPF lower than 30 doesn’t afford you enough protection from the damage the sun can wreak on your skin. Also, most people don’t apply enough or reapply often enough, so going for the highest protection is important.

#2: It doesn’t offer broad-spectrum coverage

The sun’s rays come in three flavours: ultraviolet-A, ultraviolet-B and ultraviolet-C rays (no need to worry about this one). UVB gives you sunburn and plays a role in skin ageing and skin cancer. UVA, however, are prevalent throughout the day and are the leading cause of skin cancer and skin ageing. You need all-day protection against both rays, and the only way is by using sunscreen with broad-spectrum coverage.

#3: It isn’t right for your skin type

Sunscreen woes aren’t new to anyone—maybe you hate the greasy feeling it left while your makeup sits on top of it. Not to mention that you’ve had a bad reaction to every sunscreen you’ve slathered on. Depending on your skin type, your sunscreen needs will differ. One huge no-no that those with acne-prone skin do is avoiding sunscreens because they think that these products will make them break out, but it’s actually the opposite of what will happen. Choose those with a non-comedogenic label and you’re good to go.


For dry skin

For combination/oily skin

For acne-prone

#4: It leaves behind a white cast

The way sunscreens reflect light can lead to an unflattering white cast on the skin, especially in photos with flash or under harsh lights. One way is to choose a chemical SPF over a physical sunscreen; the difference between the two is while physical sunscreens create a barrier on the skin that filter out UV rays using mineral-based ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, chemical sunscreens absorb and scatter the rays.

If you choose a physical sunscreen, you can try letting your sunscreen fully sink in before applying makeup. It takes longer for your skin to absorb the heavier consistency of mineral-based ingredients.