As the summer season finally begins, it's important to keep your skin shielded from the sun's harmful rays with the help of some sunscreen. However, finding the right product to use during the can be quite the challenge, as some formulations can leave skin feeling weighed down or full of unwanted breakouts. To help you find the perfect sunscreen formula for your skin type, we spoke to dermatologists to get their top recommendations. Here are the best products to keep skin protected from sun damage and free of irritation all summer long.
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Oily Skin: Avoid Sunscreen Gels
"If you suffer from oily skin, it's all about the formulation," says cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Shereene Idriss of Union Square Derm. "The last thing you want to do is aggravate a breakout by trying to protect your skin." To avoid unwanted pimples and irritation, Idriss recommends avoiding sunscreens in gel form, which often contain alcohol that can dry out the skin. Instead, she recommends looking for lighter lotion sunscreens like Cane + Austin SPF 50 Face Sunscreen, $40, which helps provide necessary SPF 50 and boasts a practically weightless formula.
Dry Skin: Choose Mineral Sunscreens
"Generally, chemical or mineral sunscreens work equally well for dry skin; the key is to look for those that are cream, lotion or ointment-based," Idriss says. To find the perfect sunscreen this summer, she suggests moisturizing sunscreens that are formulated with silicones, such as dimethicone. She likes the Tizo3 Facial Mineral Sunscreen Tinted SPF 40, $41.99, which offers SPF 40 protection and is free of sunscreen filters, dyes, fragrances, oils and preservatives.
Combination Skin: Choose Lightweight Formulas
"Combination skin is always a bit tricky and really requires you to know your face," Idriss says. "I recommend a combination of a lightweight formulation to use all over and sunscreen powder to help even it out, particularly around your T-zone." She also recommends looking for mineral sunscreens, as they are typically less irritating. She likes SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50, $34, which provides adequate UVA/UVB protection and uses a weightless fluid formula.
Sensitive Skin: Choose Mineral Sunscreens
When it comes to sensitive skin, Idriss recommends sticking with mineral sunscreens that contain physical blockers titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. These products tend to be less irritating than their chemicals counterparts and therefore are better tolerated, she says. She recommends Eau Thermale Avene Mineral Ultra-Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+, $28, which offers SPF 50 protection and provides long-lasting hydration throughout the day.
If you're in doubt of which product to actually use, Idriss suggests looking for sunscreens that are formulated for babies, as she says chemicals like PABA and oxybenzone are known to irritate babies' skin.