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Skin Cancer Awareness Month: Sunscreen 101: The Latest Products on the Market

The Newest and Best Sunscreens for Summer

Spreading the word about skin cancer prevention is a major goal of Skin Cancer Awareness Month. And one of the best ways everyone can protect their skin from cancer and other forms of damage is by wearing sunscreen each and every day. If this sounds like overkill, consider that the sun’s ultraviolet radiation (UV rays), which account for the vast majority of skin cancer cases, reach us daily, even during the winter, cloudy days, and when we’re inside. Sunscreen creates a barrier that reflects these rays away from the skin.

But wearing just any sunscreen won’t guarantee your skin’s safety. Some products are objectively better than others, offering a thicker barrier, longer-lasting protection, and in some cases additional benefits to one’s skin. Today, the market is filled with great products at various price points to fit most people’s needs and budgets.

Let’s explore some of the most recent and promising sunscreen products currently available.

What Should People Look for in a Sunscreen?

Before we dive into specific products, though, let’s go over the qualities that people care about and make for a good sunscreen.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using sunscreens that are broad-spectrum (protective against UVA and UVB rays) and that offer a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. They also suggest using water-resistant products so the screen stays on even if you go swimming or sweat a lot.

Once these guidelines have been met, individuals may look for specific features in their sunscreen, such as how it’s applied (i.e. spray, stick, gel, cream), whether it’s a chemical (dissolves into skin) or physical (rests on the skin) screen, fragrant or odor-free, helps hydrate the skin, and more. Some will also keep the environment in mind, as certain ingredients in sunscreen products (such as Oxybenzone) may harm ecosystems.

The Best Sunscreens on the Market Today

We can’t go over every single quality sunscreen on the market today, but we’ve compiled a respectable list of products that meet a variety of needs and wants while all providing protection from sun damage.

Coppertone Ultra Guard Lotion SPF 70

Not only does this lotion sunscreen boast an extremely high SPF — it’s also relatively affordable, water-resistant (for up to 80 minutes), and protective against UVA and UVB rays (broad spectrum). If you’re looking for a reliable sunscreen without the bells and whistles, Coppertone’s Ultra Guard SPF 70 fits the bill.

CVS Health Ultra Protection Sun Lotion SPF 70

Aside from the brand name, this sun lotion is virtually identical to the one above, featuring the same specs, including water resistance, duration, and broad-spectrum protection at a lower price.

Trader Joe’s Spray SPF 50+

Some people prefer spray sunscreens for their quick and easy application. However, it’s important to apply these types of sunscreens at close range so the product sticks to the skin and doesn’t fly away into the air. With that caveat out of the way, Trader Joe’s Spray SPF 50+ is a great affordable product, offering broad-spectrum protection, water resistance for up to 80 minutes, and even skin-nourishing ingredients like aloe and Vitamin E.

Neutrogena Beach Defense Water + Sun Protection Spray SPF 70

This product is comparable to Trader Joe’s spray sunscreen, though it offers an even higher SPF of 70. It’s also oil-free so those with naturally oily skin might prefer this option.

Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch Ultra Radiance Lotion SPF 50

If you’re trying to prevent sun damaged skin, you could do worse than to apply this sun lotion to your skin every day. Recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation, the Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch Ultra Radiance Lotion guards against UVA and UVB rays while simultaneously nourishing the skin with Vitamins C and E, mango fruit extract, and shea butter. This product also has a topical fragrance for those who enjoy such scents.

Hawaiian Tropic Island Sport Ultra Light Spray SPF 30

The same company also offers a spray sunscreen with similar features but a lower (but passable) SPF. This sweat-resistant spray is specifically designed for active use.

Dermalogica Invisible Physical Defense SPF 30

While it’s on the pricier end, this sunscreen is more than just your average sunscreen. In addition to providing broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection, the Physical Defense is rich with mushroom and green tea extracts to reduce inflammation and redness and help the skin naturally heal.

Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protector Lotion SPF 50+

Another more expensive choice, Shiseido’s lotion leaves no visible trace and employs its proprietary WetForce and HeatForce technologies, which strengthen the screen’s effects when exposed to more water/sweat and higher temperatures.

CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen Sheer Tint

This sunscreen is in part a sort of tinted makeup, giving the skin a healthy glow while locking in moisture and, of course, protecting against the sun’s harmful rays.

Alba Botanica Sweet Pea Sheer Shield Lotion SPF 45

This Vitamin C-infused product does more than provide skin care for sun damage — it’s good for the skin in general. Its formula helps to brighten up the skin and smooth out unevenness.

Biossance Squalane + Zinc Sheer Mineral Sunscreen

Last but not least, this sunscreen hydrates the skin while shielding it from UV radiation, thanks to its formula rich with ingredients like water lily and squalane.

As mentioned earlier, the list goes on. That said, there should be a product here for just about every type of person and skin type. As the weather gets warmer and we begin to spend more time outdoors, we have to stay aware of the many skin cancer risk factors that face us — especially the sun’s rays.

Premier Dermatology Partners can give you even more recommendations on sunscreen products and help you find one right for your skin. To learn more about our providers and all the services we offer, contact us today.

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