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The two things your sunscreen needs to be effective, according to a dermatologist

Ellie Conley
·3-min read

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On In The Know’s “The Wellness Lab,” we bust common health myths and learn about the best products for keeping your health in tip top shape with our host, Dr. Alok Patel.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, according to “The Wellness Lab” host Dr. Alok Patel. It’s often caused by an over exposure to the sun, but there’s an easy preventative measure you can take to protect your skin: sunscreen. But you probably already know this.

Well, here’s something you might not know: “Every day, year-round, regardless of your skin tone, regardless of whether you tend to burn or tan, you should be wearing sunscreen,” Dr. Caroline Robinson told In The Know on the latest episode of “The Wellness Lab.”

When shopping for sunblock, Dr. Robinson explained two things you need to keep in mind: “The SPF should be 30 or greater and the SPF should be broad spectrum, which means that it’s going to protect you against UVA rays, the aging rays, and UVB rays, the burning rays.”

Check out these three broad spectrum sunscreens below, each recommended by Dr. Robinson — and don’t forget to apply daily. Seriously, it’s important.

1. CeraVe Ultra Light Moisturizing Lotion With SPF 30, $14.96

Credit: Amazon

This sunscreen by CeraVe is a chemical sunscreen, which means that it absorbs UV light and turns it into heat. “It has a chemical blend that protects you equally against UVA and UVB, but is blendable,” Dr. Robinson says, meaning that it doesn’t sit on the top of your skin nor feel thick. It’s light weight, oil-free and great for those who struggle with acne.

2. Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Oxide Dry-Touch Sunscreen Lotion With Broad Spectrum SPF 50, $10.97

Credit: Amazon

This sunscreen by Neutrogena is a mineral sunscreen, or what some call a physical sunscreen. It contains zinc and sits on top of the skin to physically block UV light. Dr. Robinson recommends it for people who have more sensitive skin. However, it may leave a bit of a white sheen on the skin, especially for those with darker skin tones.

3. Tatcha Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 35, $65

Credit: Sephora

Tatcha’s mineral sunscreen aims to ditch the overly white veil of other sunscreens by making the zinc particles smaller, aka it’s not as thick at the Neutrogena mineral sunscreen. This product is also made to make the appearance of pores look smaller or blurred, if that’s something else you’re looking for.

No matter which sunscreen you choose, anything (higher than 30 SPF and broad spectrum!) is better than nothing. Protect your skin and keep safe from the sun’s rays, no matter the season.

If you are interested in learning about vitamin C for the skin, look no further!

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