Stop wasting your time and money and start using a sunscreen that improves your skin. There’s one for every budget and skin type, so no excuses! You will never forget to include sunscreen application to your daily routine again.
The most important thing about choosing a sunscreen is understanding how to read the label. The sun protection factor (SPF) measures UVB protection, while the “protection grade of UVA” (PA) rating only measures UVA protection. Both types of rays are harmful to our skin. UVB rays are responsible for causing our skin to turn red and burn and UVB rays are the primary cause of signs of aging and skin cancer. The term “broad spectrum” means the formula protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
The PA rating system is as follows:
PA+ = Some UVA protection
PA++ = Moderate UVA protection
PA+++ + High UVA protection
PA++++ Extremely high UVA protection
These PA ratings directly correlate with “Persistent Pigment Darkening (PPD)”, which refers to how long it takes for skin to tan. If a product has a PPD of 2, that means it will take twice as long for the skin to tan than if it unprotected.
The correlations are as follows:
PA+ = PPD between 2 and 4
PA++ = PPD between 4 and 8
PA+++ = PPD between 8 and 16
PA++++ = PPD of 16 or higher
When choosing what SPF level you should be using, keep in mind the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends a minimum of SPF 30 which blocks 97% of the sun’s UVB rays. The AAD also recommends those with fair skin or those who burn easily should use up to SPF 50. Keep in mind that SPF 15 provides 93% protection, so doubling the SPF to level 30 does not double the protection. Additionally, there is no evidence that an SPF higher than 50 provides any more protection. No sunscreen can block 100% of the sun’s rays.
Another thing to consider is your skin type and look for ingredients that are specifically targeted for you.
Skin Type Ingredients Avoid
Dry glycerin, lanolin, oils, silicones, aloe alcohol
Oily/Acne Prone silica, isododecane mineral oil, lanolin, paraffin
Sensitive titanium dioxide, zinc oxide alcohol, preservatives, fragrance
You are sure to find a sunscreen that improves your skin by trying one of our picks below.
Differin Oil Absorbing Moisturizer With Sunscreen SPF 30
This formula was developed with dermatologists specifically to target acne-prone skin. It won’t clog pores and will keep the shine at bay by absorbing excess oil, leaving a matte finish. This lightweight and hypoallergenic formula moisturizes the skin while providing UVA/UVB protection from the sun.
Purchase at Target for $10.49
KICHO Ultra Moisturizing Sun Cream SPF 50+/PA +++
This K-beauty sunscreen improves your skin by replenishing lost moisture. It is specially formulated for the face so it won’t leave an oily residue behind or a white cast. It sinks into the skin pretty quickly and leaves your skin plump from hydration. The lotion-y texture goes on smooth and can be worn alone or under makeup. This is the ultimate sunscreen for those with normal to dry skin..
Purchase on Amazon for $28.00
Dr. Dennis Gross Dark Spot Sun Defense
This sunscreen improves your skin by promoting a clearer and more even complexion. Vitamin C, glycol acid, and peptides combine in this formula to diminish hyper-pigmentation. It leaves skin moisturized and conditioned thanks to almond, olive, and primrose oils. It uses mineral UV filters to shield harmful sun rays to prevent new dark spots from forming.
Purchase at Sephora for $42.oo
This is another sunscreen that improves your skin by brightening your complexion. It lightens existing pigmentation and dark spots while defending against UVA and UVB rays and free radicals. This formula leaves skin hydrated, smooth, and glowing.
Purchase at ModeSens for $254.oo
Dermalogica Invisible Physical defense SPF 30 Broad Spectrum
There’s no chance of white cast here! This lightweight sunscreen improves your skin by defending skin against free radical damage, thanks to antioxidant green tea. This physical (mineral) SPF formula even protects against blue light from your television, computer screen, and phone. The Bio-active Mushroom Complex soothes and hydrates skin, reducing redness and dryness. It is ideal for all skin types, even sensitive skin.
Purchase at Ulta Beauty for $54.00
CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen Sheer Tint SPF 50 PA +++
This ultra hydrating sunscreen improves your skin by replenishing its natural barrier to lock moisture in with three essential ceramides (Ceramide 1, 3, & 6-II) and Hyaluronic Acid (HA). Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide protect the skin from the sun’s harmful rays and Niacinamide keeps skin calm and clear. Recommended by dermatologists, this sunscreen is safe for all skin types.
Purchase at Ulta Beauty for $15.99
Alba Botanica Pure Lavender Sheer Shield Lotion SPF 45
This lotion offers broad spectrum protection with a fresh, summer scent. It is water resistant for up to 80 minutes and leaves skin with a smooth, matte finish. Infused with Vitamin C to brighten dull skin and smooth out uneven texture. Perfect for aging skin and skin with acne scars.
Purchase at Target for $8.99
Colorescience Total 3-in-1 Renewal Therapy SPF 35
This miracle sunscreen improves your skin by visibly improving the appearance of dark under eye circles, fine lines, and wrinkles. It provides the delicate eye area against photo damage with 100% SPF 35 mineral sunscreen. It leaves your skin looking well rested and youthful by visibly improving signs of aging.
Purchase at Nordstrom for $69.00
Murad City Skin Age Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50 PA ++++
This extremely high protective sunscreen that improves your skin contains a soft peach tint to color correct uneven tone, boost radiance, and targets fine lines and wrinkles. It protects skin against five causes of age-accelerating damage. It also provides blue light protection. The formula absorbs quickly and does not leave an ashy residue, leaving skin hydrated and glowing. This advanced formula is 100% mineral SPF and is fragrance free. It will benefit all skin types.
Purchase at Sephora for $68.00
Supergoop! Glow Stick SPF 50
This is a very convenient sunscreen that improves your skin. This sunscreen offers glow-boosting hydration and invisible broad spectrum UV protection. This formula visibly improves fine lines, wrinkles, moisturizes, and improves elasticity. This product contains buriti oil, pracaxi oil, and tamanu oil to hydrate and protect against free radicals. It is best for normal to dry skin.
Purchase it from Supergoop! for $25.00
Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47
This is a sunscreen that improves your skin by being rich in antioxidants and providing chemical-free broad spectrum sun and environment protection. It targets dryness, dullness, uneven texture, and uneven skin tone. This incredibly lightweight and translucent formula is infused with essential fatty acids, vitamin E, and antioxidant-rich SunBoost ATB (a unique blend of antioxidants, skin-sorters, and hydrators that work in tandem with natural sunscreens). It will benefit all skin types.
Purchase from Josie Maran Cosmetics for $34.00
EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen SPF 46
This formula is best for sensitive and acne prone skin. This is a great sunscreen improves your skin by targeting aging skin, silliness, free radical damage, large pores, dryness, sun damage, acne, and rosacea. It provides the perfect balance of moisture while simultaneously preventing an over-production of excess oil.
Purchase from Amazon for $33.00
Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer SPF 30
Finally a sunscreen improves your skin dramatically while keeping you within your budget! This formula is smooth and light. Enriched with Total Soy Complex improves your skin tone and texture while protecting it against the sun’s harmful rays. This oil free daily moisturizer leaves your skin luminous and positively radiant.
Purchase from Ulta Beauty for $18.99
Olay Complete Daily Moisturizer SPF 30
This daily moisturizer fights aging and dehydration, while providing UVA and UVB protection. Infused with vitamin E, B3, and aloe, this sunscreen provides skin with long lasting hydration. Lightweight, fragrance and oil free, this formula is good for all skin types. It’s noncomedogenic, so it won’t clog your pores. It keeps your skin looking fresh and healthy. This is a very affordable sunscreen that improves your skin.
Purchase from Target for $12.39
Mario Badescu Oil-Free Moisturizer SPF 30
This antioxidant powerhouse is an excellent choice of sunscreen that improves your skin. This lightweight and oil-free formula delivers long lasting hydration and essential daily broad spectrum sun protection. Enriched with green tea, this sunscreen protects skin from free radical damage and improves tone, texture, premature aging, and hyper pigmentation.
Purchase from Mario Badescu for $28.00
Are you ready to try a sunscreen that improves your skin? Share your favorite below!
Featured Image: Pinterest
essica Hope Murphy is a student at Ashford University studying English and Journalism & Mass Communications. If she isn't writing, she is fishing, cooking, or entertaining friends. In addition to Society19, her work can be found on Points In Case, Cracked Mirrors Online, LinkedIn, Murphy Review, and in The National Library of Poetry.