Hopefully, you've been wearing SPF all year, but summer in particular is the time to step up your sun protection. Whether you're tan-aholic, sun-phobic or somewhere in between, a great sunscreen is a must to get you (and your delicate skin) through the season ahead. With the latest products, from anti-aging to chemical-free formulas, you can find the right lotion or spray you'll want to keep using; slather it on your shoulders, knees, toes and everything in between. Here are some tips to keep you covered.
Apply, Then Reapply
Think you're all set with a quick slather in the morning? Wrong.
While some sunscreens are better equipped for the pool or perspiration, "there is no such thing as a true waterproof or sweat-proof sunscreen," says dermatologist Tess Mauricio, M.D., founder of Scripps Ranch Dermatology & Cosmetic Center in San Diego and Dr. Tess Dermatology in La Jolla, Calif. "If you sweat or do water sports or any activity that can potentially wipe or wash off the sunscreen that is sitting on the surface of your skin, you are slowly removing the sunscreen and getting less protection."
While a once-a-day application is probably enough coverage to get you through a regular day without lots of direct sun exposure, bouts of prolonged outdoor activity mean you should reapply at least every 30 minutes (especially if you're in the water or sweating). A packed activity schedule may call for a special sport-oriented sunscreen, like Aveeno Hydrosport Sunblock Lotion SPF 85, whose high SPF guards even sunburn-sensitive skin.
Don't Skimp on the Sunscreen
To best protect your skin, you'll need to use a lot more than a small squirt. "The more the better!" Mauricio says. "We routinely apply far less than what we should be using to achieve the SPF indicated on sunscreen packaging." Finding a product you love may help you stick to a sunscreen routine.
A 3-ounce size is perfect to keep in your purse, but to make sure you're covered, stock up on a large bottle to use every day, like Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch Sunscreen Lotion. The silky texture feels good first thing in the morning (apply it before you leave the house!), and the subtle island scent is a great summer fragrance.
Find Your Sunscreen Style
So how do you find the right one for you? "There are newer, more cosmetically appealing formulas that will encourage people to actually use the product," Mauricio says. For example, men may prefer easy-to-apply sprays and sticks, like Neutrogena Fresh Cooling Body Mist Sunblock, which sprays on quickly at any angle (and even cools sweaty skin upon contact). Anyone prone to acne may fear that sunscreen will clog pores; in this case try an oil-free version, like ULTA Sun Oil-Free Sunscreen Continuous Spray SPF 70, whose light formula protects against sunburn and smells delish, too.