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Your ultimate summer sunscreen guide

Fun in the sun for everyone! Find your new SPF faves at Ulta Beauty.

Physical sunscreen

These reflect harmful UV rays away, are friendly to our oceans (aka reef-safe) and are great for sensitive skin.

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Make a peace sign with your hand, then squeeze sunscreen down the length of those two fingers. That’s the amount you need to apply to your face.

Chemical sunscreen

Lightweight, water- and sweat-resistant (perfect for getting active outside), these protect by converting UV rays into heat.

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Most adults require at least an ounce (think: a shot glass) of sunscreen to safely protect the skin on their body.

Face sunscreen

UV protection that will support your complexion goals and keep your skin looking great all day long.

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Remember to apply at least 15 minutes before going outside.

Tinted sunscreen

In addition to sun protection, these offer light coverage to subtly even out your complexion.

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Experts recommend choosing SPF 30 or higher.

Acne-friendly sunscreen

Derm-recommended, non-comedogenic sunscreens designed for sun protection without causing irritation, clogged pores or blemishes.

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SPF is important, but pack hats, sunglasses and breezy layers to protect you from direct sunlight too!

Multi-tasking sunscreen

From bronzing to glow-boosting to scalp protecting, these overachievers take things to the next level.

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Apply sunscreen after your skin care but before your makeup.

On-the-go sunscreen

These minis, sprays and powders make touch-ups easier than ever.

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Check the expiration date! Expired sunscreen will be less effective.

As the summer sun brightens our days, it’s essential to understand the different types of sunscreen available to ensure comprehensive skin protection. There are two main types of sunscreen: physical (mineral) and chemical. Physical sunscreens, containing active minerals like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, create a barrier on the skin that reflects and scatters UV radiation. They are ideal for sensitive skin and provide immediate protection upon application. On the other hand, chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays through their chemical ingredients, such as avobenzone or oxybenzone, and are often preferred for their lightweight, sheer finish.

For daily facial protection, consider using a face-specific sunscreen, which is designed to be gentler and less likely to clog pores. Those with acne-prone skin should look for labels that say "non-comedogenic" to ensure the product won't cause breakouts. Tinted sunscreens are a great multitasker, offering both sun protection and a touch of color to even out skin tone without the need for makeup.

Innovations in sunscreen don’t stop there. Explore products tailored for specific needs like scalp sunscreens, which protect often-overlooked areas without leaving hair greasy, and sunscreen-infused tanning lotions that provide a glow while guarding against UV damage. For convenience on the go, opt for portable sunscreen sticks and sprays, which make reapplication easy and mess-free, ensuring you're protected throughout the day, wherever you are.

This year, elevate your sunscreen game by choosing products that align with your lifestyle and skincare needs. Whether it's a hydrating, antioxidant-rich formula, a tint for flawless coverage, or a specialized product for sensitive areas, there’s a sunscreen to suit everyone’s needs. Staying informed about the latest sunscreen advancements can significantly enhance your skin’s health and your overall sun safety strategy.