No one likes the feeling of skin peeling off your reddened back after a long day at the beach and forgetting to reapply sunscreen. So how can we choose the right sunscreen to suit our skin and prevent nasty burns when summer is right around the corner? 


The likelihood for skin damage caused by UV rays is the highest in white skin types, and less so in brown or black skin types. Most dermatologists would recommend a “broad-spectrum” sunscreen, as this protects against both UVA and UVB rays. UVA are those that age your skin, and UVB will cause sunburn. Then, we look at SPF, which is the “sun protection factor”: SPF15 will block 93% of UVB rays, SPF30 blocks 97% and SPF50 blocks 98%. Depending on your skin type, you may have to be conscious of the type of sunscreen you purchase; dermatologists recommend that people with acne or oily skin should use non-comedogenic formulas (meaning that the ingredients present won’t clog your pores), people with dry skin should opt for sunscreens with added ceramides or hyaluronic acid, people with dark skin should go for tinted mineral sunscreen to avoid a ghostly white appearance. 


Now that we understand some basics when it comes to sunscreen, what about how it should be used? Sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours as a sunscreen doesn’t mean you are instantly completely protected from the sun, reapplied 15 minutes before sun-exposure and reapplied immediately after heavy sweating. Remember that although sunburn may not seem like much of an issue when we are young, it poses a risk of developing skin cancer in later years and leads to wrinkles and spots, due to overexposure.