Welcome to Sun Blocked, Refinery29’s global call-to-action to wake up to the serious dangers of tanning. No lectures or shaming, we promise. Instead, our goal is to arm you with the facts you need to protect your skin to the best of your ability, because there’s no such thing as safe sun.
Of all the skin-care products we use, sunscreen is the most powerful (and the most important!) — which is why it's perhaps the most scrutinized. To pass the basic buy test, it must be broad spectrum SPF 30 or higher and absorb without feeling greasy. But after that baseline, there are a lot of factors to consider. First, do you want a chemical or mineral sunscreen? Do you need it be water- or sweat-resistant? What about an oil-free sunscreen? Or one specifically tailored for sensitive or acne-prone skin? What about price range? Is a sunscreen on sale not as effective as its pricier counterparts? And those considerations are just the start! After all, sunscreen is one of the only shields we have against premature aging from sun damage and skin cancer, so we fully understand needing a thorough investigation before purchasing. But even the most discerning skin-care nerds need extra guidance at times. That's why we've reached out to some of the top dermatologists to find out which sunscreen formulas they're actually using on their own complexions every day.
After polling the professionals for their recommendations, we were surprised by what we found. For one, the priciest sunscreen isn't necessarily the best sunscreen. In fact, a few of our derms swear by easy-to-find drugstore brands. Another big reveal? Just like us — they seek out tinted, quick-to-absorb formulas that look and feel as good as they perform on a wide variety of skin types and sensitivies. See their professional picks ahead, and buy yourself a new sunscreen — doctor's orders.
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