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Wearing sunscreen is the single most important thing you can do to keep your skin healthy and youthful long-term. UV exposure causes not only skin cancer, but also about 80% of visible skin aging. Not only does SPF help prevent signs of aging, but applying a broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen to your face daily improves crow’s feet and skin tone even if you don’t use other anti-aging treatments. But not all sunscreens are created equal.

Who Should Wear Sunscreen?

Everyone! Men, women and children over 6 months of age should use sunscreen every day. This includes people who tan easily and those who don’t. Remember, your skin is damaged by sun exposure over your lifetime, whether or not you burn.

What Type of Sunscreen Should You Use?

The best sunscreen is the one you are most likely to use, so long as it provides safe and effective protection, and is broad spectrum with an SPF 30 or higher. The key to finding one you love is locating the right formula for your skin type and needs.

First, choose between a chemical sunscreen or physical sunscreen (there are also SPFs that combine the two for maximum protection.) Chemical sunscreens contain active ingredients such as avobenzone and homosalate that absorb UV light. Physical sunscreens use mineral ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to reflect UV light off of skin. Be sure the sunscreen is labeled broad-spectrum, meaning it protects against both UVB (the rays that cause sunburn), and UVA (the rays that cause tanning and premature aging) and a level SPF 30 or higher for best protection.

The Right SPF For Your Skin Type

If you have dry skin, look for a cream-based sunscreen, which will help keep skin moisturized. For oily skin, choose a formula labeled "noncomedogenic," meaning it won't clog pores. And if you have sensitive skin, opt for mineral-based sunscreens containing the ingredients zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide, which are less likely to cause irritation.

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