Photo: Courtesy of cetaphil.comHeather Muir, Allure magazine
As a reformed high school tanning bed user (I know, I know), I like looking a nice tan as much as the next bronze-obsessed girl, but now know the cost of such vanity. So for the past few years, I've sworn off tanning salons (and preached to others on their dangers) and converted to spray tans, self tanners, and bronzers. And whether I'm in the sun or not, I use sunscreen everyday. I know I sound preachy but this is important stuff. There is sunscreen in my moisturizer, my makeup, and my body lotion (Plus I see my dermatologist yearly for a skin check). In honesty, sunscreen was a hard thing to love.
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I tried formulas that were messy, thick, white, pasty, and I lived in constant fear of a breakout. But on the upside, it saves lives. So there's that. Plus, now there is a sunscreen for every skin type imaginable. To make sure you find the perfect sunscreen, I just hung up with dermatologist Joshua Zeichner. Here's what he says.
If your skin is...
Acne-prone/oily. Look for a sunscreen that's "oil-free" meaning that it uses dimethicone instead of petrolatum. Dimethicone helps absorb oil on the skin's surface and can actually help the skin appear less oily. Some good ones: Cetaphil DermaControl Moisturizer SPF30, with zinc and licorice root extract, as well as Neutrogena Clear Face Sunscreen, with botanical extracts.
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Red (even rosacea-prone). Anti-inflammatory botanical extracts in sunscreens may help soothe irritated skin. Try Aveeno Ultra Calming Daily Moisturizer SPF 15, which contains feverfew, a botanical similar to chamomile, which helps reduce irritated skin. has been formulated with a licorice root extract that also soothes red skin.Eucerin Redness Relief Daily Perfecting Lotion SPF 15
Dry. The creamier, the better. Try CeraVe AM, which provides an SPF 30 protection and contains a ceramide-rich formulation which may help repair skin barrier function.
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Sensitive. If you can't tolerate chemical sunscreen ingredients, opt for a strictly physical blocker like SkinCeuticals Physicial Fusion UV Defense SPF 50, which comes in regular and tinted options, and contains zinc and titanium but no chemical sunscreen ingredients. Also nice: Neutrogena Pure and Free Baby Faces SPF 50+ contains only physical blockers and is fragrance free and tear-free.