How to Choose the Best Sunscreen This Summer

Posted on July 20, 2013 by: Dr. Ronald DeMars

Summer is in full-swing and you’re heading out to the river for the weekend…but did you pack the right sunscreen? The type of sunscreen you choose shouldn’t be taken lightly, as it can not only reduce your chance of getting a painful (and unsightly) sunburn, but more importantly it helps keep your skin from pre-mature aging and reduces your risk of skin cancer.

If you’re looking for a tan, remember that you can still get a decent bronze while using sunscreen but at least you will be protecting your skin.

Here are three tips for choosing the best sunscreen:

1.) Know the difference between “water resistant” and “waterproof”.

Although they might sound like they mean the same thing, they don’t. Sunscreen that is “water resistant” should only be used for activities where you might be lightly sweating or exposed to a little water, like if you’re boating. If you are going to be in the water or sweating excessively, you must choose a “waterproof” sunscreen. But regardless, remember that both will need to be re-applied. Waterproof sunscreen will provide protection for 80 minutes and water resistant will provides only 40 minutes of protection.

2.) Choose one with UVA/UVB protection, or is called “broad-spectrum.”

Did you know that there are different kinds of rays? UVA rays are responsible for the pre-mature aging effects on skin, while UVB rays can cause sunburns and skin cancer. Don’t sacrifice by choosing a sunscreen with only UVA or UVB protection; look for ones that have both or are called “broad spectrum.”

3.) Don’t go lower than SPF 15

Ideally, you should always use SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 or higher, but make sure you never choose one less than SPF 15. According to the FDA, SPF 15 is the minimum recommendation for sunburn and skin cancer protection.


So, what is the sunscreen you should pick up at the store? Choose one that is SPF 30, broad-spectrum and waterproof. And re-apply every 1-2 hours!


If your skin has already suffered skin damage or has fine lines or wrinkles, consider calling 503-253-3458 to schedule a consultation with Dr. DeMars to discuss your options.