For people shopping for a sunscreen, there is a bewildering number of brands to choose from and of course each claims to be the best. Here are a few simple tips to help you choose a good sunscreen.

First, when used appropriately, most sunscreens do a good job of preventing sunburn and sun damage, regardless of brand name and price. Second, your sunscreen should say “Broad Spectrum”, which means protection against both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB). Since both UVA and UVB promote skin aging and skin cancer, your sunscreen should protect you against both. Third, we recommend a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 to 50. SPF 30 to 50 blocks at least 95% of the UVB, so higher SPF numbers provide only marginal benefit beyond this.  Next, look for sunscreens with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. They contain nano-particles of metal that reflect the light and ultraviolet. Choose a sunscreen that feels right on your skin and that you will enjoy using every day. And finally, even the best sunscreen needs to be used properly. Sunscreens should be used daily and reapplied every 2 hours when outdoors, more often if in the water or sweating profusely. You need to use enough. If that 8-ounce bottle of sunscreen lasts you all summer and longer, you are not using enough!

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