The Type of Sunscreen You Should Use, According to Your Skin Type

Summer may be months away, but sun protection is still vital. We’re counting down the days until we can soak up the sunshine again, but, that being said, consider this your friendly reminder not to neglect your SPF — even if you aren’t breaking out the bathing suits and beach towels. If you're in the market for a new sunscreen, read on to learn how experts break down the different types of sunscreen available, how they work and which ones suit different skin types.

Types of sunscreen

There are two types of sunscreens: chemical and physical. Depending on the type, sunscreens protect the skin by blocking, absorbing or scattering the sun's harmful ultraviolet light.

"Mineral sunscreens are primarily composed of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide."

“Cumulative sun exposure can have damaging effects on any skin type/tone, albeit at different levels of severity..."

The Best sunscreens for different skin types

In addition to the different UV filters in sunscreen types, sunscreens are also available in various formulations such as gels, lotions, oils and creams.

Dr. Boakye suggests a lightweight sunscreen like a serum if you have oily skin, and cream formulations for combination and dry skin. For the latter, she also suggests looking for a sunscreen with hydrating ingredients to quench your skin—think jojoba oil, safflower seed oil, and antioxidants. And for sensitive skin, Dr. Boakye highly recommends sticking to strictly mineral-based sunscreen, which will be the most gentle. Ultimately,  the best sunscreen for your skin type will depend on your skin’s sensitivity.