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What are the Best Sunscreens for this Summer?

As summer approaches, it's important to prioritize proper sun protection. Sunburns, premature aging, and skin cancer are all risks associated with inadequate sun protection. This guide will help you find the best sunscreens for summer 2024, tailored to different skin types and needs. 

As we prepare for the upcoming summer season, we must prioritize effective sun protection to safeguard our skin from harmful UV rays. Insufficient sun protection can cause sunburns, premature aging, and the potential risk of skin cancer. 

This blog aims to assist you in selecting the most suitable sunscreens for the summer of 2024, taking into account various skin types and specific needs.

Understanding Sun Protection

To choose the best sunscreen, it’s essential to understand how sun protection works. The sun emits UVA and UVB rays, both of which can damage the skin. UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin, causing aging and long-term damage, while UVB rays cause sunburn and immediate harm. 

Sunscreens are designed to protect against both types, with SPF (Sun Protection Factor) indicating the level of UVB protection. An SPF of 30 is recommended for everyday use, while higher SPFs are better for extended outdoor activities.

How to Use Sunscreen Effectively

Using sunscreen correctly is a must for maximum protection. Apply it generously 15 minutes before going outdoors, and reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating. Don’t forget often-missed areas like the ears, neck, and feet.

What to Look for in a Sunscreen

Selecting the right sunscreen involves considering ingredients, skin type, and environmental impact. Look for mineral sunscreens with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide for broad-spectrum protection. These are often preferred over chemical sunscreens, which can contain harmful chemicals like oxybenzone that irritate the skin and damage coral reefs. Opt for eco-friendly and reef-safe sunscreens that protect both your skin and the environment.

Innovations in Sunscreen Technology

Recent advancements in sunscreen technology have led to more effective and user-friendly products. From lightweight, non-greasy formulas to sunscreens that blend seamlessly with different skin tones, many new options exist.

Sunscreen and Skin Health

Sunscreens do more than protect against sunburn. They help prevent premature aging and skin cancer, contributing to overall skin health. Regular use of sunscreen can reduce the risk of developing melanoma by 50% and squamous cell carcinoma by 40%.

Top Sunscreen Picks for Summer 2024

Here are the best sunscreens for summer 2024, categorized by skin type:

  1. Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Face Shield: Perfect for sensitive skin, this mineral sunscreen offers broad-spectrum protection and blends easily with any skin tone.
  2. Colorescience Total Protection No-Show Mineral Sunscreen: This lightweight formula provides excellent protection for oily skin without leaving a greasy residue.
  3. Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield: Convenient for on-the-go application, this powder sunscreen is great for touch-ups throughout the day and is suitable for all skin types.
  4. Obagi Sun Shield Matte: This SPF 50 combines UVB and UVA protection in a matte finish suitable for all skin types. Perfect to keep in your bag all summer. 

These sunscreens offer water resistance, broad-spectrum protection, and non-comedogenic properties, making them suitable for various skin types and activities.

Sunscreen for Every Activity

Beach Days

  • Water-Resistant Sunscreen: Essential for extended time spent in the water to maintain protection.
  • SPF 50 or Higher: Offers increased protection against strong UV rays common at the beach.
Hiking or Outdoor Sports
  • Sweat-Resistant Formula: Ideal for activities that cause perspiration, ensuring the sunscreen remains effective.

Everyday Wear

  • Lightweight, Non-Greasy Sunscreen: Comfortable for daily use, easily worn under makeup or on its own without feeling heavy.

Application Types

Spray Sunscreens

These sunscreens are designed to provide a quick and easy application, making them perfect for busy individuals on the move. With their convenient spray mechanism, they offer a hassle-free way to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Whether you're heading to the beach, going for a run, or simply running errands, spray sunscreens are a convenient and efficient choice to ensure you can easily apply sun protection whenever you need it.

Cream Sunscreens

Ensure thorough coverage, especially for areas that need more attention, such as the face and neck. Apply sunscreen generously to ensure thorough coverage, especially for areas that need more attention, such as the face, neck, and shoulders. Don't forget to reapply sunscreen every two hours or more frequently if you're swimming or sweating.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between SPF numbers?

  • Higher SPF numbers offer more protection, but the difference becomes marginal after SPF 30. SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays, while SPF 50 blocks 98%.

How much sunscreen should I use?

  • Use about one ounce (a shot glass full) to cover your entire body. Don’t skimp; applying too little reduces the effectiveness.


Do I really need to reapply sunscreen?

    • Yes, reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating to maintain protection.


The best sunscreens for 2024 offer a range of options to suit every skin type and lifestyle, from daily wear to intensive outdoor adventures. Remember, applying sunscreen correctly and reapplying it regularly is key to effective protection. With the right sunscreen, you can prevent sunburn, reduce the risk of skin cancer, and keep your skin looking youthful and healthy. 

At Physician’s Plan, we’re committed to helping you find the perfect sunscreen tailored to your unique needs. Our knowledgeable staff is ready to provide personalized skincare advice and solutions, ensuring you can enjoy your summer with peace of mind. Visit our locations across North and South Carolina for expert guidance and discover a wide range of skin health services designed to keep you looking and feeling your best.