When shopping for a sunscreen the Skin Cancer Foundation , as well as many dermatologists, suggest that just about everyone use a sunscreen with a SPF of 15. Less than an SPF of 15 of the product does not protect against UVA. Warning labels must be put on the product that these do not protect against skin cancer. When going to purchas a sunscreen give it some thought and careful consideration. Ask your self these questions, what color is my skin, how sensitive is my skin to the sun, sensitive to skin care products, and is my skin normal, oily, or dry. You should also think is for my face, the skin around my eyes use or for my body.
Whether you use a cream, gel, alcohol solution, milk or lotion largely depends on personal preferences. Alcohol or gel based sunscreens for example are easier to apply to areas with thick body hair and are less likely to worsen acne, but can dry and irritate sensitive skin.
For sensitive skin keep this in mind.
Sunscreens can irritate people with sensitive skin, including burning, stinging, and some people even develop a rash. This can be more of a problem on the face and especially around the eyes. Irritation can occur with even the most carefully formulated sunscreen. If you react to one sunscreen, try another. There are some sunscreens specifically formulated for people with sensitive skin. Fragrance free sunscreens with Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide as their active ingredients are less likely to cause problems in individuals with sensitive skin. Any of these sunscreens may still irritate your skin, so you have to find appropriate one yourself.
Take the time to look at the sunscreens even the different kinds by the same manufacture. Quick tip is that if the sunscreen has an alcohol base it will often be better suited for oily skin. These will often be clear and use the wording like "cool alcohol formula". Also check the many spray types that are out there to see if they have alcohol in them. For oily skin, oil-free (water-based or powdered) sunscreens are convenient.
If you have dry to normal skin or you have now been on vacation a few days you may want to change to a cream based sunscreen. Some cream manufactures form the Skin Cancer Foundations list are Fischer Pharmaceuticals, Mary Kay, OLAY, Shiseido Cosmetics, Sun Bum Zinc Oxide Cream, Zohar Cosmetics.
Keep track of these ingredients some my be irritating to your skin and will also be in products that are for anti aging.
The following substances are FDA (American Federal Drug Administration) approved as active sunscreen ingredients (4):
UVB filters (absorbers): p-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), octinoxate, ensulizole acid, padimate O, trolamine salicylate
UVA filters (absorbers): avobenzone, ecamsule (Mexoryl SX)
UVA + UVB absorbers: oxybenzone, dyoxybenzone
UVA + UVB reflectors: titanium dioxide and zinc oxide