Our Favorite Things: Sunscreens
Sun protection is essential year-round, but with summer outdoor activities, it’s especially common to stock your supply during this season. With so many options out there, it can become overwhelming in what to choose. To help, we asked some of our dermatologists to share their favorite sunscreen options for a few different categories. Here’s what they said:
FOR EVERYDAY WEAR:
Laura Speck, MD – My favorite sunscreen brand for everyday wear is Elta MD. I personally wear Elta Clear, and I recommend Elta Clear for those with sensitive, acne-prone, and/or normal-to-oily skin types. I recommend Elta Daily for those with dry skin. Elta is SPF 46 and contains zinc oxide, which is a physical blocker. I prefer zinc oxide over the chemical ingredients because it has broader UVA/UVB protection. What I love about all Elta sunscreens is that they are oil-free, light, sheer, and fragrance-free. Many people are deterred by the smell or feel of a sunscreen, so this is a great fit for those who have had trouble finding a sunscreen they like. It comes in non-tinted (my favorite) or tinted.
FOR ACNE PRONE SKIN:
Valerie Hanft, MD – Elta Clear is the perfect choice for acne-prone skin. It contains niacinamide (Vitamin B3) which helps blemishes, redness, and uneven skin tone. It also contains hydrating hyaluronic acid and exfoliating lactic acid. Most importantly, Elta Clear contains 9% zinc oxide which is the ideal protection against UVA and UVB rays. Unlike most zinc-based sunscreens, it’s light-weight, disappears into the skin without any white residue, and has no sunscreen smell. I recommend it to all my patients as part of their daily regimen.
FOR SPORTS/OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES:
Hubert Chodkiewicz, MD – I love to do a lot of outdoor activities around Austin and my go-to sunscreen is Elta MD UV Sport. It is broad spectrum SPF 50 and goes on smooth without feeling greasy or sticky. It also is water resistant, does not have a strong smell, and feels light on the skin. I use it all the time and recommend it to all my active patients.
Donna Hart, MD – Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield SPF 50 from Colorescience is my favorite sunblock of all and I use it myself on a daily basis. It is a mineral-based powder formulation that goes on flawlessly over makeup to protect your skin from both sun damage as well as free radical damage from pollution, infrared, and blue light. The mineral base is great for sensitive as well as acne-prone skin types. I particularly love it for my melasma patients who have to be particularly stringent with reapplying sunblock every 90 minutes. The powder even contains hylauronic acid to help retain moisture in the skin.
FOR THE KIDS:
Jennifer Gordon, MD – Elta Pure is a great all-mineral sunblock that rubs in remarkably well for its protection. It’s gentle for kids’ sensitive skin. As a mom of a toddler myself, I also like to have Colorescience powder in every purse for reapplying on the go.