While you should use sunscreen every day of the year to protect your skin from the sun’s dangerous UV rays, summertime is the season when many will purchase sunscreen. The days at the beach in the hot sun, doing yard work and other activities bring people outside under the sun rays making it vitally important to choose the right sunscreen. Today I’m sharing some tips for choosing the right sunscreen so that you can keep your skin protected.

Choose Broad Spectrum Protection

While all sunscreens protect against UVB rays, which are linked to causing skin cancer, the broad spectrum sunscreens protect your skin against both UVB and UVA rays. UVA rays are known for causing premature aging and skin cancer. Sunscreens that are labeled broad spectrum had to pass specific tests to carry this label. If you see a sunscreen that isn’t labeled broad spectrum you’ll see that it says it only prevents sunburn, not protection against skin cancer.

Sun Protection Factor (SPF)

You’ll want to make sure your sunscreen is labeled with a minimum of 30 SPF. This number is the level in which the sunscreen protects you from UVB rays. While no sunscreen can complete you completely, the higher option of SPF 50 is approximately 98% protection and SPF 100 is 99% protection. You’ll find that any sunscreen that’s labeled SPF 15 or lower must have a warning label stating that it only protects against sunburn, not skin cancer.

Know Your Skin Tone

There are certain levels of SPF that will keep you protected, at least from sunburn depending on your skin tone. If you have very fair skin, chances are that you burn easier and should have a higher rated SPF such as the SPF 30-50+. Those who don’t burn as easily and aren’t looking for skin cancer protection can go a little lower in SPF options. Even if you use the proper SPF for your skin tone and ability to burn, you must remember that only SPF 30 or higher protects you from skin cancer.

Know The Sunscreen

Lastly, you’ll want to opt for a good brand of sunscreen. There are many no-name brands on the market, but I’ve found going with a known brand of sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher is the best protection. You’ll also want to buy a sunscreen that was manufactured recently. This means it’s been on the shelf for less time and more effective. Try to buy a sunscreen that’s free of oxybenzone, an ingredient that’s a known hormone disruptor.

These are some easy to follow tips for choosing the right sunscreen. At the end of the day, you simply need to know that you’re being protected from both UVB and UVA rays so that the family can enjoy a beach day as safely as possible.