1 You don’t need a super-high SPF.
“The boost in protection between SPF 30 and SPF 50 is only slightly more than 1%,” says dermatologist Lauren Eckert Ploch, MD. The increase between SPF 50 and SPF 100 is even less. So choose a sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30, “but you don’t need to go above 50,” notes Dr. Eckert Ploch. And no matter what the number, reapply sunscreen every 2 hours you’re outdoors, or after swimming or excessive sweating.
2 Try nongreasy, non-chalky sunscreen.
Actually, most formulas nowadays fall under this description, and brands are continually developing technology to make sunscreens lighter and easier to apply. A great example is the new Coppertone ClearlySheer Whipped Sunscreen SPF 30 ($13.99; at drugstores). This broad-spectrum, water-resistant creamy foam dries to an almost powder-like finish in seconds with no sticky feel. It was clinically tested on acne-prone skin, so it won’t cause breakouts either (promise!).
Rub sunscreen on at least 15 minutes before going out so it has time to be fully absorbed.
3 Lotion first, then use a spray for touch-ups.
The ease of spray-on sunscreens makes them a popular choice, but they’re not as foolproof as you may think. “Studies have shown that people apply as little as a quarter of the recommended amount when using spra