The 5 Requirements For The Best Sunscreens

beautiful woman applying sunscreen at the beach during sun set

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How to avoid the worst mistakes when buying sunscreens?

curly haired woman standing near the ocean

According to Tripadvisor, beach vacations are the most popular travel destinations because they offer fresh air and space for social distancing.

Moreso, many people have picked up outdoor activities such as running, cycling, walking, and hiking as a way to stay fit or reduce stress. As you know, sun exposure can increase the risk of sunburns, sun damage, and skin cancers.

How to select the best sunscreen for the face?

Sunscreen protects your skin from the sun’s rays that can be bad. But there are many low-quality sunscreens on the market. This blog post will help you know what is a good sunscreen and how to find one. It discusses five things a good sunscreen should have to protect you well and not be harmful to your skin or the environment.

The 5 Requirements For The Best Sunscreens by Dr. Dele-Michael | Best Dermatologist in NYC

There is no easy answer to this question. But when I created ADM sunscreen, I made sure it worked well for people with darker skin tones, and people with sensitive skin.

  • ADM Sunscreens contain safe, clean, broad-spectrum ingredients and are a delight to use
  • ADM Sunscreens look great on dark skin tones, without leaving a significant white cast.
  • ADM Sunscreens will not aggravate acne or eczema
  • ADM Sunscreens are portable and therefore fit into any lifestyle- jet setter, busy professional, outdoor enthusiast. 

When I created ADM sunscreen, I made sure it worked well for people with darker skin tones, and people with sensitive skin.


What are alternative ways to protect my skin from harmful UV rays?

Sunscreen is one way to protect your skin from the sun. Other great ways are:

  • Staying indoors between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm when the sun rays are most intense
  • Seeking shade: shaded side of the street, sit under an awning or sun-protective umbrella, duck onto the covered porch at a pool party or even under a tree 
  • Wearing sun protective clothing with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) and wide-brimmed hats
  • Wearing sunglasses that block 100 percent of UV rays

1. Sunscreens should contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as the active ingredient

Here are the ingredients to look for when purchasing sunscreens

  • Look for sunscreens with Zinc oxide, Titanium dioxide as the active ingredients or UV filters. Mineral sunscreens are also referred to as physical sunscreens. Mineral sunscreens can leave a white cast on the skin. If the mineral particles are very large, they will look white and give you a cast. To avoid this, try to find physical sunscreens with smaller particles called micron-sized particles.

2. Sunscreens should be broad-spectrum (protects against both UVA and UVB rays)

Why are mineral sunscreens better than chemical sunscreens?  

  • Mineral sunscreens containing Zinc oxide and Titanium dioxide provide broad-spectrum sun protection. Meaning they protect you from UVA and UVB rays. 
  • Mineral sunscreens are not absorbed into the skin and body, so they are safe to use
  • Mineral sunscreens don’t break down easily in the sun and they don’t pollute our coral reefs. 

Why should I avoid chemical sunscreens?

  • Sunscreens with chemical UV filters or ingredients such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and avobenzone are absorbed into the body even after only one use. 
  • Some of the chemical sunscreen ingredients (UV filters) are suspected to interfere with the hormone balance in the body
  • chemical sunscreens can cause side effects such as allergies, rashes, and sun sensitivity.
  • Some chemical sunscreen ingredients can be harmful to coral reefs and sea creatures because they prevent absorption of sunlight

The FDA is figuring out what to do about chemical ingredients (UV filters) in sunscreens. They have been analyzing data and will release new rules about chemical UV filters in September 2021.

Many top-selling sunscreens such as Elta MD sunscreen, CeraVe Sunscreen, La Roche Posay Sunscreen have both mineral and chemical ingredients so be sure to check the label to verify the content of your sunscreen before purchasing.

3. Sunscreens should not contain nanoparticles

Nano-sized materials are used in many mineral-based sunscreens. They help to reduce white marks when you apply sunscreen and also make the sunscreen clearer. More research is being done to see if these nano-sized sunscreens can hurt cells or organs when they’re applied to the skin. Studies show that they don’t cross into the skin.

Although studies have shown that nano-particle sunscreens do not absorb into the skin in significant amounts, they can damage coral reefs and the ocean ecosystem. So when you wash your skin after applying nano-particle sunscreens, these nanoparticles can get back out to rivers and oceans. We recommend reef-safe and nano-free sunscreens.

4. Sunscreen should be safe for sensitive skin and acne-prone skin

Look for fragrance-free, non-comedogenic, oil-free, and paraben-free sunscreens: these sunscreens are safer for people with sensitive skin, eczema, and acne-prone skin

Physical or mineral sunscreens are better for people with sensitive skin. These products are less irritating and more moisturizing but they can leave a white cast on the skin. ADM sunscreens are formulated to protect the most sensitive skin without leaving a visible white cast.

5. Sunscreens should have an SPF of at least 30

Dermatologists recommend using sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. When applied correctly, SPF 30 blocks about 97% of the sun’s UVB rays. It is also important to remember that high-number SPFs last the same amount of time as low-number SPFs. A high number doesn’t let you spend additional time outdoors without reapplication.

SPF 50 blocks about 98%, and SPF 100 blocks about 99%. No sunscreen can protect you from 100% UVB rays.

It’s important to apply one ounce (two tablespoons) of sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside and reapply it every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating.


sunscreen bottle


If you are looking for a sunscreen that is natural, non-irritating, or eco-friendly: ADM Mineral Sheer Sunscreen contains ingredients like Zinc oxide, Titanium dioxide, and various antioxidants to keep your skin feeling moisturized while blocking harmful UVA/UVB rays from penetrating into your skin. The product also has an SPF of 50+. It is better suited to sensitive skin. This brand offers various formulas that blend easily so they don’t leave a white cast on your skin.

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