Are you here from my previous post on the importance of wearing sunscreens? Or just landed from a google search? Either way, welcome!! I am excited to share my top 5 sunscreens in 2020 by categories! I want to start out by saying that understanding what is indicated on your sunscreen labels is particularly important.

In most cases, if not all, you will see SPF and Broad Spectrum as probably the most universal language when it comes to sunscreens, and in some cases you will see PA+ depending on where your sunscreen is formulated from. They are all measures of how they protect you from the rays, but just differ in their own ways.

I may have mentioned this before but because in the FDA and Health Canada (and Canada are subject to FDA regulations) both countries classify sunscreens as an over-the-counter medication, so SPF labelling is a requirement. Whereas in Europe and Asia they classify sunscreens as cosmetic so while SPF classification isn’t mandatory they still do it for informational purposes and indicate it on their labels and packaging anyways.

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, this protects you from the UVB rays and not neecessarily the UVA rays, and just how long it will protect you before your skin starts to burn. This also depends on your skintone as it ties into melanin production. When melanin is created that is your body’s way of protecting your skin from burning under the sun. So darker skintones have different melanin production than lighter skintones. One thing that I did want to mention is no matter your skintone, nobody is immune to the sun, so please wear sunscreen to protect your beautiful skin.

Broad Spectrum means it has filters that will protect you from both the UVA and UVB rays.

And if you are just getting into Korean or Japanese beauty, you will have already noticed the PA+ on the labels as well, which is a grading system that started in Japan and now more broadly used in both Japan and Korea. On top of the Broad Spectrum protection, PA grading system is used to inform consumers how much UVA rays it can protect your skin by the + signs. They range from 1 being some to 4 being extremely high — and it’s not to say the single + is bad, bc if you know you’re indoors mostly and away from the windows, atleast you know that you are getting some coverage. However PA+ grading system is not approved by the FDA or EU standards also why you wouldn’t see it on North American or European formulated products. But you will see it on almost, if not all Japanese and Korean sunscreens.

Let’s get into it – here are the top 5!

US formulated physical mineral sunscreens:

US formulated synthetic chemical sunscreens:

Korean synthetic chemical suncreens:

US formulated sunscreens for Children (ages 6 months and up): *Note that the first one is a synthetic chemical option.

Best Tinted Sunscreens:

Best Sunscreen Sticks:

Best “Touch-Up” for reapplication when you are wearing makeup:
*note: this does not replace your suncreen as it will not give you the proper amount of coverage you need.

I call it the ABC‘s of sun skin concerns: skin aging, skin burning and skin cancer.

While I know that white casts are often what has us stop dead in our tracks and refraining from applying sunscreens but there has been so much technology to sunscreens so the whole bias on only physical mineral sunscreens being better really needs to stop. And if you’re wondering why physical mineral sunscreens often leave a white cast than a synthetic chemical would, let me try to put this into another perspective, it’s active ingredients; zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are actually used to make white paint, and so the only downside to choosing physical mineral sunscreens is that in theory if you put less, the less “white” cast it would leave behind, but it also means that you are not getting the full coverage you need to protect your skin from the UV rays.

And I have to reiterate that natural ingredients also gets processed to get rid of toxic contaminents, and often coated with synthetic chemical to stop them from being photocatalytic, if not coated you would get patchy protection. So I hate to burst your Natural/Clean beauty utopic bubble, but there really is no such thing as all natural. Just remember that, when you are out and about shopping for your next sunscreen.

If you want to see reviews on some of these be sure to check out my next post, the second part to my “Sexy Suncare: Reviews on Sunscreens” and see some additional information which I didn’t get to cover in the video as well.

I hope you found this to be helpful!

The views expressed on this site are that of my own and are provided for informational purposes only. I make no warranties about the suitability of any product or treatment referenced or reviewed here for any person other than myself and any reliance placed on these reviews or references by you is done so solely at your own risk. Nothing on this site shall be construed as providing dermatological, medical or other such advice and you are always advised to seek the advice of a suitable professional should you have any such concerns.