Having a pool means lots of swimming, water games, and sports.
You know what else that means don’t you?
You need sunscreen! And lots of it! But, as you know, there so many different sunscreen types such as for adults, for kids, tanning, etc. Then there are a bunch of different kinds of sunscreens for those as well, such as waterproof sunscreens, etc.
Of course, before you can make any final decisions about which sunscreen to buy, you will also need to know which ones are the best and which ones to avoid and why.
OK, we know this all seems so mind-boggling and you are probably wondering how something as simple as sunscreen can be so complicated…right? That’s why we have decided to give you a quick lesson on the basics of sunscreen. Knowing the basics of the different types of sunscreen on the market will help you make an informed decision about which one is right for you and your family, or not.
Let’s get started…
How Do Sunscreens Work?
Quality sunscreens have a certain criterion that makes them effective. For example, in order for a sunscreen to actually be effective, it will need to provide you with what’s called broad spectrum protection. These will generally say UVA and/or UVB protection on the packaging. Then the packaging will have an accompanying SPF number. The higher the SPF number, the better protected you will be, sort of. Which leads us to the next question.
What Is SPF and Why Is It So Important?
An SPF rating is a combination of several things. An SPF rating is the strength of a sunscreen, how long it will last when you’re in the sun, and what the chances are of you getting sunburned or getting cancer due to sun exposure when using it. However, that’s only half of the story about SPF’s.
The sunscreen industry would like you to believe that a higher numbered SPF will give you better protection so they can charge you more. However, that’s not entirely true because the effectiveness of any given SPF can only go so high. After that, those higher numbers really don’t provide you with any better protection at all.
Because any SPF over 30 is almost identical in protection. Therefore, the SPF rating recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation is between 30 and 50.
The Best Waterproof Sunscreen for Swimming
Waterproof sunscreens are only waterproof for approximately 80 minutes or so. A product labeled anything over that is just an advertising ploy for higher sales. With that being said, here are a few of the best waterproof sunscreen products on the market.
- Vanicream Sunscreen SPF 50+
- Coppertone Sport SPF 50
- Banana Boat SunComfort Clear Spray SPF 50
Best Sunscreen for Kids
When buying sunscreen for kids, there are other factors to keep in mind other than sun protection. For example, a spray-on sunscreens chemicals can be too easily inhaled and can cause health dangers of their own, which is unavoidable when trying to apply a spray sunscreen to wiggling kids.
And the cream sunscreens, while they are effective and don’t have any apparent dangers, they have a tendency to run. So a stick sunscreen might be the answer. However, a cream sunscreen is better than nothing if that’s what you prefer.
Here are some recommendations:
- Coppertone Kids Stick SPF 55
- Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen Baby
- La Roche Posay Anthelios Dermo-Kids Gentle Sunscreen
Best Sunscreen for Tanning
When looking for the best sunscreen for tanning, make sure you also factor in the products SPF rating so you will be protected from the sun’s damaging UV rays. Here are some recommendations:
- Vita Liberata Self Tan Dry Oil SPF 50
- Perfekt Matte Tan Body Perfection Gel SPF 30
- Australian Gold Spray Gel with Instant Bronzer SPF 30
Exposure to the sun’s damaging UV rays is a very real thing and unless you want to age faster and increase the chances of you or your kids getting cancer from exposure to those rays, you need to wear sunscreen, especially if you are going to be outside for a long length of time.