Don’t Be a Sunscreen Slacker!

Ditch the excuses and protect your skin: We rounded up the newest sunscreens to find the least annoying and easiest-to-apply products for the best sun safety.

by Lauren Gelman from Reader's Digest Magazine | May 2012

Outsmart your sunscreen excuses!

It wouldn’t be summer without hot dogs, fireworks, and sunscreen—or perhaps guilt over skipping sunscreen (studies show as many as 40 percent of adults don’t use it). But it’s never too late to start. Reader’s Digest combed the latest product reviews from Consumer Reports, Prevention, Good Housekeeping, and more to find the best sunscreens for any scenario. Before you buy: Remember that only products with SPF 15 or higher can say they prevent burns and skin cancer, according to new FDA rules.

1. Excuse: I hate reapplying when I’m at the beach.

Choose: Broad-spectrum products with at least SPF 30. sprays and foams make applying less annoying.

Try: Aveeno Continuous Protection sunblock Lotion Spray SPF 70 ($11.99 for 3 oz., target), Neutrogena Wet Skin Sunblock Spray SPF 30 ($9.50 for 5 oz., drugstores), Coppertone Oil Free Foaming Sunscreen Lotion SPF 75+ ($9.99 for 6 oz., drugstores).

2. Excuse: Sunscreen irritates my skin.

Choose: Broad-spectrum products free of dyes, fragrances, and alcohol (it’s drying). Or opt for sunscreen with mineral blockers, such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which are less irritating.

Try: Aveeno Natural Protection Sunblock Lotion SPF 30 ($10.99 for 3 oz., drugstores), Coppertone sensitive skin sunscreen Lotion SPF 50 ($9.25 for 6 oz., drugstores), LaRoche-Posay Anthelios 50 Mineral sunscreen ($32.95 for 1.7 oz., drugstores)

3. Excuse: I always sweat it off.

Choose: Broad-spectrum products with good sweat and water resistance; sprays help ensure easier applications after workouts.

Try: Banana Boat sport Performance Continuous Spray Sunscreen SPF 110 ($10.99 for 6 oz., drugstores), Aveeno Hydrosport Sunblock Spray SPF 50 ($10.99 for 5 oz., drugstores)

4. Excuse: My skin is already sun damaged.

Choose: Any broad-spectrum products with at least SPF 30. It’s never too late to start protecting skin, and most sun exposure occurs after age 18, not during childhood.

: for extra healing, consider NIA24 Sun Damage Prevention 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 ($45 for 2.5 oz., It contains a specially formulated B vitamin thought to help repair skin.

5. Excuse: Sunscreen is so expensive.

Choose: Broad-spectrum products that give the best protection for your buck; these earned “Best Buy” awards from Consumer Reports.

Try: Up & Up Sport Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 spray ($5.24 for 6 oz., target), Walgreens Sport Spray SPF 50 ($7.79 for 6 oz., Walgreens)

8. Excuse: I'm too lazy to remember when to reapply

Download MyUV Alert, a free iPhone app from Coppertone that tells you when it's time to re-slather that sunscreen (every two hours). It also gives the current local UV index reading (how intense the rays are).

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