Sunscreens: Splurge vs. Save

The very best sunscreen is one that you’ll wear all day, every day and re-apply regularly when enjoying the outdoors. But selecting the right sunscreen from the plethora of products and price ranges available can be overwhelming. So, how do you know when to save and when to spend on your sunscreen?

Chances are, if you’re a patient at Central Texas Dermatology or a client at SkinCare Austin, you’re looking for more than just sun protection, either because of your medical history or because you’ve leveled-up your skincare expectations.

Look for cosmetically-elegant sunscreens that not only protect from harmful UV rays, but that also incorporate preventative and anti-aging elements, advises Nurse Practitioner Lia Stratton.

“You’re paying for a superior product, not just a brand,” Stratton says. “Cosmetically elegant sunscreens feel different on your skin, layer expertly with your other facial products, and contain ingredients that enrich the skin, and in some cases, actually help reverse sun damage.”

Sunscreen Spend: To Undo Damage

Stratton highly recommends medical-grade ISDIN Eryfotona Actinica SPF 50+ for all patients, especially those with a history of skin cancer for its ability to prevent skin cancers as well as the development of precancerous lesions (actinic keratoses).

“I tell my patients, ever wonder why a cow can stand in a field in direct sun their whole life and never develop skin cancer? It’s because of the DNA repair enzymes in their skin, which is what ISDIN has incorporated in this sunscreen.”

Sunscreen Spend: For Cosmetic Improvement

Stratton would also invest in Revision’s Intellishade, a 5-in-1 daily anti-aging tinted moisturizer with broad-spectrum SPF 45 formulated to correct, protect, conceal, brighten and hydrate skin. It prevents visible signs of aging and enhances skin’s natural moisture barrier, improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and brightens and evens skin tone while reducing the appearance of redness.

Need a boost of hydration with your sun protection? Consider Elta MD UV Broad-Spectrum SPF 40, which incorporates Hyaluronic Acid to boost moisture retention and diminish fine lines. Choose from tinted or un-tinted formulas.

For those with concerns of acne or uneven skin tone, consider Elta MD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46. This lightweight, fast-absorbing formula hydrates the skin with hyaluronic acid and leaves behind a sheer, shine-free finish. What’s more, this oil-free, non-comedogenic sunscreen calls on lactic acid to gently exfoliate and help prevent future breakouts.

Sunscreen Save: For the Body

Stratton says she recommends investing in sunscreen for your face and if you’re looking to save money, spend less on a sunscreen for your whole body.

“For your body you’re going to be using a lot more, ideally one ounce, think a full shot glass worth on all your exposed skin, every two hours you’re outside,” Stratton says. “You could invest in stylish sun protective clothing that can be worn on repeat and select a lesser expensive sunscreen for the body to save money.”

Here are some sunscreen recommendations for the whole body:

To shop all our favorite sunscreens, visit our online store. To read more about the differences in chemical versus physical sunscreens, sunscreen safety and the best types of sunscreen for different areas of your body, see here.

Congratulations to Dr. Trizna on his upcoming retirement July 19!