Choosing a Sunscreen

How to Choose the Right SPF Sunscreen for Your Skin Type

Mary Smith
By Mary Smith. Updated: March 14, 2022
How to Choose the Right SPF Sunscreen for Your Skin Type

The arrival of high temperatures invites us to take up activities outdoors: Picnics, walks, exercise outside the gym and of course the wonderful trips to the beach as you have looked forward to throughout the year. And while all this sounds very fun it needs to be addressed with responsibility to care for your skin and not risk our health, as well as avoid unpleasant dark marks. So at we give you the keys so you know how to choose the right SPF (sun protection factor) for your skin type.

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Steps to follow:


The choice of SPF depends mainly on the skin type you have: if it's a very fair skin that burns easily in the sun, if you have a slightly tougher skin or if you're dark skinned. You should always use sunscreen because UV and UVA rays are very harmful for your skin. Also, a good sunscreen will help you keep your tan for longer.


Products with SPF 2-10 are considered low protection, those ranging from 15 to 20 medium protection and those between 30 and 50 are of higher protection.

How to Choose the Right SPF Sunscreen for Your Skin Type - Step 2

Start by determining how long it takes for your skin to burn unprotected in the sun. The SPF is related precisely with the time that our skin remains "safe" from sunlight without burning.

  • Fair skin usually take 3 to 5 minutes without burning.
  • Less sensitive skin some 10 minutes without burning.
  • Darker skin can take up to 40 minutes without burning.

By multiplying this time by the SPF indicated by the product, you will get the number of minutes that you are protected, for example if you delay 5 minutes without burning without any product and choose a sunscreen with SPF 15 you will be protected for 75 minutes from the UV rays and UVA.

Following this rule it is recommended to do as follows:

  • Light skinned people should use SPF 30 to 50 to be protected from the sun for 2 hours.
  • Less sensitive skinned people should use at least SPF 20 to be protected for 2 hours.
  • Darker skinned people can use a minimum of SPF 5 to be protected for 2 hours.

You can do your own calculations to know how long your SPF will last on your skin and remember to never leave it unprotected under the sun.


Keep in mind that you must use a special product for your face because the skin is more sensitive and delicate, with a higher SPF than for the rest of your body.

Take into account the type of skin when deciding on the texture of your face sunscreen, as people with oily skin will need water-based sunscreen in order to avoid greasiness. On the other hand, people with dry skin should look for cream-based sunscreen with moisturizer.

Take into account that, if you are pregnant, you should not only care about the skin tone when choosing the right sunscreen, you should also know what chemicals to avoid in sunscreen too, as some can be harmful for your baby's and your own health.

How to Choose the Right SPF Sunscreen for Your Skin Type - Step 5

It is convenient to choose a product according to you activity. If you're doing sports you should by one designed for that, just as children should choose the option for small children and water-based cosmetics for the face.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Choose the Right SPF Sunscreen for Your Skin Type, we recommend you visit our Beauty & Personal Care category.


  • Do not forget that the perfect tan is one that looks good and keeps us healthy
  • Stains and marks on the skin, premature aging and cancers are just some of the effects of overexposure to the sun without protection, take this into account
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How to Choose the Right SPF Sunscreen for Your Skin Type