There are many small steps you can take to keep your skin safe from the sun on a daily basis.

By Genevieve Monsma
Updated March 12, 2019

Sunburns. Age spots. Skin cancer. We know the cost of subpar sun protection, yet more than 70 percent of us skip (or scrimp on) it. These hassle-free ways to get properly protected will change that habit.

1. Aim Higher Than SPF 15

“You should wear a broad-spectrum SPF 30 every day,” says Elizabeth Hale, M.D., a New York City dermatologist. “Doctors used to recommend SPF 15 but found people were habitually underapplying and rendering an SPF 15 more like an eight. Now we say use SPF 30 in an effort to get you to a 15.” And don’t skip it on overcast days; UVA rays can still penetrate clouds. Try a daily sunscreen like Neutrogena Hydroboost Non-Greasy Lotion, $7.99.

2. Pick an Excuse-Proof Formula

“To eliminate excuses like ‘I forgot’ or ‘I didn’t have time,’ choose a multitasking product like a tinted moisturizer with broad-spectrum SPF. That way you’ll get hydration, UV protection, and makeup coverage in one timesaving step,” says Jessica Wu, M.D., a Los Angeles dermatologist. We recommend It Cosmetic's Bye Bye Foundation Full Coverage Moisturizer, $39.50, to pack your makeup and sunscreen into one. 

The same goes for gripes like “SPF makes me break out” or “It leaves my skin ashy.” Wu says, “If you’re skipping sunscreen because you don’t like the way it looks or feels, you’re using the wrong formula.” Don’t give up until you find a good match. Avene Mineral Light Mattifying Sunscreen, $28, might be a good fit if you're searching for the right match that suits your skin. 

Related: The FDA Just Announced Major Updates to Make Sunscreen Safer

3. Stash It Somewhere Obvious

“One reason many people don’t wear sunscreen is they simply forget; it’s not a daily habit like brushing teeth,” says Steven Wang, M.D., director of dermatologic surgery and dermatology at Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center in Basking Ridge, NJ. He tells patients to keep their sunscreen next to their toothbrush. Try integrating a versatile anti-aging product like Colorescience Total Eye 3-in-1 Anti-Aging Renewal Therapy, $60, into your routine.

4. Bring Backup

Even if you’re just heading out to lunch you can boost your protection. Touch up throughout the day with mineral powder (like Supergoop! Invincible Setting Powder, $30), pull on a wide-brim hat and sunglasses, and stay on the shady side of the street.


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