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How to Choose the Best SPF For Your Skin Type

by Amanda Chen |

Choosing the right SPF for your skin is just as important as choosing the cutest bikini and sunhat this summer. When shopping for SPF products it is important to consider which kind will fit your skin type the best. 

For starters, let's differentiate the kinds of SPF products available to you. The biggest difference is physical versus chemical sunblock formulas. 

Physical sunblocks sit on the surface of your skin and reflects the UVA and UVB rays from doing harm. These formulas are have less health hazards but do not stay on your skin very well.

Chemical sunblocks are absorbed into your skin's surface to protect against UVA and UVB rays so they are more effective at shielding you from sun exposure. However, these formulas may trigger irritations for those with sensitive skin.

There's a little more to choosing the right SPF for your skin than differentiating between chemical and physical sunblocks. Here's a quick simple guide to consider before shopping for SPF products:


Previous Experience With Sunscreens

Skin Type  

Best Sunscreen Type for You

No irritation/issues with any sunscreens

Healthy/normal skin

Both physical and chemical sunscreens work for you, but it is recommended that you use chemical formula sunscreens when you will be exposed to excessive sun

No immediate irritation after sunscreen application, but 1-2 days later, burns, rashes, and acne shows

Healthy skin

Chemicals in sunblock may have triggered allergies. Avoid chemical sunblocks and switch to physical sunblocks.

Once you apply the sun cream, you immediately feel burning and irritated. But this feeling is gone within 30 minutes and you don’t have any skin problems afterward.

Healthy skin with vulnerable skin cuticles

Avoid using chemical sunblock

Once you apply the sun cream, you immediately feel burning and irritated. Then your skin starts swelling or showing bumps / rash.

Skin has contact dermatitis issue

Avoid using chemical sunblock and any product with fragrance, aroma oil, Salic acid, and Alpha-hydroxy acid.

Use physical sunblock but be careful of the preservatives.

 After 1 or 2 days applying the sun cream, your skin starts having blisters or swelling.  

 Skin has weak immune system

 Only use P-sunblock without chemical oil (petroleum or silica oil), fragrance, and other functional ingredients (like rose oil, vitamin C…etc)

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