Summer fun is hard to turn down, but what happens when you’re out in the sun too long? When the sun is out and the days are long, consider putting on sunscreen before you even go outside. Control the aging process and cut back on skin related conditions like skin cancer or potential melanoma.

From SPF 15 to SPF 100, sunscreen will help protect your skin from harmful radiation in the form of UV light. Always try to wear coverings and a hat when you go outdoors and put on sunscreen before going outside and you will be practicing healthy skin care! So, what should you be looking for when you’re in the store looking to buy sunscreen so you don’t burn and get an increased rate of skin cancer? Read on to find out and pick the best type of sunscreen for you this summer. Keep your skin looking young and stay burn free in these warmer months. Here’s what to consider:

Physical Blocker or Chemical Sunscreen?

There are two types of sunscreen– those that physically block the sun and those that use chemical blockers to cut back on the effects of the sun. Physical blockers use natural minerals to block the rays and do not decompose as quickly as chemical blockers do, so they last longer. They don’t have to be reapplied as often and are not absorbed into the skin. They reflect the radiation effectively and whether you want one or the other type is up to you! You may have experience with one type over another. Use what has worked best for you in the past or experiment with each type.

Sunscreen must go through the FDA in order to be sold in stores, but some sunscreen products work just as well. Use Vitamin C antioxidants to help your skin defend itself against the sun. It might not be able to be marketed as sunscreen but you’ll get a small boost in your skin’s defense. For best results, though, use a real sunscreen.

Look at SPF Levels

The SPF on the sunscreen bottle is going to be able to tell you how much sun protection you’re getting. The letters SPF stand for Sun Protection Factor. The numbers range, but the lower ones are not as strong as the higher numbers. The SPF factor of 15 lets you stay in the sun 15 times longer than you would normally burn in the sun. The intensity of sunlight on that day as well as your skin type and sunscreen as well as layers will play into how your skin fares. SPF 15 is the minimum for sun exposure, but even wearing higher SPFs may not be enough in certain conditions.

Natural Choices

You may want to get a natural ingredient sunscreen if you’re concerned about high sensitivity to artificial ingredients. Organic or natural sunscreens are more likely to be gentle on the skin while still providing protection.

Wearing sunscreen is very important. Without it you can burn and increase your risk for developing skin cancer or exposure related aging to delicate skin. Sun damage is very hard to undo, so make sure you find a sunscreen that works specifically for you!