Outdoor tanning comes with its fair share of disadvantages, which revolves around the adverse effect of sun rays on the skin. Too much exposure to harmful Ultraviolet radiation can result in sunburn, premature ageing, and worst case — skin cancer.
The UV rays penetrate the skin layer and eliminate useful underlying skin cells. This is why sunblocks/sunscreens are essential. They help protect the skin against harmful sun rays and also prevent unwanted darkening of skin tone due to sun exposure.
Sunblocks not only protect the skin from harmful Ultraviolet radiation, but they also prevent the darkening effect of the sun rays on your skin.
However, unlike most sunscreen brands love to claim, these substances can’t keep sun rays out totally. They only help reduce its penetration and effects on the skin greatly.
What are Sunblocks?
Sunblocks are substances that help keep out harmful UVA and UVB rays from penetrating the skin. This ensures that your skin stays optimally protected and it suffers no cosmetic damage.
Sunblocks come in different forms and formulations. It can be in the form of a spray, lotion, or even stick. When it comes to formulation of Sunblocks, there are two major types:
- Physical/Mineral Sunblock
- Chemical sunblock
The Mineral-based sunblocks are formulated with either Zinc oxide or Titanium dioxide. These substances sit on the skin surfaces to deflect incoming sun rays, thereby preventing penetration.
They offer maximum protection and ensure your skin remains nourished and healthy. Mineral-based sunblocks are mostly eco-friendly, they’re reef-safe and pose no threat to the environment.
Chemical sunblocks, on the other hand, are formulated with avobenzone and oxybenzone. These ingredients are known for their effectiveness in combating UVA and UVB radiation.
They absorb these radiations directly, thereby preventing it from penetrating the skin layer.
However, effective chemical sunblocks are, these ingredients make unsuitable for sensitive skin, and they’re also not reef-friendly.
So, if you’ve got sensitive skin or you’re swimming around a coral reef, mineral-based sunblocks are best for you.
There exist other sunblocks called combination sunblocks that combine features of both mineral and chemical sunblocks, but they’re minute in number and rare to find in the market. Mineral sunblocks are the most recommendable.
Other things to consider when choosing your sunblocks
Picking up sunblocks for yourself goes beyond the usual purchasing and paying. Certain things need to be considered to ascertain that what you’re buying will perform the function you need it for.
This part of the guide will look into these things, which includes:
When you expose the skin to the sun, you risk exposure to two Ultraviolet radiations — UVA and UVB. These radiations are harmful, and they’re instrumental in causing skin cancer, sunburn, wrinkles and premature ageing.
The only way to combat UVB rays is by using Sunblocks with a broad spectrum.
Your choice of sunblock must have a minimum of SPF 30, which helps block 93% of UVB radiation while minimizing the effect of UVA radiation on the skin.
Look out for water-resistant indications on your sunblock container. Most sunscreen comes with 40-80 minutes of water resistance. This allows you to dip in the pool or ocean for that duration, before coming out to dry your body, and reapply.
Water-resistant sunblock is also sweat-resistant. Meaning they don’t wash away until their lasting duration, even when you’re sweating under the sun.
The form the sunblock you intend to choose comes with is also vital. Lotion offers you consistent, even, and comprehensive coverage with the relative ease of application.
While spray, on the other hand, is tougher to apply, because you struggle to achieve even and consistent coverage.
By considering these factors, you should be able to select an excellent choice of sunblock to prevent tanning.
Best Sunblock to Prevent Tanning in 2023
We’ve also curated a list of the top sunblocks that offers optimal efficiency based on our research. They include:
MDsolarsciences Mineral Moisture defense sunscreen lotion
This two-times beauty lab test winner provides you with optimal protection from ultraviolet radiation damages. Unlike most sunscreen, this mineral sunscreen leaves no oil residue or evident white stain on the skin after use.
It comes with a silky smooth formula that’s gentle on the skin, oil-free, and offers 80 minutes water resistance. The non-comedogenic sunscreen is enriched with vitamins, antioxidants, and extracts from skin-nourishing ingredients.
It can be used on both the face and body and contains no artificial fragrance. It is reef-safe, cruelty-free, and suitable for all skin types. This sunscreen offers optimal functionality when it comes to preventing tanning effects on the skin, as it helps keep sun rays out.
Neutrogena Ultra-sheer-Dry Touch Screen
This sunscreen comes with a broad spectrum SPF 100+ enabling it to offer maximum protection under scorching sun rays while preventing tanning.
The non-greasy, ultra-light, formula comes with a dry-touch technique that gives you a matte finish. It keeps you safe and protected throughout the day and comes in either lotion, spray, or stick form.
It is suitable for all skin types, including oily, combination, and acne-prone skin. It comes with over 80 minutes of water resistance which eliminates the need to reapply when you swim.
The sunscreen offers broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB, thereby reducing premature ageing and skin cancer. The chemical-based sunscreen contains Avobenzone and Helioplex, which enhances its sunscreen benefits.
The fast-absorbing sunscreen is paraben-free, dermatologist-recommended, and doesn’t clog pores.
iS Clinical Eclipse SPF 50+ Sunscreen
This is an effective sunscreen for preventing tanning, and protecting the skin against harmful UV radiation. It comes with a broad spectrum SPF 50+ that ensures you stay protected from sun rays.
The non-oily, physical, formula is formulated with Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, making it suitable for sensitive skin. It provides your skin with a sheer and non-greasy matte finish upon application.
The weightless and quick-absorbing sunscreen contains Vit E, antioxidants, and other highly effective moisturizers that nourish the skin and protect it against photo-damage.
It’s advisable to apply 15 minutes before stepping out into the sun and reapply two hours after application. It is an excellent formula and offers you optimal functionality.
Banana Boat Sport Performance Cool Zone Sunscreen spray
This non-greasy sunscreen spray comes with a broad spectrum SPF 50+ protection against skin-damaging UVA and UVB radiation. It effectively protects the skin from unwanted tanning.
It is an excellent option of sunscreen for sporty individuals, as it leaves the skin soft, supple, nourished, and protected.
The long-lasting sunscreen blocks out 98% of UVB rays and prevents UVA from damaging the skin. It neither inflames nor irritates sensitive skins, and can withstand seven different conditions including windy, and extreme heat.
The fast-absorbing formula comes with a crisp, clean, and fresh scent. It should be applied fifteen minutes before stepping out into the sun, to ensure optimal functionality.
You’re also advised to reapply every couple of hours to ensure optimal safety and efficiency.
Ocean Potion Sport SPF 50 Sunscreen lotion
This sunscreen comes with menthol, it offers a cooling and soothing sensation on the skin, upon contact. It is ideal for beach sports and other activities that leave your skin exposed to sun rays.
The broad-spectrum sunscreen comes with SPF 50, enabling it to provide your skin with maximum protection against UVA or UVB damages.
The sheer and non-greasy formula absorbs quickly into the skin and replenishes the skin with sea minerals gotten from sea plants.
It is also enriched with antioxidants, Vitamins B, C, & E, and other ingredients that keep it moisturized, healthy, and nourished.
It contains no parabens, BHT, BPA, Paba, oils, and other irritants. It is reef-safe, eco-friendly, and offers you optimum functionality.
Badge Natural Mineral Sunscreen Cream
This lavender-scented sunscreen lotion is formulated with zinc oxide. The mineral-based skin protector features SPF 30, which offers excellent protection against sun rays.
It is formulated from all-natural ingredients including sunflower oil, beeswax, sea buckthorn, and also enriched with Vit E & antioxidants. All these ingredients ensure the skin stays nourished, protected, and detoxified.
It is free of BPA, Phthalates and other irritants that are not eco-friendly. It is also reef-safe, organic, and entirely non-GMO. The broad-spectrum sunscreen comes with 40 mins water resistance and should be reapplied at hours interval.
AstiVita Face and Body Sunscreen Lotion
This mineral-based sunscreen is formulated with non-Nano zinc oxide. It comes with a broad spectrum SPF 50 that’s capable of blocking 98% of UVB radiation.
The hypoallergenic sunscreen is suitable for all skin types, comes with no artificial fragrance, and offers 40 minutes of water resistance. It is reef-safe, and can also be used by babies.
This sunscreen contains ingredients that enable it to protect, soothe, and nourish the skin excellently. These ingredients include Vit E oil, Jojoba oil, Coco oil, and other essential vitamins and antioxidants.
It contains no toxic additives, and it is also silicone and paraben-free.
La Roche — Posay Anthelios 6.0 sunscreen milk
This sunscreen comes in milk formula. It contains a cell-ox shield technology that allows it to provide optimal protection against UVA and UVB radiation. It is lightweight, oil-free, and works well for both the body and face.
It features a broad spectrum of SPF 60 which guarantees your skin protection against sun rays damage. It has a melt-in feature that allows it to be absorbed quickly and efficiently into the skin without any residue.
The non-greasy milk formula comes with 80 minutes of water resistance, allowing you the benefit of taking a dip in between sunbathing.
You’re required to reapply once this duration elapses, and after every two hours (irrespective of you dipping or not).
You can apply makeup upon the dermatologist-tested sunscreen. It is allergy tested, doesn’t clog pores, and free of fragrance & parabens.
Jacket SPF 50+ Sunscreen lotion
This non-comedogenic mineral-based sunscreen lotion is formulated with zinc oxide. It contains safe and natural ingredients like Green tea, Alpha Arbutin, cucumber extract, and pomegranate extracts. These ingredients make it highly beneficial and nourishing to the skin.
It comes with a broad spectrum SPF 50 that ensures it provides your skin with optimal protection against harmful Ultraviolet radiation. The water-resistant sunscreen lotion is oil-free and comes with anti-ageing benefits.
It is enriched with vitamins and antioxidants that enhance skin’s health by preventing radical damages, reducing wrinkles depth, hydrating, soothing, and helping with hyperpigmentation.
The age spot remover sunscreen is cruelty-free, gluten-free, paraben-free, and contains no oxybenzone or octinoxate. These features make it safe for sensitive skin.
EltaMD Sport Sunscreen lotion
Are you the sporty type? Here’s an excellent option of sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful UV radiation and also prevent tanning. This sunscreen allows you to go about your business in the sun without worries.
It comes with a broad spectrum of SPF 50 and effectively prevents possible damages from sun rays. The non-greasy mineral-based formula is sweat-proof, oil-free, non-comedogenic, and also fragrance-free.
It contains 9% transparent zinc oxide and offers 2hrs maximum protection against harmful UV radiations for all skin types. It is reef-safe and fully backed by Skin cancer foundation, making it an efficient sunscreen.
Coppertone Ultra Guard Sunscreen lotion
This sunscreen lotion allows you to bask in the sun till your heart’s content. It comes with a Sun protection factor (SPF) 70, which blocks over 90% of UVB rays. It also effectively prevents your skin from tanning, while also eliminating the risk of premature ageing or sunburn.
The fast-absorbing formula leaves no oil residue on the skin. It contains Vitamin E that keeps the skin moisturized without risk of breakouts. It is not suitable for sensitive skin, as it includes octinoxate and oxybenzone.
It comes with 80 minutes of water resistance, and excellently nourishes, hydrates, and moisturizes the skin.
Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch Sunscreen
How about a silky, smooth, gentle, and soothing feel on your skin? This is exactly what this sunscreen offers you. It comes with an SPF 30 that effectively deflects sun rays from your skin, thereby preventing tanning and UV radiation damage.
The reef-safe formula comes with 80 minutes of water resistance. It is enriched with natural ingredients like shea butter, mango fruit extract, and Vitamin E. These ingredients help moisturize and nourish your skin.
The oil-free formula is suitable for combination and acne-prone skin. It is non-greasy, fast-absorbing, and comes with a Rich tropical scent. It excellently protects the skin from UVA and UVB rays, making it an excellent choice of sunscreen.
Exposing your skin to sun rays comes with adverse effects and also causes tanning. This reason is why you need a broad-spectrum sunscreen to prevent this.,
This guide is equipped with the needed information you need to choose the best sunscreen, thereby preventing you from UV radiation and unwanted tanning.