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Why should you wear tinted sunscreen?
Wearing any sunscreen should be your No. 1 priority, says Rajani Katta, MD, a Houston-based dermatologist and author of Glow: The Dermatologist’s Guide to a Whole Foods Younger Skin Diet. “I always tell my patients that the best sunscreen is the one that they’re actually going to use,” Dr. Katta says. “Depending on their formulation, they can leave a whitish cast on the skin, which is why many of my patients prefer tinted versions of mineral sunblocks.”
(Related: A Sweaty Gal’s Guide to Sunscreen)
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What ingredients should you look for in tinted sunscreen?
According to Dr. Katta, the first things you should zero in on when searching for sunscreens are the active ingredients. After that, you can focus on all of the extras: inactive ingredients like fragrance additives, preservatives, and other ingredients and whether the formulation is a cream, lotion, gel, stick, or spray.
Iron oxide is one ingredient found in many tinted mineral sunscreens, Dr. Farris adds. It provides effective protection from longer wavelengths of light, including visible light, which contributes to skin aging and causes hyperpigmentation, especially in dark skin tones. Many tinted sunscreens also contain antioxidants for added environmental protection, including vitamins C and E and botanical extracts.
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Do needs vary for different skin types?
For people with sensitive skin, Dr. Katta recommends mineral sunblock ingredients such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, as they provide a barrier to protect against UV radiation and they do not cause allergic reactions. “If you have sensitive skin, I recommend that you avoid fragrance additives and also preservatives such as formaldehyde and methylisothiazolinone,” she says.
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