SkinCare Physicians

A dermatologist’s favorite sunscreens and why

Published on Jul 28th, 2021 by Brooke Sikora

Dr. Brooke Sikora at SunsetIt is that time of year again when everyone is talking about what sunscreen to use and asking for recommendations. We all know that wearing a broad-spectrum SPF of 30 or higher daily and reapplying often is important for reducing the incidence of skin cancer and protecting our skin from the number one cause of extrinsic aging – ultraviolet radiation. So, are all sunscreens created equal? Not necessarily. There are two main categories of sunscreens:

  • Physical/mineral sunscreens: They stay on top of your skin and act like a shield reflecting the sun’s rays. They work as soon as you apply them and are gentler on the skin, therefore better for sensitive skin.
  • Chemical sunscreens: They penetrate the top layer of your skin and absorb UV rays. They should be applied 20 to 30 minutes before sun exposure to be most effective.

I personally tend to prefer physical blockers.  But, finding one that you love is the most important thing so you will happily apply and reapply it daily.

Here are a few of my favorites and why:


ISDIN Eryfotona Actinica Ultralight Emulsion Sunscreen SPF 50+ – this mineral sunscreen is an ultralight emulsion that does not leave the skin feeling chalky. It also contains antioxidants, vitamin E and DNA repair enzymes that help to combat previous sun damage. This is one smart sunscreen!

Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield SPF 50  and Brush on Block Mineral Sunscreen – these powder-based sunscreens are excellent for reapplication in the middle of a busy day when you need to go out and run errands or have lunch.  There are multiple different shades so you can use a simple transparent one or a bronze tone that doubles as a makeup bronzer.

SkinBetter SunBetter Tone Smart SPF 68 Sunscreen Compact – if you prefer a compact to a powder this sunscreen compact from SkinBetter Science is the best! It is 100% mineral sunscreen and even though it comes in one shade it blends into most any skin tone.

EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 – this mineral sunscreen comes in a tinted and non-tinted version and is one of my favorites for acne prone skin as it is light weight and contains other active ingredients such as niacinamide and lactic acid, which are helpful for acne prone skin. The tint version contains iron oxide which helps to block blue light and visible light – which are known triggers for melasma and hyperpigmentation.

Alastin SkinCare HydraTint Pro Mineral Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 36 – this ultra-light, all mineral sunscreen is ideal for daily wear and makeup layers easily on it. It also contains powerful antioxidants that help protect the skin from pollution and other causes of aging.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Zinc Oxide Sunscreen SPF 50 – this drugstore brand packs a great bang for the buck! The Cell-Ox Shield Technology is 100% mineral and contains powerful antioxidants that help neutralize free radicals caused by sun. There is both a tinted and non-tinted formulation available.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion – this drug store brand is an excellent face and body sunscreen that spreads easily and has a light weight finish that gives the skin a moisturized, hydrated appearance.

EltaMD UV Aero Broad-Spectrum SPF 45this is a mineral based sunscreen spray with zinc oxide that is water-resistant and rubs in clear. Great for use on the body and for re-application whether you are at the beach, out golfing or playing tennis.

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Chestnut Hill, MA (617) 731-1600

SkinCare Physicians®
1244 Boylston Street (Route 9)
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Phone: (617) 731-1600 Fax: (617) 731-1601

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SkinCare Physicians®
1244 Boylston Street (Route 9)
Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts 02467

Phone: (617) 731-1600 Fax: (617) 731-1601

Medical Website Design & Marketing by Etna Interactive

The dermatologists and other medical professionals at SkinCare Physicians specialize in a wide range of dermatology treatments and services, including laser hair removal, laser skin treatment, hair transplant, eyelid surgery, body contouring, psoriasis, skin cancer, BOTOX® Cosmetic, fillers, and Thermage®. From their offices in Chestnut Hill, they serve Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Newton and Wellesley.