Skin Charm Sunscreen Guide

Summer weather is in full effect! This means sunshine, warm days, beach trips, and a lot of pool days!  With that being said, you never want to be caught without your sun protection.  Sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and may we even suggest an umbrella at the pool or beach.  At the very least, SUNSCREEN is a must!  You’ll thank us later.  After all, there is nothing worse than having to sit out of fun summer activities because of a bad sunburn. But, what if we told you that not all sunscreen is created equally?  When choosing a sunscreen there are a few specific things to look for and a few things to avoid. Not to fear! We are breaking down what to look for +  a list of Skin Charm approved sunscreens that we love both from medical grade product lines and over the counter brands that we use ourselves.  Skin Charm tested and approved! Lets get started..

Medical Grade vs Over the Counter: Let’s start with the basics: the difference between medical grade and over the counter sunscreens. The major difference that sets medical grade products apart is that they usually have a drastically higher percentage of active ingredients in them.  Meaning, they have a higher percentage of zinc oxide or other sun protective ingredients that you should be looking for. Over the counter products can include most of the same ingredients, however they usually lower the concentration making them somewhat less effective.  Both medical grade and over the counter products will protect you from the sun so no pressure if you’re not yet using medical grade products.

Speaking of ingredients, do you know what you should be looking for?  There are a few key words you should be looking for when purchasing a sunscreen. Keep your eyes out for the following:

Broad Spectrum.  This means that your sunscreen will protect against UVA and UVB rays. This is important because UVA and UVB rays both effect the skin in different ways.  UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin causing premature aging and UVB rays cause a more surface level damage.  Both can cause enough damage leading to cellular changes and eventually causing skin cancers.  So it is important to protect against both types of rays.  While it is nice being a little ray of sunshine yourself, we do not want your skin getting damaged by them.

Mineral based sunscreen.  Mineral based sunscreens are composed of either one of the following: Zinc Oxide and/or Titanium Dioxide.  Both are non-visible, non-irritating, non-comedongenic and highly effective in preventing damage caused by the sun.  Mineral based sunscreens are physical protection (instead of chemical) which means they provide a physical barrier to the suns harmful rays.  They start working immediately by causing the sun rays to bounce off of the skin preventing UVA/UVB rays from penetrating the epidermis.  You may associate this physical protection with the zinc oxide which is the ingredient that used to turn your skin bright white, but things have come a long way since then–new technology has made it so that they are now clear or tinted!   In short, mineral sunscreens are less harmful to our bodies and our earth’s environment.

Things you want to AVOID:

Oxybenzone and Octonoxate. Ingredients in chemical based sunscreens.   Both of these are endocrine disruptors which means that they can effect hormone levels when exposure is high. This can lead to various negative health effects including but not limited to skin issues, trouble sleeping, trouble with fertility, mood swings, weight gain, low libido, and headaches.  In addition, oxybenzone and octonoxate are both harmful to our environment and living organisms in our oceans.  They both cause significant damage to our coral reefs which is why some states have banned sunscreens containing these ingredients.

Ready to up your Sunscreen game? Here are our favorite options:


Medical Grade:


Skin Medica Essential Defense: Tinted or Non-tinted

This is an amazing option for hot summer days when you don’t want to put make up on but still want to protect your skin! The tinted option is a universal tint that can be an alternative to make up!

Zinc Oxide 6% Titanium Dioxide 5%

SPF 32-35

PCA Skin: Sheer Tint 

Lightweight tint has light coverage but feels light and airy on your skin! Another great tinted option

Zinc Oxide 8% Titanium Dioxide 7.6%

SPF 45

PCA Skin:  Weightless Broad Spectrum SPF 45

Great option for men! It feels like nothing is on your skin! This non-tinted sunscreen is a perfect way to make sure your man doesn’t age faster than you.

Zinc Oxide 8.4%

SPF 45

PCA Skin: Active Body 

Great for the pool or any outdoor activities!  Awesome for those who have little kids! Quick and easy due to its aerosol spray application!

Zinc Oxide 10.6%

SPF 30

Revision Skincare:  Intellishade TruPhysical 

Truly an anti-aging sunscreen containing peptides and antioxidants to help the skin fight the harsh environment. Great coverage and universal tint for a makeup swap! Combine this with a little bit of bronzer and mascara and you’re good to go for the day!

Zinc Oxide 14.4 % Titanium Dioxide 4.4%

SPF 45

Elta MD UV Clear: Tinted or non-tinted 

This is a great option for those with rosacea or acne prone skin! Calming formula containing niacinamide.

Zinc Oxide 9%

SPF 46


Over the Counter: 


Badger Active Unscented 

With its limited ingredient list, this sunscreen is less likely to cause irritation to the skin! Complete with a high amount of non-whitening zinc oxide, this is a great over-the-counter option.

Zinc Oxide 18.75%

SPF 30

Sun Bum Mineral 

Sold as a spray or a lotion.  Perfect for family beach days! Easy application in the spray form.

Zinc Oxide 16% Titanium Dioxide 3.4%

SPF 50


Solara Clean Freak 

Contains a proprietary blend of antioxidants, omegas, and vitamins to help nourish your skin.

Zinc Oxide 20%

SPF 30

ThinkSport Safe Sunscreen

Water resistant and perfect for active days for the whole family!

Zinc Oxide 20%

SPF 50

SuperGoop Sheerscreen Mineral 

Contains blush clover extract which also helps to protect against blue light exposure.

Zinc Oxide 17.5%

SPF 30

Alba Botanica Sensitive Mineral 

Water resistant and reef safe formula.  Comes in a spray or a lotion.

Zinc Oxide 18.525 %

SPF 33


Hopefully this was helpful to keep you and your family safe during the summer but also anytime when exposed to the sun!

Our clinic is open Monday – Friday 9am to 4pm should you have any questions regarding sun protection or any other skincare products.  Here at Skin Charm strive to be a resource for all your skin care needs as well as create natural looking results using the best, gold standard treatment options.  Our nurses are highly trained in the aesthetics industry and look forward to helping you meet your beauty goals.  The “Skin Charm Way” is to enhance your own, natural beauty with our motto in mind, #preservingthepretty. Together, we hope to keep you looking and feeling like the best version of yourself.

To schedule an appointment in our clinic, located in Old Town Scottsdale, you can call 480-687-8996 or visit our website link skin charm scheduling website.

We look forward to hosting you soon!

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