Aging can feel scary and thinking about how to protect your skin may seem like it gets harder with each year that passes. While you do want to spend time choosing products that will help your aging skin, it doesn’t need to feel complicated.
One of the products you don’t want to forget to use daily is sunscreen. The Skin Cancer Foundation says that using an effective broad spectrum sunscreen can help to prevent wrinkles.
With time your skin gets more sensitive and keeping it fresh requires a bit of time and attention. Let me help you in your search for a sunscreen that will protect against harmful UV rays and also provide you with some extra benefits that your skin will thank you for.
Though they say more damage is done when you’re younger, the truth of the matter is that it is never too late to start protecting your skin!
After thoroughly researching what your skin needs as time passes, SimplySunSafe recommends Block Island Natural Face Moisturizer SPF 30 as the best sunscreen for over 50. Keep reading for a detailed buyer’s guide, comparison table, and in-depth reviews of the top 5 sunscreens for over 50.
All sunscreens are not created equally. For the right sunscreen for over 50, you want to look a for a few must-have features that will keep your skin well protected:
Broad spectrum protection
Perhaps you’re already aware that the most important feature to look for in any sunscreen you use is broad spectrum protection. It is non-negotiable! Having broad spectrum protection means that you are receiving balanced protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
The two types of sun rays work differently:
- UVB rays are the ones you noticed throughout your whole life which damage the outer layer of your skin and cause tanning or burning.
- UVA rays are the type that you may start to notice more often once you’re over 50, as they penetrate the deepest layer of your skin (the dermis) and cause premature aging.
Though they work differently, exposure to either type of ray increases your risk of skin cancer, which I’m sure you want to minimize. Don’t worry about finding sunscreens that provide broad spectrum protection. They are available everywhere and easy to identify.
Check the sunscreen’s label for the words ‘broad spectrum’ or ‘UVA/B’ and if you don’t see these words, turn the bottle around and search the ingredients list for Zinc Oxide. Any sunscreen with Zinc Oxide is a safe option.
Simply put, begin your search for a sunscreen for over 50 with your first thought being broad spectrum protection!
Best SPF for Over 50
You have most likely been choosing sunscreens based on the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) rating throughout your whole life without really understanding what it means. So have many of us, you’re not alone! Learning what the SPF really means will aid you in your search for the right sunscreen for you.
In a few words, the SPF tells you what fraction of the sun’s UVB rays will reach your skin if you have properly applied your sunscreen. So the first step to protection is to take your time and apply your sunscreen correctly! If you’re wearing a sunscreen with an SPF of 30, then only 1/30th of the sun’s UVB rays will reach your skin.
Take heed. Wearing a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 does not mean that it’s safe for you to spend 30 times longer in the sun than if you weren’t wearing sunscreen. There are many factors that influence the effectiveness of SPF including time of day, amount of properly applied sunscreen, and even reflections from surfaces like sand or water.
Take a look at this table, which explains how much protection you get from different SPFs:
|SPF Rating||UVB Protection|
Different than what you thought? I was surprised as well when I first learned that there’s such little difference between an SPF of 30 and one of 100. When it comes to your sunscreen for over 50, how do you which SPF is the right one?
The answer is that it depends on your specific skin. The AAD suggests always using sunscreens with SPFs no lower than 30 and no higher than 50. SimplySunSafe sticks with this guideline in our recommendations, as well.
Remember, even when you’re over 50, the most important thing is to reapply your sunscreen at least every two hours!
Physical is better than chemical
Perhaps you’ve heard debates about products in chemical and physical versions, and which is better. Sunscreen is yet another product that falls into that debate. The first thing to know, is that there are real differences between the two categories, and they lie in the sunscreen’s active ingredients and in the ways they work to protect your skin.
Chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays as they reach your skin, while physical sunscreens reflect UV rays before they reach your skin. You can make a judgment on your own about which type sounds safer.
The truth is that there are many reasons to choose physical sunscreens over chemical ones. Physical sunscreens:
- Work immediately upon application
- Last longer
- Are less likely to cause irritation
- Have a longer shelf life
If these reasons still aren’t enough to convince you, how about this? Chemical sunscreens often contain ingredients that mess with your hormones. When you’re over 50, the last thing you want is an unexpected issue with your hormones!
The worst of these ingredients is called oxybenzone. And believe it or not, it is still legal despite concerns from the FDA. Choose physical sunscreens to avoid this ingredient at all costs!
Suitable for daily use
When you’re over 50, your daily skincare routine makes an even bigger difference than it did when you were younger. Sunscreen is a product that you need to embrace as part of your daily routine.
In order to do that, your sunscreen will need to be gentle enough to wear on your face and body every day without causing any irritation. You’ll also want a sunscreen that will fit in with the rest of your daily skincare products, seamlessly.
Ask yourself these questions to help you during your search:
- Do you want a sunscreen that you can use daily on both your face and body?
- What skin conditions or sensitivities do you have?
- Will you wear makeup over your sunscreen?
Having these details squared away in your mind will lead to a more streamlined and effective search for the right sunscreen for you.
Your skin is one of the most vulnerable parts of your body, and as you get older, it becomes more susceptible to damage from outside factors.
You may find that you’re unable to use any product that you come across because your skin has become more sensitive. There’s no need to worry. There are many sunscreens designed specifically for use on all types of sensitive skin.
Choosing a sensitive formula sunscreen will help you feel safer and more comfortable to wear your sunscreen every day, as is necessary.
Besides becoming more sensitive, overall, your skin is likely to become drier with age. When you’re over 50, it’s a good time to start paying special attention to the level of moisture that you contribute to your skin on a daily basis.
Using sunscreen every day, especially on your face, can seem counterintuitive to remaining moisturized, but it is not. More and more sunscreens are being formulated with natural, moisturizing ingredients.
A formula with moisturizing ingredients will nourish your skin while it’s being protected!
Best Sunscreen for Over 50s Comparison
|Block Island Natural Face Moisturizer||BurnOut for Face & Body||DeVita Solar Protective Moisturizer||Vanicream Sunscreen||Thinkbaby Safe|
|Active ingredients||Zinc Oxide (22%)||Zinc Oxide (18.6%)||Zinc Oxide (19%)||Zinc Oxide (6%) & Titanium Dioxide (3.4%)||Zinc Oxide (20%)|
|Water resistance||No||No||No||80 minutes||80 minutes|
5 Best Sunscreens for Over 50s
After extensive research about your skin over 50 which included discussing issues with customers, reviewing customer feedback, examining manufacturer specifications, and participating in skincare forums, SimplySunSafe has compiled a list of the 5 best sunscreens for over 50.
Each sunscreen provides physical, broad spectrum protection with an SPF of 30 or higher. They are all suitable for daily use with options for sensitive skin and with moisturizing ingredients.
Throughout the whole year, despite the weather, your face is one area of your body which will always need to be covered with sunscreen. For that reason, SimplySunSafe’s choice for best face sunscreen over 50 is Block Island Natural Face Moisturizer SPF 30.
The all-important broad spectrum protection is covered by Block Island through its high concentration of zinc oxide (22%). If you are environmentally conscious, then Block Island is the sunscreen for you, as it is 100% vegan, cruelty free, and environmentally friendly.
It’s all natural formula makes it safe for all skin types, even the most sensitive ones, with extra nourishment from aloe vera. Block Island is a dream for drier skin because it contains a collection of moisturizing ingredients including shea butter and vitamin E.
This excellent combination of features led Block Island to be the winner of EWG’s Best Moisturizer with SPF in 2017 and is undoubtedly the best sunscreen for women over 50!
- High concentration of zinc oxide (22%)
- Suitable for daily use
- Moisturizing and wrinkle-preventing ingredients
- No water resistance
A great option that you can use all over your face and body is BurnOut SPF for Face & Body. This is another sunscreen that provides optimal broad spectrum protection with a high concentration of zinc oxide (18.6%).
This formula by BurnOut is designed specifically for sensitive skin, making it a reliable choice when you’re over 50. With BurnOut, you will have no need to worry about skin irritation. If you wear makeup on a daily basis, then BurnOut is the right choice for you. Its formula is lightweight and oil-free so that it works seamlessly under different kinds of makeup.
BurnOut contains ingredients that will nourish your skin in many ways. Dry skin is catered to with the ingredient Imperiata Cylindrica Root Extract, which moisturizes the skin and also works towards preventing wrinkles in your skin.
A simple, yet effective formula, BurnOut is an excellent option for over 50.
- High concentration of zinc oxide (18.6%)
- Designed for daily use on sensitive skin
- Moisturizing ingredients
- Not water resistant
If you’re over 50 and starting to worry about getting wrinkles, then DeVita Solar Protective Moisturizer is a good sunscreen to start using. With its high concentration of zinc oxide (19%), you receive the broad spectrum protection you need to combat wrinkles.
DeVita is a company that cares about its customers, and has reformulated their sunscreen after a change in zinc oxide type which left customers unsatisfied. This sunscreen is an excellent choice when you’re over 50 because its formula is based with aloe vera, which means that it is nourishing and gentle for sensitive skin.
Your skin will be thoroughly conditioned and moisturized with ingredients such as vitamin E, hyaluronic acid, and the popular, coconut oil. DeVita will fit into your daily skincare routine with no issues!
- High concentration of zinc oxide (19%)
- Aloe vera for sensitive skin
- Moisturizing and conditioning
- No water resistance
Vanicream Sunscreen SPF 30 for Sensitive Skin is a product that SimplySunSafe recommends often because it is highly effective and reliable. With Vanicream, your broad spectrum protection is tended to through a combination of zinc oxide (6%) and titanium dioxide (3.4%).
As its name suggests, Vanicream was specifically designed for sensitive skin, and is recommended frequently by dermatologists for its gentle protection. The formula is quite thick, which is helpful for drier skin when you’re over 50.
A bonus to choosing Vanicream Sunscreen is that you are getting face and body protection that can be used throughout the whole year in all types of weather, as it provides 80 minutes of water resistance.
This non-comedogenic and oil-free sunscreen could be the right fit for your skin.
- Designed for daily use
- Thick, moisturizing formula
- 80 minutes of water resistance
- Lower concentration of zinc oxide
Although you may feel yourself aging when you’re over 50, one way to approach suncare is by using formulas designed for babies. Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+ is a dependable formula that provides excellent broad spectrum protection with active ingredient zinc oxide (20%).
Sensitive skin will have no issues with thinkbaby’s formula, as it was created to protect even the most vulnerable baby skin. Thinkbaby contains ingredients like aloe vera, olive oil, and sunflower oil which nourish and moisturize your skin effortlessly.
Another sunscreen that provides 80 minutes of water resistance, thinkbaby can be used throughout the year and in different weather conditions with no disruptions. The higher SPF will be helpful to you if you have paler or especially sensitive skin.
Thinkbaby works well under makeup, but keep in mind that without makeup, you will be left with a slight white cast on your skin, which is why this formula is the final choice on our list for sunscreens over 50.
Give thinkbaby a try to see if it could be the choice for you.
- High concentration of zinc oxide (20%)
- 80 minutes of water resistance
- Suitable for use on sensitive skin
- Leaves white cast on skin
This guide was written for those seeking the best sunscreen for over 50. Hopefully, after reading this, you’ve gained more knowledge about what your skin needs after 50, and have found a product that suits your needs.
SimplySunSafe recommends Block Island Natural Face Moisturizer SPF 30, but all 5 products on this list are effective and reliable.
Your next step is to begin your testing process. You need to learn how your skin reacts to different formulas and ingredients before deciding on one product to add to your daily skincare routine.
If you use or know of another great sunscreen for over 50, share it in the comments below. I love learning new things from my community! I’ll be sure to check out your suggestion and maybe it will even make it to this list!