Sea, salt and sweat can all cause sunscreen to disappear fast, leaving your skin vulnerable. But some sunscreens are specifically designed to bind better to the top of the skin and these are the best choices for action-lovers. The mermaidesque should seek out products able to stand up to at least 80 minutes of water immersion; water-resistant versions can withstand at least 40 minutes of splashing, swimming, snorkeling, and diving - and then must be topped up. And always reapply if you dry yourself afterwards. Waterproof doesn't mean towel-proof.
If you prefer your sports land-based, a sweat-resistant sunscreen is sufficient. It's also a good choice for women with sensitive eyes - swiftly absorbed, the lotion won't migrate to your eyes, thereby avoiding weeping and stinging.
Something else to ponder: sunscreens designed to stand up to water or perspiration is formulated not to melt away in heat. Seek out stay-put non-sticky sun care which maintains its protection for up to five submerged hours.
You're a tanaholic
Well you know you ought to know better. But if you insist on being one of those futures leather-faced people don't ever be tempted to abandon sunscreen, or reduce levels below factor 15. Even if you have already cooked yourself dark brown, a tan itself only provides a natural SPF of 4. If you must sunbake, give skin a head start by "prepping" it for sun exposure: certain pre-sun treatments boost melanin levels, triggering the skin's own defence mechanisms.
You're prone to breakouts
Clogged pores - resulting either in under-the-surface white "blips” or full-scale spots - signal you're using the wrong sunscreen. If your skin's prone to these things, always look for the words non-comedogenic or nonacnegenic in the fine print. These mean non-clogging and minimize your risk of break-outs.
While titanium dioxide is a great ingredient for allergy-prone skins, its best avoided by spot-sufferers. Precisely because it blocks pores - and absorbs oil from the skin - it can throw your skin's natural balance into turmoil. Choose a sunscreen specially targeted at the face zone - and give waterproof sunscreen a miss unless you're actually going in the water. (The formula doesn't let your skin breathe as much as your skin-type requires).
You develop shine easily
A certain skin shimmer is attractive in the sun. But the oily-skinned woman naturally resists the idea of adding a protective oil slick to skin which produces plenty of its own, thanks. Choose liquids, gels and light lotions as these sink-in-fast formulations leave skin touch-me smooth and matt-looking. They're also good if you plan to apply make-up; a danger with richer creams is that when applying a layer of foundation, powder, blush over the top, even the deftest brush/finger work will rub away some of the valuable sun protection power.
You need ultra-protectionAnyone with a personal or family history of skin cancer, a galaxy of moles, skin that tends to burn, or on medication that triggers photo-sensitivity (such as Retin-A - check with your doctor) should be especially careful to apply sunscreen frequently, supplementing sunscreen with a hat (big is beautiful) and sunglasses (likewise). Keep the rays at bay when you're being pummeled into the sand by strong waves. Apply sunscreen hourly for its moisturising agents keep skin hydrated and works to preserve its elasticity while protecting it from the sun's rays. Sunscreens are terrific for everyone's sun-sensitive zone - ears, cheekbones, nose, and bust.