When shopping for sunscreen, the most important thing to consider is, of course, providing an adequate layer of protection for your skin. It may look different depending on your skin type and the type of sunscreen experience you are ready to have (the best coverage isn’t always the best convenient application process). However, here are some guiding factors to consider, according to Dr. Green.
Dr. Green puts it simply, “The best SPF for the scalp is the one you use regularly.” In a perfect world, this sunscreen has an SPF of 50.
However, with additional sunscreen or rigorous reapplication, you can opt for a lower SPF if it’s a product you’ll like more, she says. “I think people don’t like to use sunscreen on their scalp,” she says women’s health. “So I’d rather someone use (a sunscreen with a lower SPF) than not use it (at all).”
There are two types of sunscreen you can look for, depending on your skin sensitivity: physical (or mineral) and chemical. Mineral sunscreens are generally safe for all skin types. Chemical SPFs include oxybenzone, octinoxate, octocrylene, and/or avobenzone, which can cause skin irritation in some skin types and, therefore, are not recommended for children, says Dr. Green .
Any type of sunscreen can be applied to your scalp, but some are easier than others. For example, a powder or mist sunscreen is probably easier to apply if you have hair on your scalp. However, if you burn easily or have no hair, a cream will give you better coverage.