Ever wonder about the golden rule of beauty? Among the many products and practices that support beautiful skin, sunscreen is the most important. No matter your age, you need to keep your skin protected from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays. Sunscreen not only prevents sunburn and skin cancer but discoloration and wrinkles, too.

Maybe you haven't found your perfect product yet, or perhaps the sunscreen you once loved just isn't right for you anymore. And if you have children, you have to consider what's best to keep them safe. Whether you're on the hunt for the right children's sunscreen, or you're looking for something that will reverse signs of aging, there's a product out there for every age and stage of life. Here's what you should consider for you and your little ones, too.

Finding the Perfect Sunscreen

The reality is that the sun's UV rays affect everyone, and you can get skin cancer at any age. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher for people of all ages. First, you'll want to identify your skin type and look for products with ingredients geared toward your specific concerns. Then, apply at least 1 oz of your sunscreen 30 minutes before you head outside, and reapply every two hours on exposed skin. According to an article by Harvard Medical School, studies show that both chemical and physical sunscreens have the same level of efficacy, so it's all about your personal preference.

For Babies and Toddlers

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), babies six months or younger should only get limited sun exposure. Sunscreen should be avoided at such a young age; instead, you should focus on keeping them in the shade and covered up with long sleeves, pants, hats, bonnets, and sunglasses. And keep them hydrated to avoid heat rashes.

The AAD says that parents of babies older than six months can apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with SPF 30 or more that is gentle enough for a baby's fragile skin. Go for something lightweight and suitable for sensitive skin like the EltaMD UV Sheer Broad-Spectrum SPF 50+ and reapply every two hours.

For Children and Teenagers

There's not a significant difference between kid and adult sunscreen. The only thing to consider when finding the right children's sunscreen is their lifestyle. If your child is always on the go between sports games, recitals, and hanging out with friends, you may want to toss the EltaMD UV Stick Broad-Spectrum SPF 50+ into their bag so they can reapply after sweating, swimming, and costume changes. It's water-resistant, easy to apply, and doesn't leave their hands messy.

Teenagers, on the other hand, may have skin concerns like acne and other sensitivities as their bodies change. Teens can chat with the EltaMD Elyse to learn about different skin types and match with the right sunscreen.

For Your 20s and 30s

By the time you hit your 20s, you probably already have a good idea of what your skin type is and what skin concerns you need to focus on. Choosing sunscreen at this age is all about knowing what works for you.

If you're looking for a sunscreen that also gives you some color—so that you can cut a step in your makeup routine and still get that gorgeous glow—opt for a tinted sunscreen like the EltaMD UV Glow Tinted Broad-Spectrum SPF 36. It gives you that fresh-faced look while also keeping you protected.

For Your 40s and Beyond

As you get older, your skin's collagen production starts to slow down. Your new goals may be to plump your skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Sunscreen will be your best friend during this phase of life. Consider a product like EltaMD UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40, which contains hyaluronic acid and other ingredients to hydrate dry, aging skin and reduce wrinkles. It also contains antioxidants to protect your skin from free radicals that speed up signs of aging. And if you haven't always been well-acquainted with sunscreen, add the EltaMD UV Restore Broad-Spectrum SPF 40 to your anti-aging toolkit. It's formulated to improve sun damage and restore your skin to its healthy, supple look.

Whether you're exploring products for a baby's sensitive skin, a child's hectic schedule, a teen's acne needs, or your own anti-aging goals—or all of the above—remember that sunscreen is for everyone. Sun safety is a life-long journey, and your family deserves to live freely in their skin through every stage.

Author

  • Audrey Noble is a New York City-based reporter specializing in features, celebrity profiles, and beauty topics. Her work has appeared in Vogue, Harper's BAZAAR, Allure, Vanity Fair, Refinery29, and more. She is a University of Southern California alumna with bachelor's degrees in print journalism and creative writing.