Here are some of the best sunscreen products you can use while vacationing on Myrtle Beach. Enjoy!

Good Housekeeping magazine’s team of experts and panelists have rated their top picks for sunscreens. Today, there’s more talk (and confusion!) around sunscreen SPF (sun protection factor) than ever before. But one thing is for sure: It’s extremely important to wear it regularly.

At the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab, they tested the best sunscreens and SPFs and consulted top dermatologists to find the best sun protectant to keep your skin protected, healthy, and youthful all year long.

Before we at  list their choice for best sunscreens on the market, let’s answer some of your most burning questions about SPF:

What SPF do dermatologists recommend?

“We recommend SPF 30 and up to all of our patients,” says Dr. David Lortscher, board-certified dermatologist and CEO of Curology. “But remember, sunscreen isn’t a complete block — no matter what the SPF is!”

Dermatologists also recommend taking advantage of clothing, hats, sunglasses, and shady spots (especially between peak UV exposure hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.). Make sure to look for a water-resistant, broad spectrum formula, along with an SPF of 30 or higher: The term “broad spectrum” means the sunscreen protects against both harmful UVA/UVB rays.

How do I apply sunscreen, and how much sunscreen should I use?

For the best protection, apply sunscreen liberally on all exposed areas 30 minutes before going outdoors. “Liberally” here means a shot glass-full for the body, a nickel-size dollop for the face, says GH Beauty Lab Director Birnur Aral, Ph.D. Don’t stop there: Layer on a second coat “to help cover spots you missed the first time,” suggests Steven Q. Wang, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Another hack? Slather SPF all over before you dress to ensure full coverage and avoid those painful slivers of sunburns that always seem to crop up along the edges of your swimsuit.

What sunscreen SPF is the strongest?

While you may have heard that boosted SPF numbers are just marketing jargon and that the FDA is considering capping SPF at 60, you really should not rely only on a low SPF 15. “SPF 30 filters 96.7% of UV rays, meaning it allows 3.3% to reach skin, while SPF 60 filters 98.3%, allowing 1.7% through,” explains Dr. Wang. “So SPF 30 actually lets twice as much UV reach skin as SPF 60.”

More reason to go high: “Our tests have shown that people apply about one-third the amount of sunscreen necessary to achieve the SPF listed on the label,” Aral says. “We recommend using at least broad-spectrum SPF 50 to compensate.” But high SPF numbers can give a false sense of security, so remember to reapply at least every two hours.

How long does SPF last?

SPF can stand up to water and sweat, but only for a certain amount of time. While the FDA previously allowed sunscreens to be labeled water- and sweat-proof, regulations now mandate they can be labeled only water- and sweat-resistant for up to 40 or 80 minutes. That’s because no sunscreen is completely impervious to water and sweat, just as no sunscreen can totally “block” the sun’s rays. “Sweat-resistant” labeling means the formula maintained its SPF level on testers’ skin in a water bath for the indicated time, Dr. Wang says; beyond that timeframe, it should be reapplied

Do I really need to wear sunscreen in the shade?

Yes, and you should wear sunscreen every single day of the year, too. One study found that 78% of people who used only an umbrella on a sunny beach day burned, versus 25% of those who used only SPF, likely because shade doesn’t block UV light from all angles. Your best bet is tripling up, says Aral: “Apply sunscreen, stay in the shade, and wear sun-protective clothing and sunglasses.”

Best Rated Sunscreens

Here are the best sunscreens according to the GH Beauty Lab experts and dermatologists:

Top Lab PickKiehl’s Activated Sun Protector Water-Light Lotion
Best Value
Australian Gold X-treme Sport Spray Gel Sunscreen
Tester Favorite: 
Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen
Sport Formula: Neutrogena CoolDry Sport Sunscreen Lotion
Hydrating FormulaBanana Boat SunComfort Sunscreen
Sensitive Skin FormulaSun Bum Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion
Fast-Absorbing Formula
Bull Frog Sunscreen Lotion Water Sport
Mineral Formula
MDSolarSciences Mineral Moisture Defense
Zinc Oxide Formula
CeraVe Sunscreen Invisible Zinc
Eczema-Friendly Formula
Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Sunscreen Lotion