How to Pick the Right Sunscreen

Amir Karam MD Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon Founder / Creator of KaramMD Skin

It’s common knowledge that spending a lot of time in the sun causes your skin to age. Those who have had far less sun exposure enjoy youthful skin for longer. But even if you avoid direct sunlight on your face, general sun exposure is a given in life. The best way to prevent and pause the aging effect of the sun is by protecting yourself with the right sunscreen for your face and skin. 

How important is it to have the right sunscreen for your face?

Here’s an unfortunate but undeniable fact: the sun is the greatest accelerator when it comes to aging. There’s a huge difference in the skin of my patients who have spent their lives in a colder climate, away from long exposure to the sun, and those from sunny areas where they are out tanning all the time. Without significant sun exposure, the skin stays younger and more supple, while those who are out in the sun a lot look older, and the skin is tougher and less radiant.

The reason for this is that the skin of patients who spent all that time in the sun was exposed to UVA rays. These are the rays that cause the skin to age.

The difference between UVA and UVB rays–which ones cause your skin to age?

Many people think that all you need to do is find a sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 or higher, and your skin is fully protected. That’s not the case. While the SPF is important, a key component that is often overlooked is which type of sunscreen you’re getting–a barrier block or a pure chemical block. 

Why does that matter? There are two types of sun radiation–UVA and UVB. UVB causes sunburns and skin cancers. UVA causes skin aging. Typically, UVA rays are not blocked with a pure chemical sunblock. It’s vital that your sunscreen protects your skin against UVA if you want to enjoy time in the sun without accelerating the aging process of your skin. 

To protect against both UVA and UVB, find a sunscreen that is a mineral-based, broad-spectrum product, and includes zinc and titanium oxide at 6% and above. These factors are essential when you’re looking for a sunscreen that will protect your skin from the aging effects of sun exposure.

What are the other important qualities to look for in a good sunscreen?

Here’s a complete list of the important ingredients and qualities you want to have in your sunscreen. Look for a sunscreen that provides the following key factors:

  • Non-greasy, leaving your skin glowing, not shiny
  • Non-comedogenic, ensuring that it doesn’t cause blocked pores
  • Sweat-proof and waterproof to allow you to enjoy your activities as usual
  • Tinted, so that it can act as a good foundation
  • Broad-spectrum, mineral-based, to ensure you’re protected from both UVA and UVB
  • Zinc and titanium oxide-based at 6% and above to block UVA rays that cause aging

In my YouTube video, 5 Sunblock Anti-Aging Tips MOST People Get Wrong! I explain all the details about choosing the right sunscreen for the face, and tips on how to use sunscreen effectively to stop the aging process.

Dr. Amir Karam, creator of the TRIFECTA

Dr. Karam is a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon whose is known for his personable, caring demeanor and passionate level of dedication to his patients. His beautiful, customized and nuanced results are the reason he is in such high demand as a top facial plastic surgeon.

In his efforts to help his patients achieve stunning results not just from his surgical finesse, but also in achieving beautiful skin quality, Dr. Karam searched for simple but effective skincare solutions to prevent and reverse the signs of age. Ultimately, he realized that the products his patients needed weren’t available in a simple, easy-to-use product line. From there, he set about formulating one of his own. Dr. Karam spent five years researching and creating the groundbreaking KaramMD skincare line, known as the TRIFECTA

More about the TRIFECTA

The TRIFECTA includes three highly-effective, powerful products, each containing the vital ingredients your skin needs to be healthy, youthful and luminous. The TRIFECTA includes:


Gently cleanses and refreshes the skin, removing oils and toxins. Rinse boosts cell regeneration and deeply hydrates the skin to leave it soft and smooth. 


An advanced vitamin C serum that brightens the skin, resolves pigmentation concerns, boosts collagen production, and achieves a luminous, fresh skin tone. 


This anti-aging cream deeply hydrates and renews the skin, boosting skin elasticity, firming the skin, and minimizing fine lines and wrinkles. Illuminate can act as an all-in-one, standalone product.

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