Use an FSA for sunscreen and activities

Many people choose sunscreen based on the SPF number, but there's a lot more that goes into selecting the correct sunscreen for you. It seems logical to choose a sunscreen based on the numbers alone, but after you reach SPF 30, there is only a marginally difference in sun protection after that.

Using a Flexible Spending Account for Sunscreen

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A huge thing to consider is the kind of activity you are doing when you're outdoors. Different sunscreen options provide additional protection or features for the activity you're getting ready for.


If you're headed out to the beach, you'll want to find a high-SPF chemical block. You'll also want sunscreen with avobenzone, which is the only chemical that absorbs the entirety of the UVA spectrum. If you choose a spray sunscreen, which is easier for applying, keep in mind that half of it often floats away with the breeze. Try holding the bottle only an inch or two away from your skin, spraying for about two seconds per area, and then rubbing it in.


For playing outdoor sports like tennis or beach volleyball, find sunscreen that covers a broad spectrum and is water resistant, since you'll sweat some of the protection off. Go for chemical formulas like avobenzone and oxybenzone which won't clump and forms a film on the skin that absorbs UV radiation before it can cause damage.

Water Activities

You'll also want to find a sunscreen that is water-resistant if you're going to the pool or planning on diving into the ocean at the beach. Studies have shown that water-resistant sunscreens can be less effective in chlorine pools than in sea salt water since chemicals in chlorinated water can disintegrate essential ingredients. Make sure to reapply often when headed to the pool, and dry off with a towel before reapplying.


You can get a great deal of sun exposure even on your daily commute. Whether you're biking, walking, driving, or taking public transportation, your skin is bathed in sun while getting to and from work. All the time spent commuting adds up after a while and your skin can suffer sun damage without protection. In addition, your office might have a huge window with sunlight streaming in.

It's smart to wear sunscreen on a daily basis to ensure full protection. One way to do this is to buy skincare and makeup products with SPF built into the serum. That way it's incorporated into your morning routine and you never leave forgetting to apply sunscreen. In addition to your face, you'll also want to protect your neck and upper chest area.

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