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Gone are the days when getting your sun protection meant glopping on thick white lotion and walking around with a scent that announced, "I'm wearing sunscreen!" to anyone within six feet of you.

Today's newest formulas, highlighted in the gallery below, are sleeker, sportier, more hi tech, and easier to use than ever. With benefits that go beyond just sun protection, there's a product for every kind of skin type and situation. Yet confusion on how best to navigate the field still persists, in part due to vastly varying numbers of protection, hard-to-pronounce ingredient names and seemingly ambiguous terms.

"There's a myth that twice the SPF is twice the protection," New York dermatologist Dr. Anne Chapas says of increasing sky-high SPF levels seen on product shelves. "Consumers might think SPF 100+ is twice as strong as SPF 50 when in fact, it's only a few percentages higher. The danger here is the potential to be lax with reapplication, resulting in sunburn. Remember, overexposure to sunlight is one of the leading causes of skin cancer," adds Dr. Chapas.

So what's the best SPF level to pick?

"There's no reason to get less than a 30. If you have light skin and eyes, go with a 50 or higher," advises Palm Beach dermatologist Dr. Kenneth Beer. "I don't think that much above SPF 60 makes that much of a difference, but if the products are the same price and same quality, why wouldn't you opt for the greatest protection possible?" says Dr. Beer.



As for the ingredients to look for, The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends some combination of avobenzone, oxybenzone, mexoryl, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. And while the "shot glass size" application rule is pretty well-known, the terms around use in the water can be more confusing.

"A sunscreen is considered water-resistant if the SPF level is determined to remain effective after 40 minutes of water immersion. Sunscreens that are labeled very water-resistant must retain an effective SPF after undergoing the same procedure for a total of 80 minutes," the Skin Cancer Foundation said in a statement. The FDA is currently pushing for the term "waterproof" to be outlawed in labeling, since no sunscreen is completely waterproof.

While all sunscreens call for reapplication throughout the day, the reality is that most people don't do that - especially women wearing makeup on their face. So what is the best way to realistically protect as much as possible?

"For most people, the reapplication of sunscreen should be for when they plan to be outdoors - not when they're in an office all day. If you're wearing makeup, you may be able to use makeup that has SPF 30 or more built into it, which will help. The mineral-based makeups frequently have sun protection, and can be sufficient for minimal sun exposure," says Dr. Beer.

Another great trick? Peter Thomas Roth's Instant Mineral SPF 30 or SPF 45, which packs mineral powder sunscreen in a convenient powder brush to dust on top of makeup without messing it up.

Now that you know how to protect yourself, learn how to undo the damage the sun's already done to your skin.