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Protect your skin this summer with these dermatologist-approved sunscreens

Dermatologists break down key ingredient terms and shares their favorite sunscreens.

May is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, more than 1 million people are living with melanoma and an estimate of 9,500 people are diagnosed with skin cancer every day.

It’s the most common type of cancer in our country and although there are many conditions that lead to a diagnosis, you can prevent potential damage by protecting your skin.

To help you choose the best sunscreen protection for you and your family, Dr. Marnie Nussbaum, a board-certified dermatologist and clinical instructor of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College, stopped by the 3rd hour of TODAY to share her top picks. She breaks down key terms, such as "mineral" and "water-resistant" to help you make the best choice for your skin.

Plus Dr. Angela Lamb, director of the Westside Mount Sinai Dermatology Faculty Practice, shares her own SPF product recommendations.

Keep reading to discover all 12 dermatologist-recommended sunscreens, from zinc-based lotions to broad-spectrum sunblocks.

Best sunscreens as seen on TODAY

Best SPF sunscreen

Coola Mineral Body Organic Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50

Nussbaum says SPF is a measure of how much UV radiation is required to produce a sunburn on protected skin, as opposed to the amount on unprotected skin. For instance, a SPF 30 would take you 30 times longer to burn than if you weren't wearing any sunscreen at all.

This organic mineral sunscreen lotion by Coola is lightweight, water-resistant and contains SPF 50. Nussbaum says the higher the SPF, the lower chance you have of getting burnt.

Best broad-spectrum sunscreen

Aveeno Positively Mineral Sensitive Skin Sunscreen

Nussbaum says there's no safe way to tan and recommends looking for a lotion that is broad-spectrum. This means it protects against both UVA and UVB rays, which can cause burning, lead to skin cancer and signs of premature aging.

This pick from Aveeno is both broad-spectrum and SPF 50, which offers great protection from harmful rays. According to the brand it is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, so you'll want to reapply after taking a swim or excessive sweating.

Best mineral sunscreens

Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Mineral Sunscreen

Mineral sunscreens are a physical sunscreen that contain zinc oxide or titanium oxide and has shield-like protection by sitting on the skin’s surface and blocking the sun’s rays. This type is great for sensitive and acne prone skin, according to Nussbaum.

She says hypoallergenic mineral sunscreens are best for babies. This Neutrogena pick is SPF 50 and made with 100 percent zinc, making it the best protection for the most delicate skin.

CeraVe Mineral Sunscreen Stick

Designed to be in a form of a stick, this 100 percent mineral sunscreen contains buzzy skincare ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and ceramides. This makes it a good choice for most types of skin and is easy to apply to the face and other sensitive areas.

Best water-resistant sunscreen

Supergoop! Play 100% Mineral Sunscreen Mist

Did you know manufacturers are banned from using misleading terms like "waterproof" and "sweat-proof?" Nussbaum says you want to look out for "water-resistant" sunscreens and to constantly reapply because it only has up to 80 minutes of sun protection.

Featuring a mist application for easy coverage, this lightweight formula is water-resistant and contains zinc and other rich antioxidants. The sunscreen sprays on white but blends in for a sheer and non-oily finish.

Eos Ultra SPF Coconut Lip Balm

Don't forget your lips need SPF, too. This coconut-flavored lip balm is SPF 30, water-resistant and 100 percent natural with hypoallergenic ingredients such as shea butter and sunflower seed oil.

More dermatologist-approved sunscreen

Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen SPF 40 PA+++

Lamb recommends an SPF 30 for daily wear or SPF 50 for when you’re on vacation or spending long amounts of time outside.

This super-sheer formula is Supergoop’s bestseller. It’s weightless and unscented and creates a perfect base for your daily makeup routine. Or you can just wear it on its own for a completely natural look that leaves your skin fully protected.

Bare Republic Mineral Face SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion

This sunblock checks a lot of boxes. It’s cruelty free, vegan and fragrance free — and reef friendly. But it also works on so many other levels. It offers free radical protection, moisturizing shea butter and UVA/UVB protection. But out of all its qualities, its biggest selling point may be the matte, super-soft finish it leaves on your skin.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral SPF 30 Moisturizer + Hyaluronic Acid

This is one of the most clever beauty products out there for people concerned about anti-aging. Like most sunscreens, this formula contains zinc and titanium dioxide to block out harmful rays from the sun. But then, in addition, it’s packed with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin and panthenol to keep skin moisturized for up to 12 hours.

EltaMD UV Sheer Broad‐Spectrum SPF 50+

If you avoid facial sunscreen because it’s sticky or heavy on your skin, try out this formula from EltaMD. It's designed to go on silky smooth and absorb quickly into skin, so you won’t even feel it. Because it’s water- and sweat-proof for up to 80 minutes, it’s perfect for anyone who plans to live life on the go this summer.

Sun Bum Scalp and Hair Mist SPF 30

At this point, you know very well to pay special attention to areas like your chest, nose and shoulders when applying sunscreen. But what about your scalp? Protect the often-neglected area without ruining your hair with this lightweight mist from Sun Bum about 15 minutes before you head outside.

Jergens Natural Glow Oil-Free Daily Moisturizer with SPF 20

Look, it’s not the worst thing in the world to want your skin to have a sun-kissed glow. But this summer, cheat the system and get your tan from a bottle, not by damaging your skin. Choose from one of two shades (light to medium or medium to dark) and use this daily moisturizer to gradually build up a safe tan on your face.

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