Now that the summers are here, the hunt for the best sunscreen in the market begins. If you are planning a vacation on the beach or if you are just an outdoor person who needs to spend more than 4 hours a day in the sun, sunscreens are a must have in your kit.
DON’T FORGET TO WEAR A SUNSCREEN THIS SUMMER
Why is sunscreen needed?
Sunlight has harmful UV rays which are of two types- UVA and UVB
UVA rays cause wrinkles and premature ageing. They might also lead to skin cancer in the long run.
UVB rays cause sunburns and can cause skin cancer too.
When to apply sunscreen?
Sunrays are strongest from 10 in the morning to 4 in the evening. Extra care needs to be taken if you are exposed to the sun during these hours.
You should use sunscreen if you are exposed for more than 20 minutes in the sun.
Sunscreen should be applied at least 30 minutes before stepping in the sun. This time is required by the skin to absorb the sunscreen.
Be generous while applying them. If the application is too thin, the protection would be lesser.
Sunscreens should be applied every two hours as it affects lasts only for that time.
What is SPF (Sun Protection Factor)? And how much SPF is needed in a sunscreen?
Sunscreens only provide protection against the UVB rays of the sun. They do not offer any protection against the UVA rays of the sun which penetrate deeper into our skin and causes ageing. Higher the SPF, better the protection offered. However after SPF 50, its just nothing more than a marketing gimmick.
|SPF Against UVB Rays||% of UVB Rays Absorbed||Considerations|
|SPF 15||94%||Great to use if you are travelling in a car and are not exposed to the direct rays of the sun for a long time.|
|SPF 30||97%||Excellent general-purpose sunscreen for all activities and conditions. Contains fewer sun-blocking agents than higher SPF sunscreens, so skin can breathe and perspire more freely.|
|SPF 45||98%||A good choice for active use at higher elevations. Includes more sun-blocking agents and may feel heavy. Greasy or warm on skin. Good for children and winter activities.|
|SPF 50||98%||Good for extended high-elevations exposure, thin-skin body regions (nose, ears) and children. Includes a high quantity of sun-blocking agents; may feel heavy, greasy, or warm on skin and reduce its breathability.|
Sunscreens and Sunblock
Most of the people use sunscreens and sunblocks interchangeably. However these are two different products offering different types of sun protection.
Sunscreens absorb the harmful UVB rays and prevent them from reaching the skin. Sunblocks prevent all rays from reaching the skin. They are said to provide protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
Sunscreens are cream or oil based and is invisible when applied. Sunblocks on the other hand are thicker, appear white and are more difficult to wash off.
So depending on your duration of exposure to the sun, you can opt for a sunscreen or a sunblock to meet your needs
Sunscreen for different skin types
Sunscreen for Sensitive skin
Look for a sunscreen which is without any fragrance and do not cause an allergic reaction. Look for ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide (found in sunblocks) work for sensitive skin and protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
Products- Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunblock Lotion SPF 60 (Price Rs1628 for 90ml), Dermalogica Ultra Sensitive Faceblock SPF 25 (Price Rs 2190 for 50ml)
Sunscreen for Oily Skin or Acne prone skin
Most of the sunscreens might claim to be oil free but can turn out to be greasy on application causing acne. Try looking for an oil free, gel based sunscreen to prevent acne breakouts as oil based sunscreens tend to clog pores.
Product- Cetaphil DermaControl SPF 30 (Price Rs 857 for 120 ml)
Sunscreen for Combination skin
For those with combination skin, its best to have sunscreens with a matt effect.
Products- Vichy Capital soleil SPF 60 (Price Rs890 for 50ml), Lotus Herbals Daily Multi-Function, Sunblock SPF 70 (Price Rs495 for 60 ml), Sunscreen – Neutrogena – Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 30 (Rs 150 for 30 ml)
Sunscreen for Dry skin
Look for an oil based sunscreen. Most of the products available in the market are oil based.