Oh, yes!! This always rings a bell. You have heard it since your childhood that SUNSCREEN is the most important step to your routine of skin care. Truly it is! So, if you are not applying your sunscreen daily then, this is the Blog where you can read and learn for starters. And if you are religious about it then here you can know the right sunscreen for you.
It is very important to know the right kind of sunscreen for you as it can lead to lots of skin concerns which gets difficult to treat. So, let’s make sure all your bases are clear.
Sunscreen is a PHOTOPROTECTIVE external product for skin that reflects some amount of sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation. This helps us from getting tan, hyperpigmentation, skin cancer, sunspots and sun burns. It is available in the form of gel, lotion, cream, spray, foam, sticks, powders and other products.
LOOK FOR THESE IN YOUR SUNSCREEN
1) SPF (SUN PROTECTION FACTOR)
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and is how we measure the protection from the sun’s UVB rays. SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays, SPF 30 blocks 97%, and SPF 50 blocks 98%. Dr. Antriksha recommends staying between 30 and 50 SPF — sufficient protection without feeling a false sense of complete sun protection that you might feel going above 50+.
2) BROAD SPECTRUM
You’ll also want to make sure your sunscreen is “broad spectrum” — meaning it protects from both UVA and UVB rays. An easy way to distinguish the two is UVA(ging) and UVB(urning). Both rays have overlapping effects (i.e., both can cause burns and premature aging), but UVA rays are mostly responsible for fine lines and dark spots, while UVB rays play the most significant role producing skin cancers and sunburns.
3) TYPES OF SUNSCREENS
Often, sunscreens are classified into inorganic (mistakenly called ‘physical’) sunscreens (i.e., zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) and organic (also, mistakenly referred to as ‘chemical’) sunscreens. Both absorb the sun’s UV rays to help prevent skin damage, but physical also reflects some UV rays. Neither is “better” than the other, they simply use different active ingredients. Chemical SPF typically uses actives like avobenzone and homosalate, whereas physical SPF will contain zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide.
WHO SHOULD APPLY SUNSCREEN?
Everyone should apply sunscreen irrespective of age, skin tone or gender. If you are darker tone, then long term sunscreen can lead to sun burns. If your skin type in between 3-4 then you can easily get tanned in sun. If you are fair, then you are more susceptible to skin cancer. But this doesn’t rule out the possibility of skin cancers to dark complexion individual.
Generally speaking, you’ll need one-half a teaspoon of sunscreen, or two finger lengths long, for your face and neck, and one ounce (a shot-glass-full) for your entire body. Because sunscreens naturally break down over time, Dr. Antriksha recommends reapplying every two hours, and even more frequently if you’re doing something that will make sunscreen break down even faster like swimming or sweating. Plus, best practice is to apply SPF 30 minutes prior to sun exposure.
DID YOU KNOW ALL SUNSCREENS ARE NOT SAFE FOR YOU?
Wearing sunscreen is a crucial step in the skin care routine. But are all sunscreens safe? Sunscreen side effects have been a cause for concern for a while now. Chemical sunscreens with tetracyclines, phenothiazines, and sulfa drugs may do more harm than good. Therefore, it is important to know what goes into your sunscreen and how it affects you. Few side effects include worsening your acne, allergic reaction, eye irritability, folliculitis etc. so be very specific in choosing your sunscreen.
To conclude, there is no doubt that sunscreen is your best friend. Dr. Antriksha says ‘you can skip everything in your skincare routine except Sunscreen’. But choosing the correct sunscreen for you is the most important step. So be very cautious when you select your sunscreen for specific body area.
Voila! You are protected.