We all know the importance of sunscreen application for healthy skin. Dermatologist’s call this the bread and butter for your skin. I always stress on the importance of sunscreen in my skincare blogs. Whether you are stepping out on a sunny day, whether it is raining or wintertime, whether you are going for a hike, sitting at a desk job or chilling at home, sunscreen should be a part of your everyday routine.
With loads of brands crowding the market, it can get a bit confusing to choose the right sunscreen for you. So here are few points that I take into consideration while buying my sunscreen, which helps me to choose the right sunscreen for full protection.
1) Your sunscreen should be broad spectrum : The sun emits several types of ultraviolet light, so it’s important you protect against all of them. One of the most important things to look for on the label are ‘broad spectrum,’ which indicates the sunscreen protects against ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB).
2) SPF : This is generally the first thing that we look for in a sunscreen while buying one. It is a measure of how much UVB light a sunscreen can filter out. For Indian skin type, a SPF between 25-50 is enough. What is more important is the re-application of the sunscreen every 3-4 hours, irrespective of being outdoors or in office or at home.
3) If you have acne or oily skin, make sure that your sunscreen is labeled as non-comedogenic, which means that it has been shown not to block pores. If you have dry skin, look for sunscreens that contain hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid or ceramides. For sensitive skin, opt for a physical, or mineral, sunscreen. Physical sunscreen features zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to protect skin; these two ingredients won’t burn or sting your skin or eyes.
4) Make sure your sunscreen is hypoallergenic and with minimum fragrance. The lighter the fragrance or no fragrance in a skincare product, the better the product as it has lesser chances of irritating the skin.
5) Sunscreens come in a variety of formulations—creams, gels, lotions—so pick one that works for you. I personally prefer gel or cream texture instead of sprays and powders. Gels are great for oily skin or hairy areas, while creams are better for dry skin. Some sunscreens feel sticky or create a film on your skin and won’t be very comfortable for everyday wearing, so pick one that you will actually follow through with wearing regularly—even when you aren’t spending hours outside. If your sunscreen seems very sticky to you then after 5 minutes of application, you can take a tissue and dab off the extra stickiness off your skin as the sunscreen that was to be absorbed has already been absorbed.
6) Some sunscreens contain the potent antioxidant vitamin E, which helps protect against environmental damage in addition to photolyase enzymes, which have been scientifically shown to repair UV-induced DNA damage. But keep an eye out for one you should avoid: Some SPFs have antioxidants like vitamin A added, which could actually increase the risk of sun sensitivity and even skin cancer.
· Choose a sunscreen that suits your skin type
· Pick a sunscreen that you will actually follow through with application
· Reapplication of sunscreen is highly essential irrespective of the SPF
· Regular application helps in preventing early signs of aging