Sunscreen is a sun protection cream that protects your skin from UV rays. It is the most unskippable part of skincare. You should not dare step out without applying it, especially in India. It is a common misconception that sunscreens are applied only when you step out. You must apply sunscreen when you are indoors too as UV rays are present everywhere around you. Sunscreens are for every weather and every season.
Why Apply Sunscreen?
It cannot be stressed enough why one needs to apply sunscreen daily. Sunscreen is the holy grail protecting you from innumerable things that you might not be aware of.
- It protects you from sun damage and UV rays.
- It helps prevent sunburn, skin cancer and premature ageing.
- It reduces skin pigmentation and inflammation.
Why Should You Apply Sunscreen Indoors?
It’s a common myth people believe that sunscreens are only for outdoors. As mentioned before, UV rays are everywhere. They can pass through windows and doors. When you cook, the heat from the stove causes skin pigmentation and inflammation. When you work on your laptop, the blue light that it emits can cause cell shrinkage and premature ageing. All these factors are reasons why you must apply sunscreen, nonetheless, you are indoors.
Broad Spectrum Sunscreen
Broad-spectrum sunscreens have gained popularity recently. The term is used to describe sunscreens that protect the skin against both UVA and UVB rays.
UVA rays can penetrate the middle layer of the skin called the dermis. UVA rays form 95% of the UV radiation which reaches the earth. UVB rays are slightly stronger than UVA rays. They have a short wavelength that can only reach the outer layer of your skin called the epidermis. UVB rays have been linked to skin burning and have an important role in the formation of skin cancers.
Broad-spectrum sunscreens along with a high SPF and a good PA rating will give you good protection from UV rays and any kind of sun damage.
Chemical and Physical Sunscreen
There are two types of sunscreens—chemical and physical/mineral. Chemical sunscreens absorb UV rays into the skin and release them as heat from the skin. On the other hand, physical sunscreens shield the skin from atop and reflect the sun’s rays. A combination of chemical and physical sunscreens is also available.
When it comes to deciding which sunscreen is better, chemical or physical, it varies from skin type to skin type. Sensitive skin and dry skin types should opt for physical sunscreens as they do not include chemicals that would react on the skin or dry out the skin. Oily skin types can opt for a non-greasy chemical sunscreen that will not clog pores and gets absorbed easily. Comedogenic sunscreens must be avoided at all costs, especially for oily and acne-prone skin types.
Sunscreen for Different Skin Types
Like most skincare products, you have to choose a sunscreen that is best for your skin type.
Dry and Sensitive Skin
Dry skin types must opt for a sunscreen that protects the skin from harmful rays and provides moisture. Sunscreen creams enriched with ceramides and hyaluronic acid are ideal for dry skin.
Sensitive skin types should ideally opt for physical sunscreens with zinc or titanium oxides. Depending on their skin texture, they can go for sunscreen gel or sunscreen cream.
Oily and Combination Skin
If you have oily or combination skin types, you should opt for a gel-based or water-based sunscreen. The light formulation won’t feel greasy on your skin and it will give you a matte finish. Oily and combination skin types must use non-comedogenic sunscreens i.e. sunscreens that will not clog your pores or cause breakouts.
Normal skin has a balanced texture i.e. neither dry nor oily. Normal skin is balanced skin. Therefore, all sunscreens can be regarded as suitable for normal skin.
Suggestion: Skin Q’s Sun Protection Gel is a dermatologist-formulated and recommended sunscreen for all skin types. Like most skincare products, there is nothing different between sunscreen for men and sunscreen for women. It can be used by both.
The sun protection gel has a two-in-one action i.e. it protects and as well as repairs skin with SPF 40 and vitamin C. The gel is a non-comedogenic super light formulation that leaves no white cast. In addition to giving protection against UV rays (Pa++++) and sun damage, the sun protection cream also shields the skin from blue light.
How to Choose the Correct SPF?
SPF or Sun Protection Factor is a measure of how much UVB light the sunscreen can filter out. For Indian Skin, it is ideal to use sunscreens with a minimum SPF of 30 and more. The higher the SPF, the longer is the protection. A sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher is good for mild sun exposure. For extreme hot weather, SPF 50 is ideal. Along with SPF, you must also select a sunscreen with adequate PA factor (protection from UVA). More the ‘+’ rating of PA, more will be the protection from UVA. For example, a sunscreen with PA+++ will provide more protection from UVA rays than a sunscreen with PA++.
What to Avoid in Sunscreens?
As it is for most skincare products, not every sunscreen is good for the skin. There are some things you need to avoid while choosing sunscreen for yourself. You should avoid sunscreens-
- that leaves a white cast on the face
- containing unnatural fragrances and irritants
- that feels too greasy on the face
- containing comedogenic components such as oxybenzone and silicates
So, whether it’s summer or winter, indoors or outdoors, sunscreen is always a protective friend. Make sure, you never abandon this friend.