Sunscreen is something that every woman should have in her clutch for everyday use. But if you are just a beginner, then choosing the right sunscreen that suits your skin type might not be an easy task. In this article, we will discuss everything one needs to know about sunscreen and also some of the best sunscreen options available.
What Is Sunscreen?
Sunscreen also known as sunblock or suntan lotion is a product that must be tropically used. It absorbs or reflects some of the ultraviolet rays of the sun. It is known to protect your skin against the harmful sun rays. How good your sunscreen works for your skin depends on several factors including the SPF level, type of sunscreen, and how often you apply it.
Different Types of Best Sunscreen Options
There are several sunscreen products available in the market, you must be confused about choosing the best sunscreen. We have listed the different sunscreen options available.
1) Different Forms of Sunscreen:
2) Types of Sunscreen According to Their Mode of Action
Sunscreen can be classified into two types according to their mode of action:
a) Physical Sunscreen
- These types of sunscreen stay on the surface of the skin and reflect the UV light.
- Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are the main active ingredients in physical sunscreen.
- They are better for sensitive skin.
b) Chemical Sunscreen
These types of sunscreen absorb the UV light before they damage your skin. Later, it converts the absorbed UV rays into heat and releases them from the body.
- Avobenzone, oxybenzone, and octinoxate are the active ingredients in chemical sunscreen.
- Their water resistant formulations are perfect if you are a sportsperson who sweat a lot.
3) Sunscreen Products According to the Spf Level
What Is SPF and How Does It Work?
You might have heard of the numbers SPF 30, SPF 50, etc. But what exactly is SPF and how much SPF should one use? SPF means Sun Protection Factor. It is the ability of the sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun’s UVB rays. The numbers included along with it shows how long your skin is protected from turning red when the sunscreen is applied.
For example: If it takes 10 minutes for your skin to start turning red under the sun, then using an SPF 30 would protect your skin for about 300 minutes(5 hours).
The more the time you spend under the sun, the more SPF you must use. Hence, if you are using SPF 30 and you have been in the sun for more than 300 minutes or so, you must reapply your sunscreen.
SPF 15 or less: Mild
SPF 15 to 30: Moderate
SPF 30+: High
4) Sunscreen According to the Protection:
Sun emits both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays cause skin aging and age spots, whereas UVB rays cause skin burns.
- Protects you from the UVB rays: Most sunscreen products with just SPF would only protect you from the UVA rays of the sun.
- Protects you from the UVA and UVB rays: Nowadays, many sunscreen products come with broad-brand protection. These products protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays.
If you are someone who spends a lot of time outdoors, you can opt for sunscreen products with high SPF and broad-spectrum protection.
These are top ways you can follow to choose the best sunscreen product according to your skin type and your needs.
How Should I Apply Sunscreen?
- Studies have shown that most humans do not apply enough sunscreen as needed. It is important to apply 2 milligrams of sunscreen per square centimeter of skin. In simple terms, you must use about 1 ounce of sunscreen or enough to fill a shot glass in order to cover the full body.
- Apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going out.
- Reapply your sunscreen every 2 hours.
At What Age Should I Start Wearing Sunscreen?
American Academy of Dermatology suggests using sunscreen once the babies are 6 months old. It is always good to look for active ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in the physical sunscreen.
There is also a myth that you should stop wearing sunscreen products after a certain age. But the truth is, you should never stop wearing sunscreen. It is actually important to wear sunscreen as you get older.
How to Choose Sunscreen According to the Skin Type:
- Normal Skin: Sunscreen with SPF 30.
- Dry Skin: Sunscreen with SPF 30+ combined with moisturizer.
- Oily Skin: Sunscreen with SPF 50.
Sunscreen lotions are best for normal to dry skin. People with oily skin can opt for gel-based sunscreen products.
What to Look for While Buying Sunscreen Products?
- TGA approval
- Broad Spectrum
- The SPF level according to your need
Benefits of Sunscreen
- Prevents uneven skin tone, dark spots, wrinkles, and sagging skin.
- Reduces the risk of cancer
- Reduces the signs of premature aging
Choosing the best sunscreen product is important but while you are going outdoors, you also need to make sure to wear sun-safe clothing and UV blocking sunglasses. Avoid sun and stay in shade as much as possible.
Note- Remember sunscreen is not only to be used on sunny days. It is also important to use them irrespective of the season or weather.