Hanging out with friends or getting involved in any outdoor activities with friends is fun. But you know what is not fun? Getting sunburned because you forgot to wear your sunscreen.
However cloudy or sunny the weather is, try as much as you can to wear your sunscreen to protect your skin from sun’s ultraviolet rays. The sun’s UV rays do not only tan your skin, they can also cause premature aging.
One of the most important parts of skin care routine is wearing your sunscreen. And sunscreen comes in forms like gels, sticks, lotions, broad spectrum, and also SPF.
Something you should know is that protection against UVB rays is evaluated through SPF ratings. Ratings show that SPF 30 is the best sunscreen for Indian summers.
The truth is, we often fail to use the adequate amount of sunscreen for maximum protection against the sun. That is why it is very important you get a sunscreen with a higher SPF, so that even in situations you fail to apply just enough sunscreen, it still protects your skin.
How To Choose The Best Sunscreen
Here are some points you have to take and consciously commit to memory while choosing the best sunscreen for you
• Manufacturing Date
This is very important because, the fresher the sunscreen, the better the efficacy of the product. And also, the ingredients in sunscreen tend to break down as most of them don’t have a very long shelf life.
For this particular reason, it is important you buy the freshest stock you can get. Also, try and get through with one before buying another so that no sunscreen is stocked in your closet till its expiry
• Get Product from a good brand
Making sure the brand you are getting your product from is good is also very important. If you are getting from a local brand, make sure the product is certified. If not, go for international brands instead. Brands in the US and Europe have to be certified by either the FDA or the European Union, and they have very strict regulations on certifying the sunscreens.
• Check the ingredients used in the sunscreen
Check the ingredients list on the package. This will help you know if the sunscreen contains oxybenzone, a hormone disruptor that causes allergic reactions.
• Always opt for the creamy sunscreen
Research findings show that most of the spray and powder sunscreens are mineral-based and contain nanoparticles that can enter the bloodstream and cause various health issues. Avoid such products and instead stick to cream-based sunscreens.
• Get a Sunscreen That Offers SPF 30 Protection Or Higher
Always check the SPF range mentioned on the sunscreen package. Anything above SPF 15 is considered decent protection. But if you want foolproof protection, go for a sunscreen offering SPF 30 or above.
• Check for Ingredients like Titanium Dioxide Or Zinc Oxide
When checking the ingredient list, look for titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. These are ingredients added to the product for UV protection. But zinc oxide can make your face look pale and ghostly. They are also harmful for the skin
• Water And Sweat Resistance
If you are going for a walk or to the beach, using a water and sweat-resistant sunscreen is a must.
• Use kid-friendly sunscreens
Just like adults, kids also need sunscreens. This is why you have to be careful while choosing sunscreens. Children have sensitive skin, and there are certain ingredients in the sunscreen that may cause allergic reactions. Do a little research and buy a cream specially manufactured for kids. These sunscreens do not contain para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) and benzophenones, and are gentle on the skin. These days, even SPF clothing is available for your little ones.
• Avoid Sunscreen Sprays
We have already established this fact, but for emphasis, it is best to avoid sunscreen sprays. Using sprays leads to a lot of product wastage. But if you still want to go for a spray, avoid inhaling the mist after spraying. Sunscreens in the spray form are best suited for people with hairy bodies or bald spots.
• No Stinging Sensation
Your sunscreen should not sting your face or body. If your sunscreen ‘bites’ you, then it’s time to throw it out and buy something that is comfortable and suits your skin type
• Acne-prone Skin
For acne-prone or oily skin, a water-based sunscreen is ideal for you. Unlike oil-based sunscreens, these sunscreens do not cause your skin to break out. Water-based sunscreens are also available in the market.
• Price Is Not A Yardstick
That a sunscreen costs so much does not imply that it is the best. Most brands skyrocket their prices to make you feel comfortable with a false sense of security; that does not mean their sunscreens are more effective.
• Check Expiration Date
Checking the expiration date on the package is very important; if not the most important. This should become a habit for all of us while buying any product. A product past its expiration date can cause severe harm as the ingredients tend to degrade with time.
How To Apply Sunscreen
• About an ounce of sunscreen is needed to cover the exposed skin of an average adult.
• For cream or gel-based sunscreens, squeeze a dollop of the product into your palm and spread it evenly over all the areas exposed to the sun, including the back of the legs, ears, feet, bald spot, and lips.
• Buff the sunscreen well into your skin so that it is completely absorbed.
• Reapply every two hours.
• For applying spray sunscreen, hold the bottle upright and move it back and forth across the exposed skin. Spray generously for proper coverage and avoid inhaling it.
• Take extra care while applying spray sunscreens on the face, especially around kids.
Tips to follow while using sunscreen
• Apply the sunscreen 30 minutes before stepping out in the sun.
• You can wear sunscreen under your makeup as well.
• Try and wear cotton clothes when you are stepping out. They have a SPF of 4.
• Stay indoors when UV radiation is at its highest i.e. between noon and early evening.
• Wear sunglasses when stepping out.
• Wear a cap, a scarf, or a stole to protect you from the sun.
• Prevention is better than cure. Buying a good sunscreen will help your skin remain healthy, young, and beautiful. But don‘t just pick any product off the shelves. Look for a sunscreen that best suits your skin type.