Sunscreen isn’t just another cosmetic product for fair, glowing skin- sunscreen is an absolutely necessity, especially when you go out in the sun. Sunscreen is designed to protect you from both UVA and UVB rays, and overexposure to these rays can cause irritation, sunburns, premature ageing of skin and even cancer. So, unprotected skin is dangerous. But buying a good sunscreen, that suits your skin type and he one that offers fuller protection, my not be a very easy job as it seems. With such newer options available in the market, you may want to consider the following points before you hit the store to buy one yourself.
- A few years ago, choosing a sunscreen meant you had to simply pick one which had a higher SPF. SPF only involves protection against UVB rays. Studies soon proved that UVA rays may also cause skin cancer, and they definitely penetrate deep into the skin and cause skin wrinkles. So you’ll want a sunscreen with broad spectrum or multi spectrum protection- the one that protects you from both UVA and UVB rays. While there is SPF rating on each bottle for UVB protection, there is no specification for UVA protection, so, you need to pay attention to the ingredients- the presence of any of these chemicals will do the job- ecamsule,avobenzone, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, sulisobenzone, or zinc oxide.
- Now coming to the SPF rating- what does SPF 15 or SPF 25 even mean? It means that if you’d normally burn in 20 minutes, a SPF 15 sunscreen would protect you for 15×20 minutes before burning. You can choose the SPF depending upon the average number of hours you spend on the outside. People with very fair skin, really sensitive skin or a family history of skin cancer should consider a SPF 30 or higher. By the way, SPF 30 doesn’t mean you get double protection; it just filters out 97% of the UVB rays, while SPF 15 filters out 93%!
- Make sure you get a water/sweat resistant sunscreen so that it doesn’t wear out easily. Just like SPF is for UVB protection, there is another parameter called FDA, which tells till how long will the SPF level stay effective in water- usually about 40 minutes. Suncreens aren’t water proof, so you have to reapply every time you take a dip.
- If you have skin allergies you may consider using kid-friendly sunscreens since these don’t have chemicals like para-aminobenzoic acid(PABA) and benzephenones like dioxybenzone, oxybenzone, or sulisobenzone. These sunscreens usually prefer zinc or titanium oxides, and don’t get absorbed into the skin.
Read the product labels and product reviews carefully before you finalize to one. Don’t be reckless and use a sunscreen.