While we use a lot of skin care products regularly in our day to life to maintain our skin, sunscreen plays an indispensable role among them. Just imagine stepping out without sunscreen on a sunny day! Without sunscreen, even a limited short span of exposure to the harmful UV radiation might damage your skin and accelerate the aging process. So, let us educate ourselves about the best sunscreen and it's usage in order to steer clear of premature aging, aging and other associated effects on our skin.
👉 Why we need sunscreen?As mentioned above, without sunscreen our skin gets exposed to the noxious ultraviolet rays. As a result of this, our skin gets prone to wrinkles, sagging skin, dark spots, pigmentation etc.. This does not end here and may also lead to skin cancer. Whereas when we use sunscreen, it blocks the harmful radiation from entering into our body and thereby we shall be free from such adverse effects.
👉 What are the significant things that are to be noted while choosing a sunscreen?There are teeming brands available in the market, also there are so many numbers associated with it like SPF 20, 30 etc...which might be very mystifying for us in selecting a suitable sunscreen. So, to get the hang of it and to select the best sunscreen, let us learn more about it. The significant things that we should be aware of are:
- Must be ingredients
- Must avoid ingredients
👉 What is SPF?SPF is abbreviated as Sun Protection Factor. It indicates the extent to which it offers protection against the harmful UVB radiation (sunburn). (UV rays include two types of radiation namely UVA and UVB.) It in fact correlates with the time spent outside. SPF 15 and below ensure low protection, SPF 16 to 29 offer medium protection, SPF 30 to 49 offer high protection and SPF 50 to 100 offer very high protection. SPF 15 is known to render 93% protection. The least recommended one is SPF 30 and it offers 97% protection whereas SPF 50 provides 98% protection. Studies have proven that SPF 100 is even better than SPF 50. Ideally it should also pass FDA's broad spectrum test. Most sunscreens with SPF below 15 do not have a broad spectrum. While broad spectrum shields UVA, SPF shields UVB. So, based on how much time you spend outside, choose the SPF and make sure to look in for broad spectrum protection.¬†
👉 What does PA stand for?PA is nothing but an indication of the Protection Grade of UVA rays. This is used in measuring the SPF of a sunscreen. While UVB causes sunburn, UVA just makes the skin turn brown/red and are termed as silent killers. PA+ indicates low UVA protection, PA++ indicates moderate UVA protection, PA+++ denotes high UVA protection and PA++++ refers to extremely High UVA protection.
👉 Must be ingredients in sunscreen:Apart from SPF and PA, we should also look in for a few important ingredients in sunscreen. It is a mandate to inspect if the ingredients are insoluble filters. Unlike soluble ones, these insoluble filters do not pose the risk of deep penetration into our skin leading to hormone disruption. Some of the best insoluble filters that a sunscreen consists of are:
- Tinosorb M (bisoctrizole or methylene bis-benzotriazolyl tetramethylbutylphenol)
- Tinosorb S (bemotrizinol or bis-ethylhexyloxyphenol methoxyphenyl triazine)
- Tinosorb A2B (tris-biphenyl triazine)
- Zinc oxide
- Titanium dioxide
👉 What avoid ingredients in sunscreen:When it comes to skin care, the first thing to avoid is artificial fragrance, be it any kind of skin care product. So, a fragrance free sunscreen is the best choice. Some of the major ingredients that contribute to skin irritation and must be avoided are:
- Essential oils (citrus, rose, etc.)
- Renders Broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection
- Prevents tanning of skin
- Guarantees even skin tone
- Infuses the lost moisture
- It is oil-free, sweatproof and waterproof.
👉 Effective usage of this waterproof sunscreen:Now that we have understood how to choose the best sunscreen, let us understand how to effectively use it as a part of our daily routine.
- Shake well before each use.
- One you are done with your skincare regime of cleansing, toning and moisturizing, apply this liberally every morning 30 minutes before stepping out in the sun to shield your skin from detrimental UVA and UVB rays.
- After every 2 hours re-apply it to ensure complete protection.
- If you sweat frequently or swim, it is essential to consistently re-apply this water-proof sunscreen after every 80 minutes.