Your Guide To Choosing The Right Sunscreen

Almost every article on skincare plugs in the crucial role of using "sunscreen". Whether it's a beach holiday or a regular commute to work, having the sunscreen on, is a must.

And while most people are convinced about its usage, picking and choosing the right one still remains a process one may need some help in.

Here are a few pointers which you could consider when you purchase a sunscreen next time.



1. Checking on SPF (Sun Protection Factor)

A sunscreen's SPF indicates its ability to protect & shield the skin from the sun's harsh ultraviolet rays. It also indicates the amount of time you can stay under the sun without burning or much damage. Basically it indicates the time it would take for a person to start getting red if he or she was not wearing sunscreen.
To help you understand better, if you start getting burnt 5 minutes after being in the sun without any sunscreen, applying a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 would protect you for 30 x 5 minutes (or 150 minutes) before you begin to burn.

And just for your knowledge -  As per google - "SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays, SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays and SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays. So, the difference between 30 and 50 is about 1 percent." 

2. Protection Grade of UVA Rays (PA)

The PA+ rating system you see on sunscreen bottles is a rating system that was created in Japan to measure the level of protection the sunscreen offers against the ultra violet - A (UVA) rays. The sun’s UVA rays do not cause sunburn as such. They penetrate deeply into skin, causing the skin to turn somewhat brown. 
This is what each PA rating means:
PA+ = Some UVA protection.
PA++ = Moderate UVA protection. 
PA+++ = High UVA protection.
PA++++ = Extremely High UVA protection.
Generally the more plus signs (maximum is three) next to PA, the higher the protection. 

3. Broad Spectrum

Sunscreens providing proportional protection against UVA and UVB rays are labeled as "Broad Spectrum" ... so yeah sunscreens marked off with "Broad Spectrum" offer a stronger protection band.

When choosing a sunscreen, make sure that you’re choosing a product that has been tested for broad-spectrum protection (protects from both UVA and UVB). That way, you’ll be protected not only from the immediate effects of sun damage (sunburn) but also from long-term damage such as wrinkles, sagging, signs of ageing, sunspots and worse–skin cancer.

4. Water Resistant

Most sunscreens are labelled waterproof for 40 minutes or 80 minutes. There are none really which offer 100% protection from water.  However something is better than nothing especially if you are on the beach or chilling by the pool with the sun right above your head.

5. Keep Reapplying

The effect of sunscreen wears off especially if you are out in the sun. Hence reapply sunscreen every 30-40 minutes if you are outdoors and every 2-3 hours if your are indoors.

6. Apply Generous amounts

Apply copious amounts of sunscreen of the face and the exposed parts of the hands and legs. 

7. Keep your skin type in mind

Get a sunscreen which best suits your skin type. So if you have a dry skin, opt for a one which is more hydrating. Ideally sunscreens with honey, milk or natural extracts would work wonderfully on dry skin. 
Oily skin would need something which is more absorbent of the skin oils.
Similarly, acne prone and sensitive skins would require sunscreens which specially suited to deal with the sensitivity situation.

Ideally read the label before choosing your sunscreen and check if it fits your skin type.


8. For Light & Dark Skin

People with fairer skin turn are more likely to burn hence using stronger sunscreens and regular application is important.

For darker tones, sunscreens could give out a white cast. Hence try finding one with an invisible, translucent or a transparent formula.


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