Sunscreen is a lotion that absorbs or reflects some of the UV radiations and thus helps protect against sunburn.
A study showed that people who applied a broad spectrum sunscreen every day for about four years had more resilient and smoother skin than those assigned to continue their usual practices.
WHAT IS SPF?
- SPF is sun protection factor, that measures the fraction of sunburn-producing UV rays that reach the skin.
- It is the theoretical amount of time you can stay in sun without getting sunburned.
- For Example, if you can stay in the sun for 30 minutes without any protection then, a sunscreen with SPF 30 increases that time by a factor of 15, which means you could stay in sun for 450 minutes.
- Also, a higher SPF filters out more percentage of UVB rays.
- It is also important to note that SPF only applies to UVB rays.
- For UVA protection, you can look for additional ingredients, such as zinc oxide and titanium oxide.
- For most people, SPF 30 will suffice, if you:
- Choose a sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB.
- Reapply sunscreen at least every two-three hours in a day, if staying for too long in the sun.
- Choose your clothes wisely before you go out in the sun.
- Avoid the sun during peak hours.
Use a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher to protect not only against sunburn, but reduce the risk of skin cancer and premature aging.
UVA vs UVB
The sunlight that reaches us is made up of two types of harmful rays: Long wave Ultraviolet A (UVA) and Short Wave Ultraviolet B (UVB).
- UVA rays penetrate deep into the dermis, the skin’s thickest layer. It can lead to premature aging and wrinkling.
- UVB rays usually burn the superficial layers of your skin. It plays a key role in development of skin cancer.
WHAT DOES “BROAD SPECTRUM” MEAN?
Broad Spectrum is term used for antibiotics that are effective against a large number of organisms.
Only sunscreens that provide the proportional protection against UVA and UVB may be labelled as “Broad spectrum”.
- Choose a sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher, is water resistant, and provides broad spectrum.
- Apply sunscreen generously. It takes about 15 minutes for your skin to absorb the sunscreen and protect you.
- Use enough sunscreen. Rub the skin thoroughly into your skin.
- Apply sunscreen to all bare skin
DOES EXPIRED SUNSCREEN WORK?
All sunscreens have an expiration date mentioned on the bottle. The usual shell life of a sunscreen is two to three year. However, you can still use it slightly over three years.
TOP 5 SUNSCREENS
- NEUTROGENA ULTRA SHEER SUNBLOCK (Rs. 175/-)
- It is an oil free formula.
- It doesn’t come off with the sweat.
- It doesn’t leave any white cast and is very blend able.
- LOTUS HERBALS SAFE SUN (Rs. 295/-)
- It has an SPF of 50, which means that it is going to protect your skin for about 7-8 hours.
- It doesn’t make your skin look oily.
- It is pure sunscreen as it has no fairness factor.
- It is very light on the skin. Perfect for oily skin.
- LAKME SUN EXPERT (Rs. 280/-)
- It has an SPF of 50.
- It protects your skin from free radicals.
- Perfect for all skin types.
- It is dermatologically tested.
- JUST HERBS SUN PROTECTION GEL
- It is an ayurvedic product.
- Pleasant smell. Feels refreshing to use.
- Works well for oily to combination skin.
- Blends down completely.
- It has aloe vera gel.
- GARNIER SKIN NATURALS (Rs. 160/-)
- This sunscreen has SPF 19 in it which is perfect for those who stay at home.
- It completely moisturizes your skin and yet doesn’t make it look oily.
- It can be used for dry to oily skin.
Enjoy the sun this summer with a liberal dab of sunscreen.