HOW TO CHOOSE RIGHT SUNSCREEN ?
We know how important it is to choose the right Sun Protection Factor (SPF) for our skin. But did you know it’s not just the range of SPF — 4,15, 30, 40 and 50 as written on your sunblock creams and moisturisers — but also the form of SPF that matters when you pick up them up from stores? For example, if you have oily skin, it’s better to opt for sunscreens that are powder or gel-based. And if you have dry skin, use a creamier one. Skin specialist says, “The ideal range of SPF for the Indian skin tone is 15. Ninety three to 97 per cent of the sun’s rays are protected with the range 15. But irrespective of the range, one has to remember to apply sunscreen every 2–3 hours for minimum damage of the facial skin.”
How to determine the correct SPF for your skin
o Normal skin: Normal skin types are the least problematic. The tissue does not reveal any traces of oil and looks clean, smooth and has a good circulation and a healthy complexion. Opt for a cream-based sunblock. In case of oiliness, dab with a tissue to remove the excess oil.
o Oily skin: Oily skin is one of the most problematic skin types. The face has spots of facial oil, corresponding to the areas on your cheeks, nose and the forehead. The face usually looks greasy, thick, coarse and shiny and also has large enlarged pores and tends to break into acne. For the oily skin, gel or aqua-based SPF formulations work the best. This has a drying effect and does not make the skin look greasy.
o Dry skin: Dry skin has a low level of sebum and can be prone to sensitivity. The skin bears a parched look because of the inability to retain moisture. The skin usually feels tight and uncomfortable after washing unless a moisturiser or cream is applied. Lotion or moisturising SPF is the best choice for dry skin. While opting for the right sunblock, one has to keep in mind that a certain thickness is required in the base to protect the skin from sun damage. Thus, always opt for the ones that are thick and not light (matte finish, for instance). The higher the range of the SPF, the more oily the formulation.
Is there anything like too much SPF?
dermatologist and skin specialist, says, “SPF is usually determined by the skin type and colour. SPF protects the skin from medical conditions like skin cancer and TPF (Tan Protection Factor) prevents the skin from pigmentation and discolouration. Sunscreen should be chosen according to the skin colour. For example, people with darker skin should ideally opt for lower SPF, while fairer people can go in for sunblocks with higher SPF.”
How and when to apply
It is advisable to apply a sunscreen at least 15–20 minutes before going outside to allow the drying time on all exposed body areas. Re-apply every 2 hours when exposed to the sun in general, even on cloudy days as 80 per cent of UV rays can penetrate the clouds. When out on a beach, it is advisable to re-apply sunscreen every 15–20 minutes. Wash your face or wipe off the area with a wet tissue before re-applying.
Types of sunscreens to opt for
There are a variety of sunscreens in the market to choose from. Sunblocks, sunscreens in the form of lotions, creams, sprays, wipes and powders, hypo-allergenic sunscreens, water-proof sunscreens, and gels. Also, there are sunscreens available in cosmetic products like foundations, compact powders, bronzers, and lip balms.
Did you know?
o Sun exposure can lead to breakouts. It causes a build-up of dead cells which clog pores, and this worsens the acne.
o A tan can temporarily camouflage the redness of acne and dry out the skin’s surface, but sun exposure will eventually lead to more pimples.
o Sun exposure damages the hair too. Keep your hair healthy by applying UV-shielding products on your hair.
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