Skincare

How To Choose Sunscreen And Use It For Ultimate UV Protection

The importance of using sunscreen has become well-known in recent years. It has become the star player of our skincare routines by offering protection against the harmful UV rays emitted by the sun. However, to make sure your sunscreen is effective and gives you the highest level of protection, there are two steps you need to get right: picking the right formula and applying it correctly. 

Despite the rise in sunscreen users, there are a few common mistakes that persist with sunscreen usage. Most people choose either the wrong sunscreen or don’t use it enough, leaving their skin vulnerable to sun rays. So here is a detailed guide to help use the sunscreen correctly and keep sun damage at bay. 

Understanding Sunscreen Essentials

The primary job of your sunscreen is to defend your skin from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which comes in two main forms: UVA and UVB. UVA rays can prematurely age your skin, while UVB rays are the primary cause of sunburn. So it is important to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that absorbs both UVA and UVB rays for complete protection.

SPF (Sun Protection Factor) is the magic number you often see on sunscreen labels. It indicates the level of protection sunscreen provides against UVB rays. Apart from SPF, some broad-spectrum sunscreens also have a PA+ rating which indicates the level of protection it offers against UVA rays. 

Choosing the Right Sunscreen for You

  • Your Skin Type: Understanding your skin type is the first step in choosing sunscreen. If you have oily or acne-prone skin,  you need a lightweight sunscreen that feels comfortable even on the hottest days of summer. And if you have dry, sensitive skin, pick a moisturising formula that doesn’t irritate your skin and has emollients to keep it well hydrated.
  • SPF Level: According to experts, your sunscreen should have atleast SPF 30 to provide proper protection in the Indian weather. While higher SPFs offer more protection, the difference becomes marginal beyond SPF 50. So, while SPF 100 might sound impressive, SPF 30-50 is enough for daily use.
  • Water Resistance: If you’re going for a swim or tend to sweat a lot, a water-resistant sunscreen will be better suited to your needs. Keep in mind that sunscreens lose their water resistance after a few minutes. So reapply the sunscreen every 1-2 hours if you are swimming or sweating excessively.
  • UV filters: There are two types of sunscreens-chemical and mineral sunscreens. Mineral sunscreens contain photostable natural UV filters like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide which are kid-safe, environmentally friendly, and less likely to cause allergic reactions. If you have sensitive, acne-prone skin, weak barrier function, or are pregnant, mineral sunscreen is the way to go.

  • Formulation: These days, sunscreens come in various formulations, from lotions to sprays, and even sticks. While sticks and sprays seem more convenient, you need to apply several layers to achieve the advertised SPF. So lotions are better suited for daily use to get proper UV protection.

Our Moisturising Mineral Sunscreen with SPF 40 PA++++ is a family-friendly formula that you can wear all year round. Made with titanium dioxide and natural emollients like squalane and aloe vera, our mineral sunscreen is India’s first Ecocert Certified Organic Sunscreen formula.

It blends easily into the skin without pilling or leaving a white cast and leaves the skin soft and supple. It is also kid-safe, pregnancy-safe, and contains antioxidants to minimise sun damage. And it is suitable for all skin types including oily, acne-prone, sensitive, or sensitised skin. Shop Here.

How To Apply Sunscreen Correctly?

Once you’ve found your ideal sunscreen, here’s the right way to use it for maximum protection.

  • Quantity Matters: Most people use less than 50% of the recommended quantity. To get the SPF level advertised on the label, you need 2 mg for a square centimetre of skin. That’s approximately 1/2 teaspoon for your face, neck, and ears, and a shot glass full(45ml) for the entire body. 
  • Timing Is Everything: Always apply sunscreen as the last step of your skincare routine before applying your makeup. Once you have blended the sunscreen into your face, wait for 1-2 minutes to help the product get fully absorbed before you proceed with your makeup routine.
  • The Right Technique: You need to to apply sunscreen generously and evenly to all exposed areas of skin including your ears, neck, upper chest, hands, and feet. Don’t skimp on the quantity and remember to blend it well to avoid leaving any spot unprotected.

  • Reapply Diligently: Don’t skip sunscreen reapplication. To get continued protection, it is important to get it to reapply your sunscreen every 2-3 hours. Set a timer to remind yourself when it’s time to reapply, especially when you are planning to stay out all day.

  • Use Daily: Wearing sunscreen every day is a good skincare habit to adopt, even if you are not stepping out in the sin. The UV rays can penetrate the clouds, windows, and curtains, and reflect off surfaces, inflicting sun damage on your skin. So you need SPF all around the year to protect your skin from premature ageing and sunspots.


Tips To Maximize Sun Protection 

While sunscreen blocks most of the UV rays, no sunscreen on the market will give you 100% UV protection. So here are some additional tips to protect your skin during prolonged hours of sun exposure:

  • Full-sleeved clothing, hats, and sunglasses add an extra layer of defence against harmful sun rays by blocking some of the UV rays. So wear them along with SPF for extra protection in the sun.
  • To minimise direct exposure to the sun, stay in the shade especially during peak hours (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.). The UV rays are strongest during these hours so it's best to stay out of the sun to minimise sun damage.

  • Artificial UV exposure from tanning beds is just as harmful as natural sunlight. So it is best to stay clear of them to protect your skin.

Using sunscreen doesn’t have to be a daunting experience. If you follow the tips shared in this guide, you can effectively safeguard your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Remember, sun protection isn’t a one-time affair but a daily investment that rewards your skin in the long run. So, slather your sunscreen regularly to enjoy a healthy, youthful glow on your face.

FAQs

Do I need to wear sunscreen before stepping out?

This depends on the type of sunscreen you are applying. While chemical sunscreens take atleast 15-20 minutes to absorb, mineral sunscreen starts blocking UV rays almost immediately. 

What step should the sunscreen be?

Sunscreen should always be the last step of your skincare routine. You should apply it on cleansed, toned, and moisturised face, but before applying makeup primer or foundation.

Can I apply sunscreen without moisturiser?

Our mineral sunscreen has natural moisturisers which will keep your skin soft and hydrated.  But if you have dry skin, we recommend using sunscreen with a moisturiser for extra moisturisation. However, you can skip moisturiser if your skin is oily.  

Can I mix sunscreen and moisturiser?

Mixing your sunscreen with moisturiser or any other product will reduce its efficiency and not provide the SPF advertised. So it's best not to dilute your sunscreen.

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