Sunscreen is something that everyone must use. It is the most important step of daytime skincare no matter where you are! Today we will answer your 10 most important sunscreen questions.
Why you need Sunscreen
We need sunscreen to prevent sun damage. It is not only tanning! Not using the sunscreen is among the top reasons around the word for premature aging of the skin. If you don’t want to look old earlier than you should, start using a sunscreen. Not using sunscreen in some cases can also lead to skin cancer!
What does SPF mean?
SPF means Sun Protection Factor. The higher the SPF the better is the sun protection. BUT higher SPF also mean higher chemical content. You need to strike a balance.
If you have fair skin, you have less melanin (melanin is the pigment in our body that protects from sun damage). So you need more or higher SPF.
If you have more of an Indian and dusky skin tone, SPF 15 should be enough, because the skin naturally has higher melanin.
In any case, sunscreen is a must.
Do different skin types need different SPF?
Yes! Dry skin needs less SPF and oily skin needs more SPF. Oily skin has a higher tendency to get tanned.
What is the +++
You should know about UVA and UV B – both are in sun’s rays.
UV B causes your skin to get tanned,
UVA causes your photoaging because it gets absorbed deep into the skin.
SPF protects ONLY against UV B rays.
+++ means UVA protection is also there.
Buy a sunscreen only if has BOTH SPF and +++
What are physical and chemical sunscreens?
A physical sunscreen is the one that sits as a layer on top of your skin. It does not let rays to get absorbed. So it starts acting immediately.
A chemical sunscreen is absorbed by the skin and SCATTERS the UV rays. You need at least 20 minutes for it to get absorbed.
Which Sunscreen to choose, physical or chemical?
Chemical sunscreens are more effective but not good for skin in the long run.
Go for physical sunscreens but the ones with Zinc Oxide.
Zinc oxide protects against the entire spectrum of UBS and UVA rays.
Titanium dioxide sunscreen protects against UVB rays, but not the full spectrum of UVA rays.
Are tinted sunscreens Equally Effective?
Yes, they are. But generally, they don’t have a very high SPF. So if you are going to remain out in the sun long, please reapply them more frequently.
What to apply first? Sunscreen or Moisturizer
Sunscreen should be applied last before makeup to avoid interference. First, apply moisturizer, then your sunscreen.
- Do you need to apply sunscreen 20 minutes before sun exposure?
Yes. It allows the sunscreen to set up on the skin. Especially if you are using a chemical sunscreen.
Do we really need to reapply sunscreen?
Sunscreens lose their effectiveness after 3 hours of application. They also become ineffective by sweating/washing face/wiping face with a towel/towelette.
Reapply your sunscreen after every 3 hours or after the above-mentioned conditions. This is because your sunscreen basically comes off after that.
If you still have doubts feel free to comment below and we will answer them for you!
Reader’s Questions Answered!
Prachi Asks: Why our forehead gets tanned more than the rest of our face??
The sunlight hits our forehead first. It has a lesser fat deposit and due to much direct sun exposure it’s very prone to tanning. Also, you would notice we neglect the forehead and neck when we apply face care products. The maximum focus is on the cheek area!
Anya Asks: How do we know which is a physical and which one is a chemical sunscreen? it isn’t mentioned on mine.
Ideally, the brand should mention it. If not ZnO (Zinc Oxide) or TiO2 (Titanium Dioxide ) as primary ingredient means its a physical sunscreen.
Sharanya Asks : People say sunscreens make my skin dark. Is it true? Also, I have a combination skin. Which sunscreen should I use? There are so many that I get confused.
That is not true. Sunscreen does not darken the skin unless it has high AHA or Vitamin C which makes the skin sensitive to the sun. To prevent darkening of the skin, apply a generous amount of sunscreen especially if you use any products with Vitamin C, Glycolic acid etc. Go for ZnO based physical sunscreen that’s not very moisturizing. Mix two drops of any facial oil of your choice to it, that will be the correct moisturization for your skin type. You can also mix sunscreen with moisturizer.