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My friend called me recently, so worried and literally crying that he is witnessing a white residue all over his face after he applies sunscreen every morning and leaves for work. I asked him the ingredients and formulation and told him where he was going wrong and what he needs to do next. His problem got solved! Easy right!?
But then I realised, you people also have a lot of questions regarding sunscreens because honestly, it has always been a complex process. Right?
That is why this step-by-step guide shows you how to choose a sunscreen, that is gonna protect you from sun and aliens✨
How to choose a sunscreen wisely?
Date of expiration
Along with becoming a beauty freak, comes this inherited habit of checking the date of expiration of every product you put your hands on.
Obviously, if you use a product past its expiration date, it can cause severe harm to your skin. Because ingredients in not just sunscreen but any product start to degrade with time. Also, sunscreen will lose it’s good ingredients once expired. That means, one expired sunscreen is gonna harm your skin as well as will give you 0 sun protection whatsoever. What’s even the point of using it then?
On average, a sunscreen can last you for up to 3 freaking years. But you must still check if the money you are investing is totally gonna benefit you or not.
You must have seen SPF 30 or SPF 50 ratings over sunscreen bottles but you have effin’ no clue what that really means? Common problem. Don’t worry. Has a common solution as well 😉
SPF is the sun protection factor. Now, what sun protection factor is the time we can stay out in the sun before burning. Yes. If I’m putting SPF 30 that means, I can stay out in sun, 30 times longer before burning. Or, in case I’m putting SPF 100 over my skin, I can be out in sun for 100 times longer. But, the difference between SPF 30 and SPF 100 is NOT 70% but just 1-2%. Yassss! Which means, SPF 30 blocks nearly 97% of the sun’s UVB rays.
Clearly, a higher number of SPF rating does not protect you much or allow you to stay out in the sun much. That means YOU NEED TO REAPPLY WHATSOEVER!
Ideally, sunscreen should be reapplied after every two hours but you still must check if something regarding this written on the bottle. For the fact, my sunscreen allows me to stay in the sun for 6 hours. That’s a lot!
Concluding, you want to choose a sunscreen that has SPF 30 or higher and has PA ++++ ( three to four plus), then you are good to go.
I guarantee that you might have heard of this word for the very first time.
Simply put, there are two types of sun rays that reach our beautiful earth- UVA and UVB rays. You all know it. Iknow.
A good SPF rating can help you keep UVB rays at bay but UVA can still enter your skin’s dermal layer and damage your skin.
That’s because, UVA rays are the longer wavelength of sunlight, and makes up to 95% of the total UV rays reaching the earth. That’s a lot! And the worst part is, they are long enough to reach skin’s dermal layer and can damage the skin’s elastic tissue and collagen.
How are they harmful then?
Where UVB cause skin burns, UVA rays are the reason behind premature ageing, wrinkles and dark spots.
Therefore, to make sure you are protected against both UVA and UVB sun rays, choose a sun sunscreen which has broader spectrum.
Physical vs Chemical sunscreen
Just in case you didn’t knew this too, yes there are two types of sunscreens available in the market.
Physical sunscreen means as soon as you apply it, you can go out in sun. You don’t have to wait for 15-20 minutes in the house. You put it and you are out.
Chemical sunscreen is that you actually have to wait for 20 minutes or so for the chemicals in the sunscreen to get activate and start protecting you.
But, nowadays there is this third kind as well which is the mixture of both physical and chemical sunscreen. Which apparently means that you can move out.
|Usually contains?||-titanium dioxide|
|How it works?||Forms a barrier to |
block UV rays from
|Absorbs UV rays, |
converts the rays into
|Is it safe?||Best for sensitive skin, |
it also helps soothing,
|Some chemicals can|
irritate your skin
|Love it because?||-Protects against both|
UVA and UVB rays
|-No white cast|
|Hate it because?||-white cast|
-heavy on skin
-Non-resistant to water
|-Apply 20 minutes before|
exposing to the sun
-Can be irritated
Many of you might have complained that when you put your sunscreen and go out, your sunscreen starts to come off your face.
That’s because sweat is water. I know you know it, haha? but what you don’t know is sunscreens are not waterproof. which means it has to be off when water comes in contact with it.
Now, No sunscreen is 100% waterproof. If they are saying it is, they are click-baiting you illegally. But, it sure can be water-resistant. If it is, ask them for how many minutes. It should either be for 40 or 80 minutes. This means that your sunscreen is capable of resisting water for that time period but NOT LONGER THAN THAT.
so what’s the solution? Reapply, Reapply, Reapply!!
Environmental Working Group is a non-profit organisation that works for the protection of human health and the environment. Every product which is verified by EWG score in the low hazardous range. Means, Full Protection!
Price per Ml
This point is not related to sunscreens but consumers like you. What this means is that before buying a sunscreen you must check how much quantity a brand is giving you in each ml. Thus because most of the times, it may look as if you are getting larger quantity at less price but the reality may be the opposite. So, Consumers! make the correct choice.
Tips on how to choose sunscreen for skin type
Sunscreen for oily skin types
Oily skin people must choose sunscreens which have green tea, tea tree and silicones which will not make you look greasy. Also, look for sunscreens claiming to be non-comedogenic. Which means they won’t clog your pores and cause any kind of acne.
Look for an oil-free, non-greasy and lightweight formula to help breathe your skin in sunlight. You can also choose a sunscreen with a matte finish to make your face look less shiny in the sun. And, this is how you choose sunscreens for oily skin type
Sunscreen for dry skin
People who have dry skin should go for a moisturizing sunscreen cream or lotion. Choose one that adds hydration and moisturization to your skin so that your skin along with getting protected from the harmful UV rays but your skin shall also feel soft and supple. Look for sunscreens which claim to have shea butter, rosehip oil, certain niacinamides if you want to brighten up your skin additionally.
Sunscreen for sensitive skin
My beauties with sensitive skin should choose a sunscreen that contains ingredients that are milder on the skin such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Avoid using sunscreens with paraben or oxybenzone as they can cause skin irritation. In short, chemicals sunscreens are not for sensitive skin types. Also, I would suggest you, choose a sunscreen which is hypoallergic and fragrance-free.
Morever, PLEASE DO A PATCH TEST everytime you buy a new sunscreen, below your ears to check if that suits you.
7 Ingredients to avoid in sunscreens
- Parabens (butyl, ethyl, methyl, propyl)
- Retinyl Palmitate (vitamin A)
Tips on preventing tanning and pigmentation
- Cover up ( you might want to use a scarf, umbrella, wear long sleeves tops or sneakers )
- Sunscreen ( obviously!!)
- Wear makeup which has SPF in it or just buy yourselves a makeup setting spray with SPF (to reapply sunscreen over makeup)
- Take 1/2 tbs amount of sunscreen if you want to fully protect yourself from the harsh sun
Know the facts
- Reapplying at least every 2 hours is crucial to stay protected.
- There is no “waterproof” sunscreen
- A base tan will not protect your skin from the sun
- Sun exposure happens on cloudy as well as rainy days
- Nanoparticles are not known to be harmful so don’t be misled by “no-nano” claims
And that’s a wrap for how to choose a sunscreen wisely! Now remember, you may not be able to choose a sunscreen which has all of these super important factors but then, choose a sunscreen which has most of them, okay? Yes.
If you liked whatever I said today, consider sharing it with your friends and family to motivate me to write more.
Till then, keep safe, protected and shinning! Bye-Bye!