The summer is here and life is incomplete without sunscreens these days! I think every woman has realized the importance of sunscreen for our skin. The skin-care companies are aware of the need too and the market is flooded with a huge variety of the product. This often leaves us confused and at times it is really tough to choose the right one. I personally tried and experimented with 5 different products before finding the right one for myself. Although the trial and error process cannot be avoided completely, here are a few things you should keep in mind while buying a sunscreen. This article will definitely help you find the right sunscreen.
1. Sunscreen or Sunblock
While sunscreen “screens” the UV rays, sunblock “blocks” it entirely. Sunscreens are great for daily use. But if you are travelling all day long, especially in higher altitudes, go for sun blocks. You can read more about the difference here. Know what you need and choose the right type.
2. Go for broad spectrum
Broad spectrum sunscreens are a must. The product should block both UVA and UVB rays. Both these rays are dangerous and can even cause skin cancer. While UVA rays cause wrinkling of skin, the UVB is responsible for sunburn. Most of the sunscreen products provide protection against UVB rays. Look out for the ones that protect your skin against UVA too.
3. Choose the right SPF
The SPF rating found on all sunscreen labels is a measurement of the protection a sunscreen offers against UVB rays. Higher sunscreen provides a better protection. But that doesn’t mean that a sunscreen with SPF 100 can protect your skin throughout the day and you do not need to reapply the product. Generally speaking, products with SPF above 15 and less than 50 are great for daily use.
4. Check the PA rating
Also, look for the PA rating. It refers to the protection provided by the product against UVA rays. PA rankings are listed as PA+, PA++ or PA+++. The more plus symbols the label has, the more protection the sunscreen provides against the UVA rays.
5. Check the active ingredients
A few active ingredients work better than the rest. Try to buy products that contain zinc oxide or titanium oxide. They provide amazing protection against the harmful rays. Again, the presence of avobenzone makes it easily absorbable, hence a better product than the rest.
6. Cream, lotion or gel
Sunscreen is something that you need to use every day and have to keep it on your skin for hours. Go for the type that will suit your skin type. I experimented with sticky sunscreen lotions and my super oily, sensitive skin had pimple outbursts. So, if you have a very dry skin, choose the cream-based product. If you have a normal skin, lotions will suit your skin type. Oily and sensitive skinned beauties should opt for the gel-based products.
7. Avoid harmful chemicals
Some products claim to do wonders and often they contain some really harmful chemicals. Avoid such products. Some chemicals to avoid are oxybenzone, paraben and retinyl palmitate. The first two chemicals get easily absorbed, reach the bloodstream and disturb the estrogen level. The last one is a retinoic acid derivative and often induces cancer. If you are allergic to some chemicals, avoid them too. Try avoiding products that contain alcohol. For women with extremely sensitive skin, a kid’s sunscreen is the safest option as the number of irritants is less and such sunscreen are very gentle on the skin.
8. Water and sweat resistant formula
There is nothing called water and sweat proof when it comes to sunscreen. FDA has banned all such products. So a sunscreen can be water or sweat resistant for a certain period of time. So if you have to stay outside for long, which will obviously make you sweat, or you are taking swimming lessons, go for resistant products.
9. Check the expiry date
Just like every makeup and skin-care product, sunscreens come with expiry dates too. And beyond the date, the product won’t be effective anymore. So while buying a tube, check for the expiry date and buy a product which you can use up before it gets expired.
10. Check the reviews
Every IMBBian knows the importance of product reviews, right? Do read the review of a product before buying it. Check the pros and cons and also the skin type of the person using it (a product which is great for a dry-skinned girl might not suit someone with oily skin.). And finally, go for the one which you think will be the best for your skin.
Ok, I hope this will be helpful for all of you. Be armed with your sunscreen and enjoy a happy summer.