15 Questions about Sunscreen Application Answered

Hi ladies,

Here is the list of queries that we all have about sunscreens at some point of our days or lives. Read on to know all the answers.


1. What does broad-spectrum mean?

There are different types of UV radiation that can damage the skin. If a sunscreen says broad-spectrum then it means it will filter out UVA as well as UVB rays which can both be harmful to the skin.

2. What are the harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays?

UVA penetrates deep into the skin, affects and can damage like wrinkles, blotchiness, sagging and roughening which can collectively contribute to skin cancer. UVB radiation penetrates the top layer of skin and is considered the main cause of skin damage and skin cancer.

3. What is water-resistant sunscreen?

Water-resistant sunscreen binds better to the skin and stays for longer intervals if you sweat profusely or you are out swimming; although it is always a good idea to reapply after regular intervals.

4. Why do you need to apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going outdoors?

sunscreen lotion

It allows the sunscreen to have some time to sink into the skin. You can always go for second coat at your home only for better protection.

5. Should you apply sunscreen to babies?

First of all you should always do a patch test before applying sunscreens on your babies. Baby or toddler formula sunscreens are gentle on skin so they should be safe but should always go for SPF30 or higher, broad-spectrum and water-resistant formula.

6. Is a good sunscreen all I need to stay safe?

Nothing is 100% safe and sunscreens only provide partial protection against harmful effects of the sun. So if you are out in the sun for longer hours then apart from sunscreen, you should also cover yourself up and wear a hat or scarf too for maximum protection.

7. When and how often should you apply sunscreen?

You should apply sunscreen 20-30 minutes prior to going out in the sun. You should ideally reapply it every 2 hours or so.

8. How much should you use?

Sunscreen should be applied liberally to all the areas which are going to be exposed or are potentially exposed. As a rule of thumb, use a teaspoon of sunscreen for each arm, leg, front, back and face, including neck and ears.

9. Do sunscreens have an expiry date?

An opened tube of sunscreen loses its efficiency because of various environmental factors; so use up your sunscreen within 8-9 months after opening it.

10. Is infrared protection necessary too?

Infrared rays can damage skin and cause ageing. So if your sunscreen says it protects from infrared rays then there is no harm in trying it.

11. Which is better, spray sunscreens or cream sunscreens?

tanning spray

Spray ones are definitely convenient but you can actually inhale these small particles and they can potentially damage your lungs. The spray should be sprayed diffusely. You want an even film on the skin. It is a good idea to rub it in. Cream ones offer better coverage and are easy to spread on screen but they can be tricky to apply. So use a mix of both for optimum protection.

12. How to choose sunscreen?

The best sunscreen for fair skin is one with an SPF of 30 or higher, while sunscreen for dark skin needs at least an SPF of 15. If you have sensitive skin, then go for a cream that contains zinc oxide or titanium oxide, which are a bit gentler. If you have dry skin, then go for the one that also acts as a moisturizer. For acne prone skin, choose a gel based formula, which is less likely to cause breakouts.

13. Why should you wear sunscreen?

Wearing sunscreen can minimize and reduce your chances of getting skin cancer, can help prevent brown spots and skin discoloration, as well as prevent wrinkled, prematurely aged skin. So, always wear sunscreen!

14. What SPF should you use on holiday?

SPF 15 gives you a 93% protection from the sun which is enough for daily use. If you are going to be out in the sun for whole day then go for SPF 30+.

15. What does SPF actually mean, and what sunscreen should I buy?

SPF stands for sun protection factor. It is a measure of how well your skin is protected from burning. There are two main types of light that can hurt your skin; ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B. UVB rays burn your skin, increasing the likelihood of cancer. UVA damage the skin at a deeper level, causing it to lose its elasticity. So always buy a sunscreen that will save you from both the harmful rays.

7 Best Spray Sunscreens for Fuss-Free Sun Protection
Best Sunscreens for Dry and Sensitive Skin
Moisturizer Before Sunscreen – Should We or Should We Not
Sunscreen: Sunscreens Facts, SPF and Application
Difference Between Sunscreen and Sunblock : Daily Beauty Tips
Does Sunscreen Prevent Tanning
8 Sunscreen Tips That’ll Boost Your Skincare Regimen


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *