You’ve probably heard that wearing sunscreen before heading out is really important. Well, you heard right. This is because, the sun’s rays, particularly UVA and UVB, can lead to a variety of skin problems such as premature ageing and even skin cancer. Therefore, it is important to use a sunscreen before stepping out of the house. While an SPF of minimum 30 is required for a good protection from the blazing sun, it is important to get a broad spectrum sunscreen suitable for your skin type. So, are you thinking about buying a sunscreen? Keep the following in mind while you pick one:
SPF
 

SPF

The sun protection factor or SPF is of utmost importance while choosing the perfect sunscreen. A basic SPF of 15 is required for fairly good protection from the sun. An SPF of 20 can be used for dark skin, and 30 can be used for fair or wheatish skin. However, it is always better to get an SPF of 30 and above to be on the safer side. We suggest using the Lakmé Sun Expert UV Lotion SPF 50 PA+++. This shields your skin against 97% UVB rays that can cause sunburns while the PA+++ saves your skin from UVA rays. The bigger bonus? It doesn’t feel oily on the skin!

Ingredients

It is important to check whether the contents of the sunscreen suit your skin. Although it is important for the sunscreen to contain at least one of the UVA filters, i.e. ecamsule, oxybenzone, bematrinizoll, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide or avobenzone; some of them may not react very well with your skin. Ingredients like oxybenzone may cause allergies and disrupt your hormones. Titanium dioxide or zinc oxide is added for protection, but they can be quite harmful for your skin as well. If your skin is sensitive, then it is better to avoid aphelia and alcoholic ingredients.

Skin type
 

Skin type

Always choose a sunscreen based on your skin-type. Oil-based sunscreens are more suitable for dry skin as they hydrate your skin. If your skin is oily or if you are prone to acne, it is better to use a water-based or gel-based sunscreen, as creams are oil-based and can aggravate breakouts.

Manufacture and expiry dates

The date of manufacture and expiry should always be kept in mind while purchasing a sunscreen. Using any product beyond its expiry date can be harmful for your skin, as its ingredients degrade over time. Always buy one which has its manufacturing date closest to the present day, as fresh products are more effective.

Effectiveness does not depend on the price
 

Effectiveness does not depend on the price

A higher price is not an indicator of effectiveness. Of course, a good, trusted brand is always recommended. However, you do not have to shell out an exorbitantly huge amount of money for a good sunscreen. As long as it covers the essential requirements of sun protection, you’re all set. If the ingredients confuse you, make sure that the sunscreen has a UV seal or PA symbol, or simply a “broad” spectrum label. The effectiveness of a sunscreen also depends on how well it is applied, so make sure to put it onto every inch of your body and keep re-applying it every few hours.

Here’s some food for thought while using a sunscreen:

  • Always use sunscreen about 10-15 minutes before leaving the house.
  • Reapply the sunscreen every 2-3 hours for maximum protection.
  • A water resistant sunscreen is effective for about 40-80 minutes after being in water, so make sure to re-apply it once you are out.
  • Throw on a hat and a pair of sunglasses. Cotton clothes have an SPF of about 4, so protective clothing is always an added benefit.
  • UV rays find their way into every area of your body, so make sure to apply the sunscreen on all areas such as between your toes and fingers, behind your ears, and the back of your neck.
  • It is always better to stay indoors and avoid the sun during in the afternoon.