Sunburn or suntan,whatever might be the case, choosing the right sunscreen for your skin is extremely important.Now as in my previous posts I have discussed that fair skin is more prone to sunburn whereas dark skin is more prone to suntan..There are few things based on which you can decide which sunscreen is most appropriate for your skin type.
- If you are spending longer time under the sun then choose a sunscreen with higher SPF.
How is SPF related to time anyways?
For this you need to know this simple math. SPF is Sun Protection Factor. It is roughly estimated as the amount of UV radiation it takes to burn your skin under the sun is 10 minutes. You can determine how long you can protect yourself and when you need to reapply based on how long it takes for your skin to burn without protection by this simple SPF calculation. For example, if the SPF of your sunscreen is 30, then you just have to multiply it by 10 to find out how long your skin will stay protected with the sunscreen. So, 30×10=300 minutes of protection which is about 5 hours.So,after 5 hours if you are again/still exposed to the sun then you need to reapply your sunscreen.
- Depending on whether your sunscreen is a physical (mineral based) or chemical (as the name suggests, chemical based) you do need to decide how much time prior to stepping out you need to apply your sunscreen.
PHYSICAL SUNSCREEN: 30 minutes
CHEMICAL SUNSCREEN: 10 minutes
What is the difference between physical (mineral) and chemical sunscreens?
Physical sunscreens contain active mineral ingredients, such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which work by sitting on top of the skin and acting as a physical barrier to deflect and scatter damaging UV rays away from the skin.
*Protects against both UV B mainly and also UV A.
Chemical sunscreens contain organic compounds, such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate and avobenzone, which create a chemical reaction and work by changing UV rays into heat, then releasing that heat from the skin.
*Protects against UV A mainly.
- Know it whether the product you are using is a sunblock or sunscreen.(A sunblock provides physical protection and a sunscreen provides chemical protection conventionally.. Though thankfully these days sunblock creams provide both physical as well as chemical protection)
- If you have oily and/or acne prone skin,then you should go for a water-based sunscreen instead of a oil based one ( i.e. cream or lotion)…No,I would not suggest a powder based one as it is comparatively less effective.
- If you are going for swimming or have a tendency to sweat excessively then you should choose a waterproof sunscreen.
- Make sure your sunscreen provides protection against both UV A and UV B rays ( A for “ageing” and B for “burning”)