Sunscreen – All You Need To Know To Stay Protected This Summer
The sun’s shining brighter than ever and it’s time to protect your skin more than any other time of the year. While we’re all for a healthy tan, the sun’s super harsh rays could be giving your skin more than a healthy shade of gold – it is also responsible for sun spots, aging, skin cancer, free radicals, dull, sallow skin and premature wrinkles. And the horror story doesn’t end at that.
So instead of delving deeper there, let’s see how we can protect our delicate skin this summer while still wearing our favorite sundress!
Dermos have waxed eloquent about the importance of applying sunscreen EVERYday, even when indoors. Now, if you, like me are too lazy or just can’t be bothered slathering sunscreen like all the time, how about just when you go outdoors ? Pretty please?
WHEN to apply sunscreen :
If we’re to get into actual details, sun rays reflect off practically anything. You’re actually getting a lot of sunshine even when you’re indoors sitting by your window, cooking or even tending to your kitchen garden.
Not to get you too paranoid, but it’s advisable to apply sunscreen during the entire period from sunrise to sunset – or from 9 am to about 5 pm, to be more practical.
Reapplying sunscreen – what’s the deal with that ?
Obviously, one dab of sunscreen isn’t going to be your shield all day long girls, let’s get real. We do tend to touch our face a lot, often wiping off most of it, or sweat it off (most sunscreens have a real oily base). Either way, sunscreen does wear off during the course of the day and most SPFs do not offer broad spectrum coverage to last all day.
Most sunscreens need to be applied every FOUR hours or so to give lasting protection.
Understanding SPF :
So the Sun Protection Factor of your sunscreen gives you an idea of how long your skin can be exposed to the sun without actually getting burnt – it doesn’t speak about the effectiveness of the sunscreen, but rather it’s longevity.
An SPF of 45 needn’t necessarily protect your skin more than an SPF of 30, but it does protect your skin for longer periods.
Since we live in the tropics, an ideal SPF for us desis to wear would be anything in the range of SPF 30 – SPF 50.
Again, a lot of women go for higher SPFs like SPF 70 and the like , assuming it’s going to be their great wall against the wicked sun. Sorry girls, but it doesn’t work that way.
An SPF higher than 50 for our skin types, actually shortens the wavelength of protection, thereby reversing the point of applying sunscreen in the first place.
HOW much sunscreen to apply ?
This is probably the most important question when it comes to sunscreens – A lot of us complain that we religiously apply sunscreen but still get burnt.
What we’re doing wrong most of the time is not applying enough sunscreen.
Doctors say a shot glass-sized amount of sunscreen is required to cover all exposed parts of the body in the sun (assuming you’re exposing half your arms, your face and neck, and your lower legs, if you’re wearing something flimsy or showing more skin, you need to apply more.)
Our skin is five times more thinner on our face and neck, so do apply more sunscreen on these parts.
Choosing your base :
Oily-skinned girls must use a water-based or cream-based sunscreen for the summers. Some sunscreens also come in a spray- packaging but aren’t as effective as the former.
Dry-skinned girls can use oil-based sunscreens or emulsions to protect themselves; these also offer a nice dewy base for your makeup 🙂
What’s the right sunscreen for me ?
I have gone through most of my teenage years, avoiding sunscreen like the plague ‘cause I simply didn’t find a sunscreen that
a. actually worked for me
b. suited my skin type
c. didn’t melt off my oily face within the minute
A lot of you girls probably feel my pain and have been through the same, so I’m doing a whole separate post on the best sunscreens for us , which will be up soon.