How well do you know your sunscreen?

Sunscreen is a topical photoprotective product that protects the skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays and other skin problems. It prevents the skin from premature aging and sunburn. The effectiveness of a sunscreen depends on the level of sun protection factor (SPF) it contains – a higher SPF means better protection against the sun. A sunscreen with SPF 30 blocks about 97% of UVB rays and SPF 50 blocks about 98% of UVB rays.

If you spend a lot of time in the field in the sun, go for a higher SPF, if you’re indoors, the lower will work just fine. There are several active ingredients found in sunscreens like avobenzone, homosalate, octinoxate, octisalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide.

There are mainly two factors based on which one can choose a perfect sunscreen: age and skin type.

Sunscreen for different skin types

The most effective method to choose the perfect sunscreen for your skin is to recognize your skin type and its needs.

For dry skin: When choosing a sunscreen for dry skin, the goal is not only to protect the skin from sun damage, but also to nourish the skin with moisture. So, for dry skin, the best type of sunscreen is cream-based, enriched with ceramides, glycerin, hyaluronic acid and other moisturizing agents.

For oily skin: The best sunscreen for oily skin is a gel-based or water-based formula with a matte finish because the goal is to reduce excess oil from the skin. Sunscreens containing niacinamide and tea tree oil are best suited for oily skin as they can help control oil production.

For combination skin: People with this skin type should turn more to gel-based sunscreen. It goes well with the combination of the oily part of the skin without damaging the dry part.

Sunscreen for different age groups

To meet the needs, adults should use sunscreen with SPF 25+

during outdoor activities. The SPF can go up to 50 depending on the user’s age and outdoor activity.

Teenagers: Teenage skin is often prone to acne. Therefore, it is important to use a non-comedogenic sunscreen; which means a sunscreen that does not contain oil because oil can cause acne. Clear lotions, sprays, fluids, or gel-based sunscreens are the best choice. SPF 30+ should protect teenage skin from harsh rays. SPF 50 is the best.

20s: Use broad-spectrum sunscreen in your 20s. Something that will protect you from UVA and UVB. If you use vitamin C skin products, make sure your sunscreen is cream or oil-based and nourishes your skin. However, if your teenage acne persists, stick to an oil-free sunscreen with SPF 30+.

Age 30: Antioxidant-based sunscreen is best in these years when skin begins to mature. Opt for a cream-based sunscreen with SPF 50. Be sure to apply the sunscreen immediately after washing your face in the morning and repeat the process at least three times a day. Apply sunscreen even when home becomes necessary at this age.

40 years and over: At this age, the skin tends to be hypersensitive. Hormonal changes can significantly affect the properties of the skin. Thus, one must be careful in the choice of sunscreen. Cream-based gels are good for aging skin. However, they should still be SPF 50+.

Types of Sunscreen Based on Ingredients

There are two types of sunscreen present in the market classified according to the ingredients

Chemical sunscreen: The first is a chemical sunscreen that is absorbed by the top layer of the skin. It helps in the absorption of UV rays to protect the skin. Active ingredients in chemical sunscreens include avobenzone, octinoxate, and oxybenzone, which act as absorbents in the formula.

Physical sunscreen: The second type of sunscreen is physical sunscreen, which is also known

as a natural or mineral sunscreen. It includes two ingredients: zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Together, these ingredients sit on the skin and deflect the sun’s rays.

The writer is a director at Glow by Tressmart

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Published on: Sunday, May 15, 2022, 07:00 IST

About Sally Dominguez

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