The Ultimate Guide To Sunscreens

Sunscreens act as a barrier and protect ourselves from harmful UV rays. They are available in a variety of forms like lotion, cream, gel and spray.

Today’s introductory post is only about sunscreens for all the people who are new to the cosmetic industry. Let’s get started.

Why is it advised to use sunscreen?

Sun rays comprise of visible light, UVA, UVB, UVC and Infrared rays. UVA rays cause allergies, sun tan, blemishes, fine lines, photo-damage and early ageing on our skin. UVB rays cause pigmentation, sunburns and rashes. UVC rays are blocked by ozone layer of earth and thus don’t reach the earth’s surface. Infrared rays also cause premature ageing of the skin.

UVA rays damage up to 3 layers of our skin whereas UVB rays damage only the top layer of our skin. Do you know that 90% of wrinkles occur on our skin because of harmful UV rays? So it becomes crucial to use sunscreen.

Why do we need to wear sunscreen on daily basis?

Sunscreen is extremely important to wear on a daily basis because UV rays can penetrate through glass windows very easily. Whether you are outside or inside your home, your skin is in continuous contact with UV rays.

Where to apply sunscreen?

A sunscreen lotion should be used on all of the exposed body parts like your face, hands, arms & feet. Not only females, even males should also use sunscreen on regular basis.

You should reapply your sunscreen after every 2-3 hours of application. Whether your sunscreen shows high SPF and PA labels but every sunscreen wears off after 2-3 hours. Because you are sweating, touching and wiping your face on a consistent basis.

How to choose a sunscreen?

  • for oily skin – use a mattifying, gel-based or non-greasy sunscreen.
  • for dry skin – use a cream-based or moisturising sunscreen.
  • for normal skin – use any sunscreen suitable for your skin type.

What are SPF and PA factors?

SPF means Sun Protection Factor. It is the measure which tells you about for how long your sunscreen lotion can protect you from UVB rays. SPF 1 means you are safe from UVB rays for 10 minutes. SPF 15 means you are safe from UVB rays for 150 minutes i.e. 2:30 hours.

PA factor tells you about how much effectively a sunscreen can block UVA rays. More ‘+’ signs PA factor shows, more it is effective in blocking UVA rays.

What is a broad spectrum SPF?

Sometimes, your sunscreen lotion does not indicate any PA factor and only states that it is a broad spectrum sunscreen. It means the product provides protection from both UVB as well as UVA rays.

How much SPF and PA factor sufficient in a sunscreen?

SPF 30 blocks UVB rays up to 97%. Any sunscreen higher than SPF 30 provides only little more protection. For e.g. SPF 50 blocks UVB rays up to 98.8%. So, a sunscreen with SPF 30 is more than sufficient for your need.

PA factor showing a minimum of 2-3 ‘+’ signs is efficient in blocking most of the UVA rays.

The difference between physical & chemical sunscreen?

Physical sunscreens usually leave a white film on our skin which disappears after few minutes of application. Whereas chemical sunscreen is absorbed by skin more easily and does not leave a whitish cast on your skin.

Physical sunscreens have ingredients like Zinc oxide and Titanium whereas chemical sunscreens have a combination of these ingredients: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octocrylene, octanoate, homosalate.