Come summer, and your beauty regime goes through a change. Read through my e-book and summer beauty guide, Look Beautiful This Summer. One of the points, I’d like to talk about is sunscreen: the most significant bottles on your dresser this season.
Here is a quick sheet to help you find the right formula, texture and how much to apply:
- This is a common misconception, but most experts suggest we apply sunscreen through the year. It’s pretty much unavoidable in summers due to the rising temperatures that can lead to redness, irritation, dehydration and long-term damage to the skin.
- Most people (including me), buy sunscreen after looking at the SPF. But we actually need sunscreen, not for one, but two kinds of UV protection: UVA ans UVB.
UVA ray absorption cannot be measured and has a tendency of long-term effects like ageing. However, if a sunscreen does provide UVA protection, it’ll have “PA ++” to tell you of the same. UVB is what we counter with SPF or Sun Protection Factor.
- The sunscreen that cricketers put (very white in colour) is a physical sunscreen, meaning it blocks radiation from entering the skin. Most formulas that leave a whitish layer upon usage use zinc oxide. A big turn off for most of us, what I suggest to check the label. Look for micronized titanium dioxide: it provides broad spectrum protection (counters UVA and UVB damage). This is not a physical sunscreen but absorbs and blocks harmful rays every time you step into the sun. I prefer Mexoryl SL or Avobenzene in chemical sunscreens like La Roche Posay Anthelios XL 50+ Spray.
MYTH: A common misconception is that those of us who have wheatish, olive or dark skin don’t need to apply sunscreen. While this means that your skin produces more melanin that protects your skin against sun damage, but in no way can this compensate for a sunscreen.
- Most face creams have an SPF of 15-30 which is sufficient if you’re going to work or out for errands. But it’s best you apply some on your arms and neck to avoid parched, irritated, uneven skin. Use a 2 finger scoop of the product and massage it thoroughly. More than the SPF, you should RE-APPLY the sunscreen every 4 hours (especially if you know you’re stepping out in the sun or going on a beach). If you use the right amount of sunscreen, you should buy a new bottle every year.
- Now I like my products to be hydrating but not very sticky: if you’re like me, test out a sunscreen with a sample and opt for a gel/matte based finish.
- Lastly, remember oral sunscreens i.e. ingredients that naturally help you fight UV rays are a boon. Anything with anti-oxidants and vitamins are natural sunscreens so make sure you have green tea, leafy veggies, nuts and more.All images via Flickr
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