Beneficial ways to arm your skin against UV rays: dos, don'ts & how to apply sunscreen

Beneficial ways to arm your skin against UV rays: dos, don'ts & how to apply sunscreen
Getting sunburnt even after using sunscreen is not unheard of. People tend to blame it on the sunscreen, saying it’s not good enough, but that’s not true! They forget to check the label and instructions, thinking they already know it. Using it in the wrong way is as bad as not using it at all.

Things you might be doing wrong:
  • For your body, always use more sunscreen than you use on your face. Two spoons full or a shot glass worth amount for neck, hands, and forearms is good. For the face, apply a coin-sized amount and no less.
  • People often forget the back of the neck, exposed scalp, tips of your ears, and under-eye skin. These should be covered with sunscreen too. Using a scarf and sunglasses would give them more protection.
  • People don’t use enough sunscreen because it can get oily under the sun. Hence, the ones having sensitive and oily skin face this issue the most. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use it generously. Go for sunscreens that are extremely lightweight on the skin. This won’t be oily and you can apply it liberally all over your face.
  • Use your sunblock first and then apply a moisturizer. Look for titanium dioxide and zinc oxide in sunscreen. They will give you slightly more efficiency.
  • Cosmeticians advise using sunscreens with SPF of 15 to 30 in but with the increasing climate crisis, Dermatologists recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of 40 or higher.
  • Even if your sunscreen says it’s going to protect your skin all day long, reapply it every three hours. If you are using a spray version, you should reapply it every hour. They tend to vanish sooner than gel or cream-based ones.
  • Using sunscreen on your scalp is an actual thing. There are even specific products that won’t make your hair greasy. If you leave your scalp unprotected, you can get red, rough patches on your scalp.
Mineral(physical) sunscreen & chemical sunscreen:
Chemical sunscreens use elements that can absorb the UV ray and turn it into heat so they don’t reach into your skin while mineral sunscreen deflects the rays.
These two have different ingredients and results but which one is better for your skin? Let’s have a look at the pros and cons to figure that out-

Pros of chemical sunscreens:
  • Protects against both UVA & UVB rays.
  • Doesn’t leave a greasy residue on your skin. No oiliness.
  • Aren’t suitable for sensitive or acne-prone skin.
Pros of mineral sunscreens:
  • Suitable for sensitive, oily skin
  • Protects against both UVA & UVB.
  • Heavy on the skin.
There are so many ways to make sure your skin gets the best protection, sunscreen being only a small part of it. Let’s look at some of them.
  • Sunscreen isn’t the only skincare product that comes with SPF. Lipsticks, lip balms, moisturizers, and other facial creams have SPF too. Go for them instead of the regular ones that don’t have SPF.
  • A skin correcting serums and creams with SPF can actively fight UV rays while rebuilding the already damaged cells. Using them in your night skincare regime is recommended.
  • Use a lip balm that has hydrating factors along with an SPF. It will ensure your lips don’t get dry and prevent them from getting any damage.
Ingredients that have UV-protection powers:
  • Vitamin C can help eliminate dead skin cells and hyperpigmentation which are common in sun damage.
  • Beta-carotene helps with inflammations and sunburns.
  • Oats are great antioxidants; soothes sunburns, and have moisture content too. Facials that have this or creams and scrubs are great for sun-damaged skin.
  • Cucumber is rich in water, vitamin K, vitamin A, and potassium. Helps skin heal from sun damage. Putting these on your face and eye can soothe your skin.
How to choose sunscreen for sensitive skin:
  1.     Buy a sunscreen that has an SPF of 40 or more.
  2.     Make sure it protects against both UVA & UVB.
  3.     UV rays can pierce through water, make sure your sunscreen is water-resistant or it will wash off completely in water.
  4.     They must be free of fragrance.
  5.     Mineral sunscreens are better for you than chemical ones.
  6.     Non-comedogenic sunscreens are best for people with oily, sensitive, and acne-prone skin.
A majority of people use a small amount of sunscreen on their faces because there’s a myth that it will lead to greasy skin and breakouts. This would happen only if you are using the wrong sunblock. If you have oily skin, go for a water-based or oil-free sunscreen with Vitamin-C.
For dry, normal and sensitive Indian skin, get a sunscreen that has hydrating and healing elements such as Vitamin-C and non-sticky texture. So, the bottom line is that you have to select an appropriate sunscreen for your skin, apply it generously, and use it regularly to protect your skin.