Sunscreen is a binding skincare product we cannot go without. 

It is a must for a beach outing or a casual walk in the park. Though sunlight is essential for our body to absorb vitamin D, more than 20 minutes under the sun can cause more harm than good.

These sunscreen selection tips assist you in selecting the most appropriate product.

What does precisely a sunscreen do?

Sunlight consists of ultraviolet rays or radiation, which is not visible to the naked eye. It is one of the most dangerous and harmful rays that cause various skin problems, including cancer.

Too much exposure to the sun causes multiple problems, such as signs of ageing, sunburn, and skin cancer. One in five people may develop skin cancer in their lifetime due to extreme sun exposure.

Types of ultraviolet rays

There are two types of ultraviolet rays.

  • One is UVA or ultraviolet A, the primary ray responsible for all chronic effects like photoaging, wrinkling, and sunspots.
  • Another is Ultraviolet B rays, which are small in percentage but even more powerful and harmful than UVA. It causes sunburn.

Both these UVA and UVB cause skin cancer.

The role of sunscreen in protecting us from the harmful sun rays

Sunscreens help to create a barrier on the skin, protecting your skin from these harmful rays. But as soon as you go out in the sun after applying them, their power starts weathering off, so reapplying them every 2-3 hours is very important.

It is always recommended not to stay outside in the sunlight for long. Even though it is winter or cloudy, do not make the mistake of not applying sunscreen and going out as the sun always shines.

Rays can reach the surface of the earth through clouds. Using sunscreen is the best way to avoid any skin problems.

What are the sunscreen types

Just because you have to apply sunscreen does not mean you can buy any available in the market.

You should know your skin type first. According to your skin type, you will be given a sunscreen that suits you the best.

They work because they have filters that reflect, scatter, or absorb radiation, mainly UV. There are mainly two types of sunscreen available with filters.

One is organic filters (also known as chemical sunscreens). The other is inorganic filters (also known as physical sunscreen).

1. Chemical

Organic filters absorb UV rays and convert them into a small amount of heat.

These agents contain components such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, and octocrylene. Oxybenzone and avobenzone are both excellent filters. Both are good for UVA radiation.

However, they are often paired with other agents like octocrylene, homosalate, and octisalate to stabilize them. Before choosing a sunscreen with such filters, do a skin patch test on the side of your neck to notice any problems.

2. Physical or inorganic filters

Physical or inorganic filters comprise mineral compounds like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which theoretically work by reflecting and scattering UV light to protect your skin.

However, many studies have shown that these ingredients absorb UV radiation and transform it into heat.

These physical agents are more popular. They offer more broad-spectrum protection against harmful rays like UVA and UVB. Inorganic filters are also formulated, keeping in mind the skin of children.

These types of agents are perfect for people who have a sensitive skin type. If you cannot use it and have susceptible skin, try using physical filters. They protect your skin from harmful rays and do not cause any irritation.

How to choose sunscreen wisely?

Discussed below are some essential tips for choosing sunscreen wisely:

1. Check the ingredients

Always try to go through the ingredients list. Ensure the ingredients or compounds inside the sunscreen are safe for your skin and do not cause irritation or allergy. Physical sunscreens are always better than organic sunscreens. The chemical effects of oxybenzone seem to cause a lot of harm to coral reefs and humans.

2. Choose a Sunscreen with a broad spectrum

Always choose a sunscreen with a broad spectrum. This helps in protecting your skin from harmful rays. Make sure you reapply them every 2-3 hours, and do not forget to apply them even when it is cloudy or inside the house.

3. Always check the expiry date

Never buy sunscreen which is expired. Many people make this mistake. Choosing a sunscreen with the right ingredients is essential, but a sunscreen with a current manufacturing date is equally important. These have active ingredients in them and make them effective. So, choosing a sunscreen with a current manufacturing date is very necessary.

4. Never buy a Sunscreen that comes in combination with a bug-repellant

Never buy any sunscreen that combines with bug repellant. The repellant contains not-so-good ingredients, and you must reapply sunscreen every 2 hours.

Hence, you will be exposed to the active elements of repellent repeatedly. Avoid any combined product.

The Bottom Line

Due to global warming, many problems have cropped up, and the sun’s rays are getting stronger each day. Protecting your skin is the most important routine every individual must follow because it is the largest organ of our body.

Always use good sunscreen and choose wisely before purchasing them online or offline. 

A Guide to Picking the Ideal Sunscreen for Your Skin Type