Sunscreen: How To Select, Apply, And Use It Correctly
Let’s be honest. Sunscreen is something we think we can always skip out on, especially when we are inside our homes or while going outdoors in winters. We can’t live like that anymore. Though applying sunscreen cream is the last step in every skincare routine, it is the most important product to save from all sorts of skin diseases and not to mention dermatologist costs. Sunscreen SPF 50 is the ideal sunblock you should be using, no matter the weather or how long you’re going to be staying outdoors.
Cleanse. Moisturize. Protect.
These are three and only things you need to factor into your skincare, and the rest, like serums and spot treatment, are nothing but wants or nice to put on your face like a Vitamin C Serum or toner, etc. You can sandwich other products between your cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen but never skip out on these three holy grails of skincare.
The importance of using a Sunscreen SPF 50 cannot be stressed enough as it is what shields our skin from UV and free radical damage. Not applying sunscreen practically renders the rest like cleansing, moisturizing, and treatments useless as when these are exposed to the sun they’re effectiveness gets neutralized, and the only thing that can come between your whole layer of products is sunscreen.
There are, of course, other benefits of using sunscreen creams which can be identified as follows:
- Anti-aging Benefits: It is a common understanding that sun exposure accelerates aging by weakening the epidermal (top) layer, followed by the protective barrier which lies just beneath it. This weathering of the skin causes loss of ceramides and moisture, responsible for maintaining skin elasticity and firmness. Use sunscreen SPF 50 daily to stop premature aging signs like wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots.
- Controls Sebum Production: Unprotected exposure of the skin to sunlight or free radicals like pollution, dust, and bacteria alerts melanocytes in our body to accelerate melanin production to cover the topmost layer of the skin with sebum or oil and shield the body from potential invaders. As much as this is done to protect us, it comes with a cost: blemishes or pigmentation. This is not the same as tanning and takes a lot of time to fade out to the natural complexion. So, arm yourselves with sunscreen SPF 50, and you’re good to go!
- Protects Against UV Radiation: Of the two types of UV rays, UVA & UVB, the most dangerous one is, of course, the UVB rays as they can penetrate deep within our skin layers and cause skin cancer. So, come rain or shine, applying sunscreen cream is mandatory as UV radiation is always active (being the sun is a 24/7 job) even when we cannot see the sun or feel the heat. Also, not using sunscreen can cause uneven dark spots or melasma, which is caused due to concentration of UV radiation on the areas that are exposed to sunlight.
- Fights Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH): Our skin goes under a lot of stress regarding active acne. Every sunscreen cream has an active ingredient, Zinc, that helps with soothing the acne and protecting it from sunlight, of course, as acne makes the skin hypersensitive to light which causes discoloration around the affected area.
Now that we’ve discussed the importance of using sunscreen creams let’s look at how to shop for the right SPF and factor it accordingly in our daily skincare routine.
How to Select the Right Sunscreen Cream and SPF:
There are two types of sunscreens:
a. Physical/Mineral Sunscreen that helps bounce off or deflect the UV rays away from the skin.
b. Chemical Sunscreen that absorbs the UV rays, thereby preventing it from penetrating the skin.
For battling Indian weather and humidity, you can choose anywhere between 30-50 SPF for a range of 50-95% sun protection accordingly.
How To Apply Sunscreen Cream:
As per the CMP rule, sunscreens are applied last. Fun fact, you can choose to layer treatment products and serums after cleansing, but a moisturizer and sunscreen should follow one after the other, and this rule is quite set in stone. A moisturizer will help lock in the treatment ingredients, and sunscreen will provide a final and protective shield to prevent active ingredients like vitamin C and retinol from reacting with sunlight and premature moisture loss.
How To Use It Correctly To Maintain Effective Results:
Sunscreen cream is a maintenance product like cleansers are for mild exfoliation and moisturizers are for hydration. You can apply a higher SPF such as Sunscreen SPF 50 and go boldly out in the sun but keep in mind that you need to reapply sunscreen every two hours for continued protection, no matter the number.
Mamaearth Ultra Light Indian Sunscreen power-packed with Carrot Seed Oil, Turmeric, and Orange Oil, has SPF 50 with PA+++ protection to help safeguard your skin even in the harshest Indian summers. Formulated with natural ingredients for Indian skin and weather, Mamaearth Ultra Light Indian Sunscreen prevents UVA & UVB damage for up to 6 hours. Super lightweight, it doesn’t dry out or leave patches, keeping your skin moisturized & protected for an extended period. It protects against the sun, reduces tan, and keeps your skin glowing without making it oily or greasy! Suitable for all skin types, this Indian Sunscreen is free of Silicones, Sulfates, Phthalates, Parabens, and artificial colors.