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You are here Home > Beauty and Grooming > Articles
  SUNSCREEN SAGA - by Editor
Everyone advises you to wear sunscreen in the summers. Others tell you to wear it throughout the year. However, is it enough to just wear sunscreen? Find out the actual essentials of sunscreen use.


What is it?

A sunscreen is a formulation that protects the skin from the damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. Always applied on the skin, it mainly protects those parts of your body that are exposed to the sun.


Skin damage

The first visible effect that the sun has on your skin is a deep browning called tanning. Sunburns progress naturally from tanning and are quite common in people with fair or sensitive skin. Long, unprotected hours in the sun have been found to cause premature wrinkles, allergic reactions and other skin problems, even skin cancer. And this damage happens all year through. Therefore, protection is required every time you go out.


Types of sunscreen

Two types of sunscreen lotions are available in the market. One type seeps into the outermost layer of your skin and absorbs harmful UV rays. The other coats the skin surface to physically block the UV rays from damaging the skin.


What is SPF?

The effectiveness of all sunscreens is rated on the sun-protection factor (SPF). The SPF tells you the extent of protection against UVB (ultraviolet B) rays the product is designed to provide. It is the ratio of the time required for sunlight to burn your sunscreen-wearing skin to the time it would take for unprotected skin. Hence, if your unprotected skin would begin to burn in ten minutes, using a product marked as SPF20 you can safely stay in the sun 15 times longer before it is tanned.

Remember that the SPF rating on a sunscreen indicates protection only against UVB rays. There are other types of UV rays that you need protection from and research on this is in progress. So advanced products that shield you from all types of UV rays may be available soon. In the meanwhile, broad-spectrum (coverage from UV rays than UVB) sunscreen may also be a good choice.


Choice

Today sunscreen lotion makers cater to highly specific populations. Hence, do not be surprised to find different products for the office-going crowd, the beach-combers and swimmers, athletes and, even for, children. These products usually hold good to their claims. Sunscreens for children take special care of the very sensitive nature of their outer skin, while products for athletes are usually sweat-proof.

Users can now choose between different products based on the added scent or extracts of natural ingredients found in them. Sunscreens with the goodness of aloe vera, vitamin E, or the scent of mint are quite popular.


Use

To get the best out of your sunscreen, like most other formulations, you have to use it correctly. Most importantly, you have to wear it in adequate amounts and be sure it remains on you.

  • The SPF value range that works adequately for most skin types is 15-25.

  • Ingredients in sunscreens require a while to be absorbed by your skin, and then protect it effectively from the sun. Hence, it is best to apply your sunscreen half an hour before you want to venture outdoors.

  • Do not be stingy in the application of the product. Only adequate amounts of the lotion can shield you, so use it as per the package instructions. A thumb rule suggests that application of about two tablespoons sunscreen lotion is enough for an average adult to protect his face and exposed parts of his arms. Also, it is advisable to combine the use of sunscreen with the kind of clothes you wear. For example, if you wear fabrics with very loosely woven fibres, like kota, you may need to go in for a higher SPF sunscreen, since these clothes may not shield the skin adequately.

  • In humid or tropical climates, or while playing sports, especially water sports and swimming, sweat and water may wash off the sunscreen from your skin. Re-application of the lotion then becomes very important.

  • All sunscreens are effective only for a few hours. Always re-apply the sunscreen after it has completed its service cycle.

  • If you wear a moisturiser with your sunscreen, it may be best to wear the sunscreen before you apply the moisturiser. Alternatively, you may want to pick a product that combines qualities of both the products.


How do you take care of your skin when in the sun? Do you apply sunscreen only on your face and hands or all over? Are there any home remedies or nani ke nuske that you would like to share with us? To share your experiences, views and tips with us.

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Feedback on article
Name: Lekha
City:   mumbai
Comments:   Yes they do not prevent tanning. They only protect the skin against burns. To remove tanning, you will have to apply other formulations after exposure to the sun. Such as creams containing hydroquinone
Name: Footloose
City:   abcd
Comments:   All this is nonsense. Do you really think you can slather on a cream every two hours andgo paranoid about the slightest bit of tan? Enjoy the sun baby.
Name: anon
City:   mumbai
Comments:   I think it would drive women crazy if they had to woory this much about stepping into the sun
Name: anushka
City:   mumbai
Comments:   Important article. It is important to be safe this summer and I got a very wholesome look at this through your site. Many thanks
Name: Tracey Clarke
City:   Mumbai, Delhi
Comments:   Can using sunscreen lotion make a person fairer? I guess if that were the case in a country like India everyone would be rushing to the stores to get some. Do we really need to wear sunscreen on our arms if we are wearing full sleeved tops? Should we wear sunscreen while visiting the beaches at Goa? There are trees most of the time at the edge of the beach and we visit the beaches only in the mornings or evenings.
Name: ashraf
City:   Delhi
Comments:   This is so much ado about nothing. I have lived in Delhi all my life. Been up and about all over at all times of the day in all seasons and never needed any of this sunscreen nonsense. As Indians do we need protection from the sun? This natak is only for those softy firangs.
Name: Shruti
City:   Kolkata
Comments:   If you are going to the beach or someplace where the exposure t the sun is really large, then do use a sunscreen or sunblock. But in everyday life, in our travel through buses and trains any cream is going to get wiped off at the first instance.
Name: Preetsingh
City:   mumbai
Comments:   My wife uses a lot of this lotion. I don´t wld like to get her a gift hamper full of different varieties of suncream. any ideas which brand I should go for? the brand she uses does not come in gift packaging.
Name: Shivani Khanna
City:   Delhi
Comments:   Guys, of course sunscreen is needed. I was aghast to read some of these comments. omg, it´s not just about getting darker. It protects you from SKIN CANCER. Fairer people are more susceptible to this dangerous disease than dark. In a country like India, sunscreen is required, as the sun can really permanently damage your skin. Ashwini, you need to check the SPF levels in the cream. Luv, Shivani
Name: Shivani Khanna
City:   Delhi
Comments:   No, every one needs sunscreen. If you´re dark, however, the chances of developing skin cancer are less. Yet, other skin problems might arise...
Name: Amit
City:   Santa Monica
Comments:   SUNSCREEN FOR ALL is a nice song by Baz Luhrnman... Listen to it
Name: ashraf
City:   Delhi
Comments:   I am still not convinced. I have never known abnyone getting skin cancer yet. We generally have very fair skin in my family. I have never heard of anyone who uses sunscreen. Seems to be one big hoax created by those who make sunscreen. why, when I was young I didn´t even know such a thing existed. With the climate and the population here, India must seem like a very big potential market for these suncreen manufacturers.
Name: Aastha
City:   hyderabad
Comments:   It is finally just another cosmetic. Good for pampering but not necessarily essential. It is being marketed more as a medicine by manufacturers. Use it if you have the time, money and inclination. Drop it if you don´t.
Name: endlessky
City:   mm
Comments:   but of course sunscreen is important!!! The sun is getting stronger year by year..you know..global warming anyone?? SKIN CANCER is unfortunately REAL!! and EVERYONE can get it..from very fair...to very dark. It´s NOT a cosmetic!!
Name: priti
City:   bangkok
Comments:   i have a very sensetive skin.even after putting lot of sunscreen,i get sunburns and rashes,itching.after coming from an outing in afternoon,i have terrible time.my skin starts burning and i feel like scratching.is there any remedy for this.please help.
Name: anisha
City:   somewhere
Comments:   Sunblock is much better than sunscreen..it protects you from UVA and UVB rays. Also, there is really no such thing as an SPF over 30.
Name: rupali solanki
City:   delhi
Comments:   Is there a way to check the right sunscreen lotion.
Name: ovbne rbevd
City:   mpcz
Comments:   mujdgqs zujk slxqfmrtu cnhlfryi kihunpdqo lmseon wozreclm
Name: gmjxp swulvtni
City:   wnvarkigj
Comments:   nclayvfsw xahmob epuw rxnfselw lqwae siaomze enjz hdxs ebrk
Name: Akshika Shree
City:   Patna
Comments:   My skin is neither dry nor oily. i have so many sunburn spots on my face and hands. Suggest some home remidies to cure them.
Name: raj
City:   dehradun
Comments:   I sweat a lot even while i am sitting and the fan is working in full speed sweat flows out like the ganga river is there any brand of sunscreen usefull for me????
Name: Mani
City:   same
Comments:   I got a bad sunburn on my cheeks.Sometimes its getting very darker. PLease tell me something about tiss how can i reduce tis. plea sen mee e mail. please .....
Name: sushant
City:   Bangalore
Comments:   my doubt regarding sunscreen lotion is that whether these creams work even after washing the face with water?? can anyone advise me ?
Name: Teju
City:   Pune
Comments:   Hi I m Teju, I m a skincare advisor from pune. Sunscreens dont work after washing them out. Mail me your skin problem or any suggestions if required on teju.chougule(gmail account). would love to help you Regards TEJU
Name: Lata Sharma
City:   chandigarh
Comments:   which sunscreen in india has retin a
Name: Waftharp
City:   Shaw A F B
Comments:   you love this? designer outlet , just clicks away
Name: Adobe OEM Software
City:   New York
Comments:   FdZJH8 I appreciate you sharing this article post.Much thanks again. Will read on...
Name: CrorkService
City:   New York
Comments:   s2rPoP Say, you got a nice blog post.Really thank you! Cool.
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City:   luIgDmxEjYVrH
Comments:   FzcBOw Fantastic blog article.Really looking forward to read more.
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Comments:   glEsco Thank you for your article post.Thanks Again. Much obliged.
Name: crork
City:   New York
Comments:   kPA3oc I cannot thank you enough for the blog article.Much thanks again. Great.


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