Is there anything like the best sunscreen for the Indian skin? Let’s find out!
Protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Sunscreen is a product that is designed to help protect your skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. It is a simple and effective way to help reduce your risk of skin damage, sunburn, and skin cancer.
In this blog, I will list some of the best sunscreens in India based on skin type, SPF factor, broad spectrum feature, and composition.
Types of UV Radiation
There are two types of UV radiation that sunscreens protect against UVA and UVB.
UVA radiation penetrates deeply into the skin and is responsible for skin aging and wrinkles. It also contributes to skin cancer.
UVB radiation causes sunburn and is the primary cause of most skin cancers. It doesn’t penetrate the skin as deeply as UVA radiation, but it can still cause skin damage.
How Sunscreens Work
Sunscreens contain active ingredients that work to protect your skin from UV radiation. These ingredients can either absorb or reflect UV radiation, preventing it from penetrating the skin.
Mineral sunscreens typically contain ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which reflect UV radiation. These ingredients form a protective barrier on the skin that reflects UV radiation away from the skin’s surface.
Benefits of Using a Sunscreen
Using sunscreen offers several benefits for your skin, including:
Protection Against UV Radiation: The primary benefit of using sunscreen is that it helps protect your skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation. Sunscreen forms a barrier on your skin that absorbs or reflects UV radiation, reducing your risk of sunburn, skin damage, premature aging, and skin cancer.
Prevents Hyperpigmentation: Exposure to the sun’s UV rays can cause hyperpigmentation or darkening of the skin, particularly in areas that are frequently exposed to the sun such as the face, neck, and hands. Using sunscreen can help prevent hyperpigmentation and keep your skin tone even.
Reduces the Risk of Skin Cancer: Prolonged exposure to UV radiation is the leading cause of skin cancer, including deadly melanoma. Regular use of sunscreen can help lower your risk of developing skin cancer, particularly if you use it consistently and apply it properly.
Slows Down the Signs of Aging: Sun damage can cause premature aging of the skin, including wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots. Using sunscreen daily can help slow down the signs of aging and keep your skin looking younger for longer.
Prevents Sunburn: Sunburn is a painful condition caused by overexposure to UV radiation. Sunscreen can help prevent sunburn and the associated discomfort and pain.
Boosts Overall Skin Health: Sun damage can weaken the skin’s natural barrier and make it more susceptible to environmental toxins and pollutants. Using sunscreen can help keep your skin healthy and strong, and protect it from damage caused by environmental stressors.
SPF and Broad Spectrum Sunscreen
When it comes to sunscreens, there are two important factors you need to understand: SPF and Broad Spectrum sunscreens:
What is SPF?
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, and it is a measure of how well a sunscreen product can protect the skin from harmful UVB rays from the sun. UVB rays are the primary cause of sunburn and contribute to the development of skin cancer.
The SPF rating on a sunscreen product indicates how much longer a person can stay in the sun without getting burned when they use the product compared to how long they can stay in the sun without protection. For example, if someone would normally get a sunburn after 10 minutes in the sun, using sunscreen with an SPF of 30 would theoretically allow them to stay in the sun 30 times longer, or 300 minutes, before getting a sunburn.
What is a Broad Spectrum Sunscreen?
A broad-spectrum sunscreen is a type of sunscreen that provides protection against both UVA and UVB rays. UVA and UVB rays are both types of ultraviolet radiation that can cause damage to the skin.
SPF or Broad Spectrum, Which is better?
It’s important to note that not all sunscreens are created equal. Some sunscreens may have a high SPF value but not offer broad-spectrum protection, which means they only protect against UVB rays. Therefore, when choosing a sunscreen, it’s best to look for one that offers both a high SPF value and broad-spectrum protection to ensure that you are fully protected from the harmful effects of the sun.
SPF 30 vs SPF 50
So, what’s the difference between SPF 30 and SPF 50? The short answer is that SPF 50 provides slightly better protection than SPF 30. An SPF 50 sunscreen blocks about 98% of UVB rays, while an SPF 30 sunscreen blocks about 97% of UVB rays. However, it’s important to note that the difference in protection is relatively small, and both SPF 30 and SPF 50 sunscreens provide high levels of protection against sunburn and skin damage.
It’s also important to note that the effectiveness of a sunscreen depends on how it’s applied and how often it’s reapplied. Experts recommend applying sunscreen liberally to all exposed skin, at least 15 minutes before sun exposure, and reapplying every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating.
Using a higher SPF sunscreen may provide slightly longer protection, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you can spend more time in the sun without reapplying. The difference in protection is marginal, however, the perceived sense of better sun protection makes you spend more time in the sun, making you more vulnerable to sun damage. Besides, if you were to compare the prices of SPF 30 and SPF 50 sunscreen, you will notice that the SPF 50 ones are quite more.
So, if you have very light skin or if you are very sensitive to sunburns, go for SPF 50 sunscreens otherwise, an SPF 30 sunscreen is good enough.
What I Do: I use a broad spectrum SPF 50 sunscreen for my face and a broad spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen for my body because SPF 30 sunscreens are cheaper. Also, I am more likely to reapply sunscreen on my body than my face.
Best SPF 30 Sunscreens for Normal Skin in India
Best SPF 50 Sunscreens for Normal Skin in India
What are Combination Sunscreens?
There are two main types of sunscreen: chemical and physical, and then there is combination sunscreen!
Chemical sunscreens contain organic (carbon-based) compounds that absorb UV radiation and convert it into heat, which is then released from the skin. Common ingredients in chemical sunscreens include avobenzone, octinoxate, and homosalate. Chemical sunscreens tend to be lightweight and easy to apply, but they can cause skin irritation in some people and may not be as effective as physical sunscreens for certain skin types.
Physical sunscreens, also known as mineral sunscreens, contain inorganic (non-carbon-based) compounds that reflect UV radiation away from the skin’s surface. The two most common ingredients in physical sunscreens are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Physical sunscreens tend to be thicker and more difficult to apply, but they are generally well-tolerated by all skin types and provide broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB radiation.
There are also combination sunscreens that contain both chemical and physical ingredients. These sunscreens aim to provide the benefits of both types of sunscreen, with the lightweight texture of chemical sunscreens and the broad-spectrum protection of physical sunscreens. Combination sunscreens may be a good option for those with oily or acne-prone skin, as they tend to be less greasy than pure physical sunscreens.
Best Sunscreen for Oily Skin in India
Best Sunscreens for Dry Skin in India
What are Tinted Sunscreens
Tinted sunscreens are a type of sunscreen that contains a small amount of color pigment, which helps to even out skin tone and provide light coverage. They offer the same sun protection as regular sunscreens but also provide cosmetic benefits, making them a popular choice for those who want to simplify their skincare routine or have minimal makeup looks.
Tinted sunscreens are available in a variety of shades and finishes, ranging from sheer to full coverage, matte to dewy. They may also contain additional skincare benefits such as antioxidants and moisturizers, making them a great multitasking product.
Tinted sunscreens are a great choice for darker skin as they will even out and blend with your natural skin more than regular white sunscreen.
Benefits of Using Tinted Sunscreen
Sun Protection: Like regular sunscreens, tinted sunscreens provide protection against harmful UV radiation, helping to prevent sunburn, skin aging, and skin cancer.
Even Skin Tone: The tinted pigment in these sunscreens can help to even out skin tone, blur imperfections, and provide a natural-looking, radiant finish.
Simplify Skincare Routine: By combining sun protection and coverage in one product, tinted sunscreens can help to simplify your skincare routine and save time in the morning.
Versatility: Tinted sunscreens can be worn alone as a lightweight alternative to foundation, or under makeup as a primer, helping to extend the wear of your makeup and provide additional sun protection.
Best Tinted Sunscreens in India
Sunscreens work by reflecting UV radiation to protect your skin from damage. Broad-spectrum sunscreens protect against both UVA and UVB radiation, and the SPF rating indicates how well a sunscreen protects against UVB radiation. By using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF regularly, you can help protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays and reduce your risk of skin damage, sunburn, and skin cancer.
A higher SPF is suitable for lighter or sensitive skin, while a tinted sunscreen or a gel-based sunscreen is best for darker skin. If you are prone to acne, choose a combination sunscreen with the properties of both chemical and physical sunscreens. But, if you have normal skin, go for any regular sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and broad-spectrum protection. If you have dry skin, choose a moisturizing sunscreen.
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