The harsh rays of the sun have both short-term and long term effects on your skin. Some forms of skin damage due to prolonged exposure to the sun might show up immediately while some can take months or years to develop.
Here are some of the many ways in which sunlight damages your skin -
- Premature ageing
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Dark age spots and liver spots
- Decreased elasticity of the skin
- Hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone
- Rough and uneven skin texture
- Spider veins (broken capillaries) usually on the nose and chest
- Rough and scaly patches of skin
Even if you get yourself the best sunscreen in India, you need to apply it the correct way and in adequate quantities, for it to effectively shield you from the sun. Sunscreens are available in different forms like sprays, lotions, and sticks. No matter which texture you choose, keep the following tips in mind to protect your skin the right way -
Wear sunscreen daily - you must wear your sun protection cream every single day, even indoors and even on days when it is overcast outside. Don’t just apply sunscreen to your face - people often tend to neglect their lips, ears, neck, chest area, hands, and the rest of the body. Make sure you apply sunscreen all over your body and not just on your face. Reapply every few hours - Reapply sunscreen every two to three hours and more frequently if you are swimming or sweating excessively. Understand your skin type - The best sunscreen for oily skin should have an ultra-light and non-greasy formula that keeps excess sebum in check. Look for a non-comedogenic sunscreen for acne prone skin that does not clog pores. For dry skin, use a sun protection product that also provides hydration. Sunscreens for sensitive skin should be free of harsh ingredients like alcohol, fragrance, and SLS that irritate the skin.
1. What does SPF really mean?
There is a widespread misconception that SPF or Sun Protection Factor is directly related to the time of solar exposure. SPF is actually a number that indicates how long it would take for the sun’s UV rays to redden protected skin when compared to unprotected skin that is not using any sun protection cream. A lot of factors like the sun’s intensity, an individual’s skin tone, geographic location, and more impact the amount of solar radiation a person receives, which is why the SPF value cannot be a clear indication of the time that can be spent in the sun.
2. How much sunscreen should I use?
Less is definitely not more when it comes to sun protection products. Even the best sunscreen for your face will not be able to protect you from the sun if you do not apply enough of it. A very simple guide to applying the right dosage of sunscreen is to follow the rule of the nines. In this, your body is divided into 11 sections, each representing roughly 9% of the total surface area. Now squeeze two strips of sunscreen, one on your index finger and one on the middle, from base to tip - this is how much sunscreen you should apply to each of the following 11 areas -
- Head, neck, and face
- Left arm
- Right arm
- Upper back
- Lower back
- Upper front torso
- Lower front torso
- Left upper leg and thigh
- Right upper leg and thigh
- Left lower leg and foot
- Right lower leg and foot