Sunscreen is a must all year round. And re-application is equally important to keep the skin protected from the damage caused by UV Rays. Broad spectrum sunscreens with SPF 50 block 98% of UVB Rays and PA ratings indicate the strength of the sunscreen against UVA Rays.
A high performance sunscreen not only protects from sun damage, it also prevents skin concerns such as acne breakouts, premature ageing, dark spots, hyperpigmentation and skin irritation, etc,.
Is there a sunscreen that takes care of your skin concerns and skin type? And how can you find a sunscreen compatible with what your skin needs? Let’s understand here-
Sun damage can have both short and long term effects on your skin. Here are some of the concerns that can show up if the skin is not protected adequately-
- Photoageing and the appearance of early signs of skin ageing such as lines, wrinkles and skin thinning.
- Increase in melanin levels that leads to hyperpigmentation, dark spots, dullness and blotchy skin.
- Irritation of the skin that causes acne breakouts
- Tanning as the natural defence mechanism of the skin against sun rays
- Damage to the skin barrier that leads to skin dryness
- Skin allergies due to overexposure to UV rays
“It's essential to apply sunscreen every day to prevent early signs of ageing, PIH and other stubborn skin concerns. The sun's rays can still damage the skin when it's cloudy, and it does not discriminate based on skin tone.”
Dr. Aseem Sharma
Consultant Dermatologist, Mumbai and Medical Advisor, Re’equil
There are 3 types of sunscreens: physical, chemical and hybrid.
- Physical Sunscreen
Also known as mineral sunscreen, it sits on the surface of the skin and reflects UV rays. It is less likely to irritate the skin, thus making it great for sensitive skin. The main UV filters are Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxides.
- Chemical Sunscreen
Also called organic sunscreen, it contains chemical filters that penetrate into the skin. These filters absorb UV rays, convert them into heat and release them from the skin. These sunscreens can be formulated without Oxybenzone and OMC, making them suitable for acne prone, sensitive and dry skin. Chemical sunscreens with advanced filters like Tinosorb® M and Tinosorb® S provide broad spectrum protection without irritating the skin.
- Hybrid Sunscreen
Combines the benefits of both physical and chemical sunscreens. When formulated with a silicone base they give a matte finish and offer water/sweat resistance. These sunscreens are suitable for all skin types.
Sun damage is one of the most common causes of premature signs of skin ageing. Prolonged unprotected exposure to UV Rays triggers photoageing of the skin, which further leads to the occurrence of age spots, dullness, wrinkles and pigmentation marks. In particular, UVB rays are known to damage the collagen and fibre matrix of the skin, resulting in early signs of skin ageing.
These concerns can be delayed and prevented with adequate use of sunscreens. Daily application of a broad spectrum sunscreen (one that offers highest grade protection against both UVA & UVB rays). On the other hand, Retinol or pure vitamin A is ideal to manage signs that have started appearing. 0.1% Retinol is the ideal strength to make the skin firm, reduce wrinkles and lessen fine lines.
1. Should sunscreen be reapplied?
Yes! Sweating after exercising and swimming can wear off sunscreens. Depending on the sunscreen, it should be reapplied every 2 to 4 hours for maximum sun protection.
2. What should be avoided in sunscreens?
Try avoiding potentially harmful sunscreen ingredients such as Oxybenzone, Retinyl Palmitate, Avobenzone and Parabens. These ingredients can irritate sensitive and dry skin, causing allergic reactions, inflammation, acne breakouts and other unwanted side effects. Instead opt for sunscreens with the following ingredients: Zinc oxide, Titanium dioxide, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Physalis Angulata Extract.
3. Why is my sunscreen causing acne breakouts?
If your sunscreen is causing breakouts, you need to check its labels for ingredients such as Parabens, Oxybenzone, Avobenzone etc that could be irritating your skin. The sunscreen could also be comedogenic in nature, thus blocking pores and causing acne. Immediately switch to a sunscreen formulated specifically for your skin type that is non-comedogenic.