Summer skin care: How to buy sunscreen lotion?

sumathisrini

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Choosing a sunscreen isn’t a child’s play. After rummaging through shelves of creams at shopping malls one often thinks if sunscreen lotions are actually effective.

When you are in the sun, especially during summers over exposure to the sun rays can cause wrinkles, tanning, and age spots.

When you buy a sunscreen, do not go on ‘word of mouth’; what suits your friend may not suit you. Sunscreen lotions have two functions- sunscreen shields us from the sun's dangerous ultraviolet (UV) rays in two ways. Some work by scattering the light, reflecting it away from your body. Others absorb the UV rays before they reach your skin.

So don’t get fooled by fancy brands and creative marketing, follow these pointers given by dermatologist, Dr Swati Srivastava, Sketch Clinics, Mumbai.

Any sunscreen that is labeled SPF 15 or above SPF 15 are fine for Indian skin. Buy a sunscreen that offers a broad spectrum - UVA + UVB. Here UVA stands for Ultra Violet A - is a long wave sun ray that penetrates deep into the skin, while UVB is Ultra Violet B is a short wave.

A sunscreen with SPF 15 gives 94-95% UVB coverage, SPF 28 gives you 96% coverage.

According to doctors “UVA rays account for up to 95 percent of the UV radiation reaching the Earth's surface. Although they are less intense than UVB, UVA rays are 30 to 50 times more prevalent.

UVB, the chief cause of skin reddening and sunburn, tends to damage the skin's more superficial epidermal layers. It plays a key role in the development of skin cancer and a contributory role in tanning and photo aging.”

Sunscreen contains various compounds to fight harmful sun’s rays:

UVA Sunscreen ingredients- Avobenzone , oxybenzone, Mexoryl SX
UVB Sunscreen Ingredients- Titanium dioxide, Zinc oxid
Remember to buy a sunscreen that is PABA free, fragrance free, noncomedogenic & hypoallergenic.

These are the tips to follow while applying sunscreen:

In case of oily skin buy a sunscreen that is water based.

If you go swimming, use a water resistant sunscreen.

The sensitive skin of babies and children is easily irritated by chemicals in adult sunscreens, so avoid sunscreens with para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) and benzephenones like dioxybenzone, oxybenzone, or sulisobenzone.

Happy Summer!
 
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