How To Pick The Right Sunscreen For Yourself
The SPF Guide: Everyone Needs Sunscreen And Here’s Why

Summer is a good reminder to buy sunscreen, and continue using it around the year… Hugh Jackman says so, too

Ten years ago, fans of actor Hugh Jackman were in for a shock when he revealed that he was suffering from skin cancer. The idea of something finally getting down the cigar-smoking Wolverine was unsettling. Jackman went on to fight cancer and work on more movies, however, the actor had another scare recently, and once again took to Instagram to tell the world that wearing sunscreen is non-negotiable, not just for good skin but for your life. 


And men are less likely to use sunscreen, says celebrity cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Jaishree Sharad. “This could be due to the myth that men don’t need skincare or because of lack of awareness about the dangers of sun exposure or because older sunscreens used to be greasy or leave a white cast,” she says. 


Why Do You Need One? 


You need sunscreen indoors, too (though you won’t need to reapply it sooner) to protect it from blue light from screens as well as UVA rays, 70% of which can penetrate glass, says Dr Sharad. You also need sunscreen indoors, if you have large windows and visible light in a well-lit house. A broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF 30 and PA +++ provides protection from UVA and UVB rays. Remember to apply sunscreen 15 minutes before going outside and to reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating. And you need to use it even when it’s cloudy and when UV rays are stronger. “UV rays can cause rashes, allergies like polymorphous light eruptions and hyperpigmentation. UVA rays penetrate the deeper layers of the skin (dermis) and cause age spots or liver spots, premature ageing, wrinkles, fine lines, enlarged pores, solar elastosis, uneven skin tone and tanning. Prolonged exposure to UVB rays can also result in skin cancer,” the doctor warns, adding that infrared rays, blue light and visible light can also penetrate the deeper layers of the, causing effects similar to those caused by UVA rays. 


Mineral vs Physical Sunscreen 


If you have sensitive skin, you need to buy a mineral sunscreen. Also known as physical sunscreens, they create a physical barrier on the skin that reflects the UV rays. They are powered by ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. “They tend to be thicker and leave a white cast on the skin, but they are less likely to cause skin irritation or allergic reactions. New mineral sunscreens contain micronized particles of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide and are more acceptable,” explains Dr. Sharad. 


If you prefer a lightweight and easy-to-apply sunscreen, a chemical variant may be a better fit. Chemical sunscreens absorb the UV rays and convert them into heat, which is released from the skin. These sunscreens usually contain ingredients like avobenzone, octinoxate, or oxybenzone, which are also not considered reef-friendly. They tend to be non-greasy and are easier to apply. “However, the best sunscreen is one which contains both physical and chemical ingredients,” she points out. 


How To Choose One? 


Men can often have oily skin, so your best bet is to opt for a non-greasy formulation, preferably water-based or gel-based. Look for formulations that are easy to apply, so you don’t get lazy when it comes to reapplication. “If your sunscreen contains iron oxide, it will even protect you from blue light and infrared rays. Some sunscreens contain hyaluronic acid, vitamin C and botanicals, which protect the skin from visible light in infrared rays as they are antioxidants,” suggests Dr. Sharad. Consider your profession before choosing your sunscreen. If you are outdoors longer, use SPF 50 and make sure you reapply the sunscreen after two hours. Here are a few worth checking out: 


ISDIN Fotoprotector Fusion Water Sunscreen SPF 50 



SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 



Shiseido Future Solution Lx 



Murad Oil and Pore Control Mattifier 



Kiehl’s Ultra-Light Daily UV Defense 



Dermalogica Dynamic Skin Recovery SPF 50 Face Moisturiser & Sunscreen 


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