TL;DR – Sunscreen is your skincare BFF.
Ask any dermatologist, beauty influencer or self-proclaimed skincare expert for one skincare tip and they’re all highly likely to have the same answer – “Use sunscreen.”
This product can be miraculous, especially if you live in a tropical country with prolonged sun exposure. The irony is that it is also the most-hated product by the average consumer. I wasn’t much different until a few years ago but hold on before you totally dismiss it. I’ll highlight the information that had the power to convert me from a hater to an absolute fan of sunscreen.
I can almost guarantee that you don’t hate sunscreen.
You just hate the variety you are currently using (or had used once, before writing it off as the worst product ever made).
Table of Contents
Benefit #1: Sunscreen provides UV Protection
Its first and most obvious use is to put a protective screen between the sun and your skin. This greatly reduces the absorption of most of the harmful UV rays by our skin. If we are not careful and don’t actively protect our skin from UV rays, we put ourselves at risk of sunburns, skin cancers, and skin infections (photodermatoses). Such infection can start off as intense red patches, tiny eruptions, itchy rashes, flaking of the skin or unusual pigmentation on commonly exposed areas like the forearm, face, neck, or feet.
Benefit #2: Sunscreen prevents premature ageing
Our skin has proteins like collagen, keratin, and elastin. The production of these slows down because of prolonged sun exposure. When this happens, fine lines, wrinkles and blemishes start to appear sooner than expected.
You can easily spot sun damage on almost any elderly person around you because they scarcely used any sun protectant in their youth. Using sunscreen can’t stop ageing but it can dramatically slow the process down.
Skincare is the gift that keeps on giving and starting early will ensure you have superb skin for a really long time. The best time to start taking care of your skin was 10 years ago. The next best time is today!
When should you apply sunscreen?
Ideally, one should apply sunscreen daily, irrespective of the season (yes, even in winter) and weather (yes, even if it is overcast). This is because UV rays are present even if the sun isn’t out and shining brightly. Protection from these rays is equally important in every weather.
In tropical areas, where the sun is intense throughout the day, reapplication is also strongly advised. Sweat and water reduce the intensity of the protective barrier so reapplication ensures that the intensity is reinstated.
Even if you stay indoors, you can still apply it because it provides protection from UV rays even indoors. Some research suggests that blue light from our electronic devices is another culprit that accelerates ageing and sunscreen also arrests this acceleration.
Also, this is the last step in your morning skincare routine. After you have cleansed, treated and moisturised your skin, you should use sunscreen to protect your skin. If you apply makeup, sunscreen should go on before your first layer of makeup.
Power and quantity of sunscreen to be applied
Sunscreens with SPF 30 or above do a decent job of protection and anything around SPF 50 is fantastic.
A ‘two finger-length’ quantity should suffice for your face and a teaspoon’s worth of the product is enough for each arm. You should also try to put some of it on your neck, ears and over the eyelids because these are some of the most easily neglected areas.
Things to consider while buying sunscreen
Nowadays, a large variety of sunscreens are available in the market. In contrast to the products available before, today’s products are comfortable on the skin, do not leave any white cast and don’t make you feel hot or make the skin burn. Different formulations suit different skin types so doing some research of your own is recommended. However, in a country like India, most people prefer gel-based sunscreens.
Sunscreens are also often expensive but treat using them like an investment because nothing is more important than your skin being healthy. That being said, lots of brands run some lucrative offers and if you keep an eye out for sales, you can save a lot of money.
We cannot estimate the damage that can occur because we have decently healthy skin today. However, not taking good care of it can change things up surprisingly fast.
Below are some recommendations I have managed to accumulate based on many reviews online and offline.
(Please do a patch test before using any product all over your face or hands).
- Dr Sheth’s – This website often runs a ‘Buy 1 Get 1’ sale
- The Derma Co.
Some notes for the products mentioned above
- These products are also available online, on other stores like Nykaa, Amazon or Cred so you can compare prices before purchasing from the website directly.
- If you purchase from the website, you can use discount codes from various beauty influencers on Instagram.
- Almost every website offers a discount for the first order. Make sure to look for these codes on the website itself.
- None of the links is an affiliate link and this post is also not sponsored.
Disclaimer: This post does not aim to provide any information as a substitute for medical advice. Everyone’s skin is different and what works for one person might not work for another. Before committing to any product or regimen, please do your own research (including advice from your dermatologist).