Published on April 15th, 2016 | by Yashodhara Ghosh
The Summer Shield
“If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.” – Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen (song) by Baz Luhrmann. Everyone from Baz Luhrmann, to our mothers, friends, acquaintances, beauty editors of influential magazines, dermatologists, cancer researchers, newspapers and journals, and advertisements extol one key virtue pertaining to skin care—don’t forget the sunscreen. True, it doesn’t seem like much in the short run, but consider this: direct sun exposure is—apart from tanning and sun burn—directly linked to premature ageing, sagging, wrinkles, dry and botchy skin, rash, dark spots, and more.
Sunscreens/sun blocks/sun protection lotions contain a specific Sun Protection Factor (SPF) that determines how long you can stay in the sun without burning from UVB light. Why just UVB? Because SPF is not known to protect against another type of radiation, UVA, which is what causes more harm in terms of radiation damage, cancer, etc. SPF is, essentially, a sunburn/discoloration ‘meter’ and often products inadvertently allow tanning with enough sun exposure. Being well covered and/or being in the shade can, at best, offer protection against sunlight. Did you know that even 15 minutes of direct sun exposure can cause significant skin damage? (Yes, that sexy tan is also a form of sun burn due to excessive sun exposure.) The market is flooded with SPF-containing products, be it lotions, sprays, or even lipsticks.
- Pick the right amount of SPF—It’s crucial to pick the right amount of SPF, so that you can derive maximum benefit from your product. To ascertain the right SPF for your requirement, use this simple equation the next time you’re out shopping: Take the time you would normally burn/tan (even lightly) in the sun without any protection. (20-30 minutes will normally produce redness on light-wheatish skin). Multiply this number by the SPF of the product. For instance, an SPF of 15 would offer protection for 300 minutes, or 5 hours. (15 x 20 minutes of sun time = 300 minutes; 300/60 minutes = 5 hours of sun protection without a sunburn.)
- Ideally, pick between SPF 30-50—Research suggests that ideal range for SPF in a product is SPF 30-50. Initially, it was believed that Indian skin did not require anything more than SPF 15, but that is a myth; SPF has to do with the time you spend in the sun, and not your skin colour. Research also observes that most people would not apply as much sun screen as is required, and should supplement that with a higher SPF. So, if all you do is slick on a few drops, consider a SPF 40. However, anything more than SPF 45-50 could be both useless and harmful, which is why the SPF factors in products is now capped at 50.
- Sun protection comes from reapplication—Using a sunscreen once in the day is not going to cut it. The effect of the SPF will only last for a few hours, following which, if you are going to be exposed to the sun – do yourself a favour, and reapply sunscreen. It’s best to get a sun block spray that you can carry in your bag, and apply whenever required.
- Sunscreen can’t be your only saviour—remember, SPF can only protect against UVB light. When exposed to the sun, you’re just as susceptible to damage caused by UVA light. Yes, sunscreen is awesome, but common sense also dictates that you try and be in the shade as much as possible, and avoid stepping out in peak sunlight hours (12-3 pm).
- Sweat can wash off sunscreen—sweat maybe the body’s way of ridding itself of toxins, but it sure as hell doesn’t do much for beauty. Apart from being the leading cause of tomato-face syndrome, and aggravated acne, sweat can also take off sunscreen. Go the extra mile for your skin, and reapply generously after a work out, or a hot, sticky day in the sun.
- Sunscreen is to winters, as sunscreen is to summers—basically, applying sunscreen in the winters is as important (if not more), than in the summers. Just because it’s cold out there, does not mean that the sun exposure becomes harmless for the skin. In fact, you’re bound to spend more time soaking in the sun in winters, than any other time of the year. So remember, come hail, rain, snow, or sunshine (of course) – slap on the sunscreen.
The Nature’s Co. Red and Green Tea Sunscreen Lotion : Famous for it’s holistic and eco-wellness beauty products, as part of its summer haul, The Nature’s Co has introduced the Red and Green Tea Sunscreen Lotion. With an SPF 25 sun protection power and the moisturizing properties of anti-oxidants, it’s suitable for all skin types. CLICK HERE to view product.
Vana Vidhi Italian Bergamot Luxury Summer Shimmer Sunscreen : While the Summer fills the veins with it’s light and the noon washes the heart with it’s beams, we bring to you mid summer divinity with VANA. Wear a twinkle on your Body, just like the starry skies enter the lit sky, with our delicate Italian Bergamot Luxury Summer Shimmer Sunscreen. With a luxurious blend of 10 Natural and Essential Oils snuggled with Glimmer and Luster, we welcome you to experience your Seventh Heaven, with VANA from Saint Pure. A Natural Sunscreen that coats the Body with Gloss and Scintillation, making the skin so soft to touch and divine to caress, you not only will protect yourself from the ray’s of the smiling sun, but will also pamper your body beautifully, with it’s content of luxurious Herbal Extracts, and the undoubted Paraben Free nature of this luxe Sunscreen. CLICK HERE to view product.
Natural Bath & Body Sunscreen SPF 30 : This true broad-spectrum bio-activ sunscreen, uses an elegant formula of uncoated, non-nano Zinc Oxide for the safest sun protection from UVA and UVB exposure. Additionally, Ascorbyl Glucoside combines with antioxidant-rich botanicals and UVA/UVB protecting actives to delay signs of ageing caused by sun and environmental agents. Light and soothing, it gets easily absorbs leaving no visible residue on the skin. Free from chemically active sunscreen agents, this safe physical bio-activ sunscreen is also better tolerated by most skin types. CLICK HERE to view product.