5 Things You Need To Know About Sunscreen This Summer

With the sun blazing down on us in summer, it's essential to protect our largest organ- Our skin! With or without the constant sunburn and skin damage, our one constant is sunscreen. Whether rain or shine we all know the importance of making a habit of the daily application of sunscreen. Whether we stay indoors to beat the heat or enjoy ourselves at the beach, we need to be on our ‘A-Game’ while protecting our skin. Here are 5 things you need to know about sunscreen this summer


  1. It’s your first line of defense
  2. Broad-spectrum is a must
  3. A high SPF doesn’t mean better protection
  4. You need to apply more than you think
  5. The difference between physical and chemical sunscreens


  1. It’s your first line of defense

It's important to remember that sunscreen shields us and reduces the risk of developing skin cancer and skin pre-cancers. Millions of people are treated for skin cancer annually while it is observed that most of the signs of aging are triggered by UV exposure. The proper application of sunscreen is observed to avoid the statistic. Hence protecting your skin with sunscreen is the best way to maintain its glowing self. Applying SPF in combination with other sunscreen actions, such as wearing dark clothing or sunglasses, reduces the negative effects of sun exposure.


  1. Broad-spectrum is a must

Out of the two types of UV radiation- UVA and UVB rays, UVA rays contribute to premature signs of aging, while UVB rays burn the skin. Sadly both are observed to cause permanent damage and eventually lead to skin cancer. It is essential to choose an appropriate sunscreen that will not leave your skin susceptible to damage. Therefore broad-spectrum sunscreens shield your skin from both types of radiation. 


  1. A high SPF doesn’t mean better protection

A high SPF like 100 does necessarily imply that it will shield your skin with twice the protection of the UV rays. Hence an SPF of 30 or greater is usually used as it aids in protecting the skin from majority of the damaging rays. While a slightly higher SPF like 50 provides slightly more protection. Apart from a suitable SPF sunscreen, people also take anti-oxidant supplements to enhance their protection against the sun.


  1. You need to apply more than you think

A common mistake made by people is that they only apply a minimal amount of sunscreen which does not offer them the required protection. Not only do people wrongly assume that applying sunscreen once a day will grant protection for the entire day but they only apply it on the face. Sunscreen must be reapplied to the entire body every 40-80minutes depending on the formula. You can consult either the sunscreen packaging or a dermatologist to know the exact amount and duration of the application of sunscreen.


  1. The difference between physical and chemical sunscreens

Sunscreens are classified into two types: chemical and physical. Chemical sunscreens absorb the sun's rays, whereas physical sunscreens deflect the sun's rays. Avobenzone, octinoxate, octisalate, oxybenzone, homosalate, and octylcrylene are some examples of chemical UV filters. Physical UV filters include titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Some sunscreens protect your skin by combining chemical and physical UV filters. Both ingredients are safe to use on skin, but physical filters are typically gentler on sensitive skin