Read this before buying sunscreen

We all know how important SPF is for preventing not only skin cancer, but also the photodamage that causes signs of premature aging of your skin. No matter what season it is, sunscreen is a vital step in your daily skin care regimen.


To find out what sunscreens are best for your skin type, keep reading.

Why You Need It? – in a nutshell: Sunscreen blocks UV rays from penetrating your skin. This helps prevent skin cancer and even signs of aging, including dark spots, change in texture, and fine lines and wrinkles. Every day our skin is exposed to UV radiation — even on a cloudy day — which is why sunscreen should be an essential part of your morning skin care routine. For best results, here’s what you should look for in finding the right formula for your skin type.

Before you proceed, keep in mind the points discussed in,

“The sunscreen facts the SA won’t tell you!”

Choose the right sunscreen and enjoy the maximum benefit!

For Oily Skin: Go with an oil-free option. Physical sunblock ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide can make a formula more thick. So, your best bet might be to opt for chemical sunscreens that use avobenzone and oxybenzone with a lightweight consistency. Many of the lighter formulas must be shaken and can even help mattify your complexion.

When you have oily skin, grabbing a basic sunscreen off the shelf can make your skin worse, leading to clogged pores and breakouts. The gel sunscreens are most often ideal for oily skin. Look for phrases like oil-free, water-based and noncomedegenic — meaning it’s unlikely to clog your pores.

For Combination Skin: If you’re worried about a greasy-looking T-zone, opt for a sunscreen for oily skin types. Otherwise, finding your optimal sunscreen can come down to the consistency you prefer. Newer formulations now have a more transparent application, as opposed to the traditional white film that sunblock has been associated with.

For Dry Skin: Look for creamy formulations with added moisturizing ingredients like glycerin and ceramides to protect your skin. Numerous moisturizers are used in sunscreens; popular ones include lanolin, oils, and silicones such as dimethicone. Moisturizing sunscreens are often formulated as creams, lotions, or ointments, so look for these terms on the label.

For children’s skin: The sensitive skin of babies and children is easily irritated by chemicals in adult sunscreens. PABA and oxybenzone in particular have been associated with skin reactions. The physical sunscreens zinc oxide and titanium dioxide tend to be better tolerated by children and people with sensitive skin. These can usually be found in sunscreens for babies and children.

Caution: Many sunscreens for kids come as sprays. Spray sunscreens should not be applied directly to the face; sprays should be misted into the hands, and then spread on the face.


For allergy-prone, acne-prone, and rosacea-prone skin:

  • Patients with allergy-prone skin or conditions such as rosacea should avoid products containing preservatives or fragrances, as well as those containing PABA or oxybenzone. Again, the ingredients least likely to cause skin reactions are the physical sunscreens, as well as those made with salicylates and ecamsule.10 Allergy prone and rosacea patients should also avoid sunscreens containing alcohol.
  • Patients with acne, however, may find gel formulas, which usually contain alcohol, more drying and less likely to aggravate acne. Acne-prone patients should avoid greasy sunscreens (often marketed as “creams”), since they may aggravate breakouts; the UVB filter ensulizole has a lighter, less oily consistency than most other chemical sunscreens.
  • People on topical acne medications, which tend to be drying, may find gels too irritating on their sensitized skin and may benefit from a light lotion or cream base. Since some acne medications increase sun sensitivity, making wearers more vulnerable to burning and skin damage, rigorous daily sun protection is especially important.

For people with melasma, a history of skin cancer, or very fair skin: For patients with a blotchy brown discoloration of the skin called melasma, those who have had skin cancer, or those who are very fair, sunscreen with an SPF of 30+ is recommended daily for extra protection. The re-application every two hours is of utmost important for these individuals.

For darker skin tones: Individuals with darker skin who rarely burn may feel they do not need to use sunscreen. But in spite of absence of visible damage, they still face the damage from exposure to the sun’s harmful UV radiation. Darker-skinned people may also be wary of using physical sunscreens, especially titanium-based products, because they can look chalky and white on the skin. Newer preparations, however, tend to be micronized, which means the particles are small enough to allow them to blend in and disappear into the skin. Chemical sunscreens are also an option. Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15+.

Did you find the post useful? What is your favorite sunscreen? Feel free to share all your news and views.


3 thoughts on “Read this before buying sunscreen

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