“Don’t forget to wear your sunscreen!” I remember my mum saying every time I was headed out of the door as a kid to play in the yard with my friends. Irritated, I’d head back to my room and apply a quick and sloppy layer. Sometimes I’d lie that I already had, to be able to get to play quickly.
I’m a lot older now, living on my own and according to my own terms. Yet every time I’m headed out, I hear her words ringing in my head, sometimes much to my annoyance. But each time I oblige, because unlike before, I now know better.
I know how important sunscreen is, and why my mum always insisted on it.
What changed for me, you may ask?
Well, let me tell you. And I’m positive you won’t be skipping sunscreen after you’ve read all that I have to say about the importance of sunscreen (and why mums are always right!)
Why is sunscreen important?
Sunscreen is extremely important for healthy and youthful skin. It forms a protective barrier between the sun’s harmful rays and your skin, reducing the chances of getting a sunburn. Excessive exposure to the sun can also lead to early aging, with the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. It may also cause inflammation and redness, and may lead to discoloration of the skin as well as dark spots. The harmful UV rays can also be the cause of the detrimental skin cancer.
Sunscreen with SPF ranging between 30-50 provides adequate protection from the harmful UV rays, enabling you to enjoy your time in the sun without worrying about your skin becoming dehydrated, burnt or discolored while also preventing wrinkles and fine lines, allowing you to remain youthful and radiant.
But what is SPF?
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and this is usually the way one measures the effectiveness of sunscreens. SPF is basically used to measure how far the sunscreen is protecting you from UV rays. It usually ranges from 15 which is low protection SPF, all the way up to above 50 which is very high protection SPF. To understand it better, try making sense of this: SPF 15 blocks 93% of UV rays while SPF 50 blocks 98% UV rays.
Which range should I opt for?
It’s often extremely confusing to select the best sunscreen for your skin-type and needs. The rule of the thumb is to follow what most skin-care experts suggest: stay between SPF 30 and SPF 50. So any sunscreen between these ranges is good for you. It should be noted that sunscreen needs to be reapplied every two hours for maximum protection as it wears out with time.
Who should wear sunscreen?
Everyone! This may seem confusing to some because some people hardly go in the sun while others spend almost all of their day being exposed to sunlight. But it’s crucial to understand that sunscreen acts as a barrier to protect your skin from all types of rays, even the rays of your computer (blue light, HEV rays). Thus, for you to find the right sunscreen for your skin-type is a must.
So how does one do so? You need to know what your skin needs by understanding your skin-type and opt for sunscreens that suit your everyday routine.
For Makeup Users
If you’re someone who wears makeup on a daily basis, incorporate into your routine, a sunscreen that can easily glide under the makeup. And after you’re done with your makeup application, make sure to reapply the sunscreen after every few hours. This can be done by spraying sunscreen over your skin or taking some and lightly dabbing it across your face.
If you spend most of your time in front of a screen, whether it is your phone or office computer, you must include in your routine a sunscreen that is multifaceted, meaning that it protects you from both types of UV rays, UVA and UB, and even protects you from HEV or blue light rays which are emitted from screens.
For Acne-Prone/Oily Skin
If you have oily skin, and you fear your pores will get clogged, leading to acne and breakouts due to the sunscreen, you may opt for an oil-free sunscreen, which will give you the sun protection you need, without settling in your pores.
For Dehydrated and Dry Skin
For people with dehydrated skin, there are many sunscreen options available which actually hydrate the skin and serve the purpose of becoming a sunlight-barrier too. Thus, for people with dry skin, sunscreen options with hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid should be considered so that the sunscreen also helps in protecting the moisture balance of the skin.
Not Just the Face
Mostly, people focus on sun-protection for the face forgetting that every and any body part which is exposed to sunlight, should be protected and covered. Especially your lips, as they are prone to becoming dry and dehydrated while out and about in the sun. Leovard’s Lip Luster is an amazing lip balm with titanium oxide which provides sun protection to your lips, preventing them from drying out. It also contains hyaluronic acid which helps to hydrate the lips and give them a natural plump.
So now that you know how sunscreens work, what SPF is and why it is important to stay protected from the harmful UV rays, make sure that you make sun-protection a part of your everyday skin-care routine. You may not notice immediate benefits of wearing sunscreen, but a little goes a long way in doing wonders for your skin, enabling you to look and feel your absolute best.