1. While we are all wondering about 40 SPF, 60 SPF, and companies are racing towards 1000 SPF, the minimum SPF that a product needs to have to be called a sunscreen is ... wait for it, 2. Yes, to qualify for a minimum protection sunscreen product, it is enough if the sunscreen has an SPF of 2 according to the US Federal Guidelines. In the EU, the minimum SPF to get a sunscreen label is 6.
2. Sunscreens can never protect us to 100% against sunlight. Even the 1000 SPF sunscreen cannot claim to protect us against 100% of all of the sunlight as per the guidelines. That’s also because we need protection not just against the UV spectrum, but also against visible light and Infrared spectrum too.
3. Physical protection with clothes provides sun protection which is measured by a different metric called UPF. Considering that clothes are ecofriendly, reusable and perfectly safe, opt for sun protection with clothes where possible. Also, a denim jacket gives you 1200 UPF, and has been studied to provide more sun protection than application sunscreens. Reserve sunscreen use for areas that have to be exposed – typically the face and the neck.
4. Sunscreen should be avoided in babies less than 6 months old. Physical protection works best.
5. Sunscreens have been around for more than 6000 years.UVB filters have been around for close to a century. In contrast, UVA protection in sunscreens has only been around for 40 years now.
6. UVA is what matters more for preventing pigmentation and photo ageing in Indian skin types.
7. You can get more sun protection by applying more quantity of sunscreen. And your protection is compromised when you use a lesser quantity. Quantity matters as much as quality, when it comes to sunscreens.
8. Internal sun protection antioxidants are real. They work to protect and repair the skin’s damage from UV.
9. Chemical sunscreens are more occlusive than physical sunscreens and may be less preferred for acne prone skin. Physical sunscreens are more drying than chemical sunscreens and may need an additional moisturizer.
10. There is no difference between sunscreen for men and sunscreen for women. It is more about the best sunscreen for oily skin versus the best sunscreen for dry skin. Or even about the best outdoor sunscreen Vs the best indoor sunscreen. We can even work out as to which sunscreen is best for a vacation – but once you get there, it is the same sunscreen for both men and women; gender does not influence the choice of sunscreen.