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The Complete Sunscreen Guide - How to choose the best sunscreen?

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Let us look at choosing the right sunscreen for your needs, in this article.

Why do we need sunscreens, in the first place?

Sunscreens are your skin’s best friend, as far as the current knowledge in skin care goes. If you need the best skincare routine, you need to make sure that the best sunscreen is a part of that routine! In other words, a skin care routine without a good sunscreen, simply does not exist!

In this article, we will look at customizing your sunscreen routine to your skin type, your workplace ambience, the weather in your location, and your skin concerns. We will also look at the best sunscreens, for say, the face vs the body.

How to choose the ideal sunscreens for your skin type:

The Issue: 

This is the most crucial part of choosing a sunscreen. It is possible to have very dry skin even in the most humid of places and very oily skin with acne even in colder weather climates. So therefore, skin type becomes the first and the most important factor when it comes to choosing the best sunscreen for your skin. 

The Solution:

1. Go for a sunscreen that’s around 30 SPF, to start with, before going for higher SPF sunscreens, especially if you are starting out with a chemical sunscreen. The higher the SPF of a chemical sunscreen, the more likely it is to be more oily, and you may at times, experience occlusion and breakouts when starting this sunscreen. You can check out the SPF 30 sunscreen options in our Curator’s Choice section. 

spf 30 sunscreen

2. Alternatively, choose a mineral sunscreen that can adsorb the sebum to some extent. Look out specifically for sunscreens that say they target sebum secretion, or for sunscreens that have sebum regulating abilities. For very oily skin, it is easy to start with a mineral sunscreen for the face like Besant Sunscreen or Howrah Sunscreen. Madras Marina Sunscreen is a great face sunscreen for oily skin to combination skin. For dry skin, the best options are SAFESCREEN Brigade Road Sunscreen or SAFESCREEN Teesta Sunscreen. For extremely dry skin, we recommend using Darjeeling Sunscreen or Munnar Sunscreen over a layer of moisturizer.

best sunscreen in India

3. Choose a light lotion or a matte mousse type sunscreen for oily skin, and a sunscreen cream or denser sunscreen lotion for dry skin. Sunscreen Sprays are best reserved for the body, where you have less chance of inhaling the sunscreen sprays. 

How to choose the best sunscreens for your climate:

The Issue:

Humidity can be a big problem when it comes to wearing sunscreens.

sunscreens for humid weather

The Solution

1. In general, mineral sunscreens are on the drier side, and chemical sunscreens are on the moist side. Match this info to the humidity of your location. 

best sunscreens in India

2. If you feel that your sunscreen is very heavy on your skin, avoid using sunscreen right after you step out of the shower, or right after you wash your face. The skin’s moisture tends to get trapped under the sunscreen and this can give you a heavy feel. Wait for at least 20 minutes after washing your face, to apply the sunscreen! Alternatively, in colder weather, or for dry skin, add a moisturizer on your skin right after your facewash/ bath / shower, and follow through with sunscreen in a matter of minutes. 

best sunscreen for face in India

How to choose the best sunscreens for your workplace ambience, or for wherever you are mostly going to be at:

The Issue:

Sunscreen needs to change based on our ambience, and this is very important if you want your sunscreen protection to be effective, throughout the day.

The Solution:

1. If you are mostly going to be indoors, but you are in front of a gadget all day, you may need a broad spectrum sunscreen that covers both UVA and UVB. But it is even better, if your sunscreen has visible light protection, to guard your skin against HEVL including blue light. The best sunscreen in this case, would be a tinted one, or one containing antioxidants that can specifically protect you from blue light induced skin ageing and pigmentation. Sunscreens like Teesta, Munnar and Charminar SAFESCREENs are antioxidant rich and provide good broad spectrum protection. 

broad spectrum sun protection

2. If you are going to be outdoors, and are very likely to sweat, you need a high SPF protection. You can use a 40 SPF sunscreen fluid or even a 50 SPF sunscreen to protect you from direct sunlight. If you want to extend the benefit of your sunscreen even further, use a double layer application of your sunscreen for more durable protection. We recommend applying two coats of sunscreen to power up your SPF protection level. Don’t forget to add on a moisturizer under your sunscreen, if your outdoors are going to be cold and dry!

best outdoor sunscreen

3. If you are at home, but exposed to a lot of heat from cooking, you need a sunscreen with infrared spectrum protection. Look for sunscreen features that specifically mention if the sunscreen is likely to protect you from infrared ray induced skin pigmentation. We would recommend the antioxidant sunscreens, Charminar Sunscreen and  Munnar Sunscreen – you can choose between the two sunscreen lotions based on your skin type, as above. 

best sunscreens for indoors

How to choose the best sunscreens for your skin concerns:

The Issue:

Different people need different sunscreens that can work best for their individual needs. Also, the same person may choose different sunscreens at different points in their skincare journey to address their needs at that particular time.

The Solution:

1. If you have skin pigmentation conditions like melasma, the best option would be a broad spectrum sunscreen which can protect you from UVB, UVA1, UVA2, HEVL and IR. Choose sunscreens that specifically state these benefits. Go for a high SPF option and pick a 40 SPF sunscreen fluid or a 50 SPF, high UVA protecting sunscreen. SAFESCREEN Charminar Sunscreen worn with moisturizer is among the best sunscreens for melasma and similar pigmentary conditions. Munnar Sunscreen is a very good pigment managing sunscreen and is a comfortable sunscreen for combination skin to dry skin types, but with pigmentation issues. 

best sunscreen for pigmentation

2. If you are acne prone, look for sunscreens that are labeled as non comedogenic. Besant Sunscreen and Howrah Sunscreen are great for extremely oily skin. SAFESCREEN Madras Marina Sunscreen is a non comedogenic sunscreen for combination skin, but is also a great started sunscreen for oily skin types. All these three are sunscreens for face, and would need a moisturizer to be used in combination, when used on other areas of the body. 

non comedogenic sunscreens

3. If you have dry skin, and are using a mineral sunscreen, consider using a moisturizer lotion, before you wear your sunscreen.

4. If you are using a chemical sunscreen, and have dry skin, look for a sunscreen cream rather than a matte gel sunscreen.

best chemical sunscreens for dry skin

How to choose the best sunscreen for your face vs a sunscreen for body:

The Issue:  

Our face has oil glands, which moisturize our skin regularly. So there is no need for very heavy moisturization for the face. In contrast, the body does not have as many oil glands – and even naturally the skin of the neck, forearms and legs, tend to be very dry in general. The best sunscreen for the face may not always be a good sunscreen for the neck, even though the neck is right next to the face, anatomically speaking.

The Solution:

1. Choose different sunscreens for different anatomical regions. The face needs a neutral sunscreen, while the body needs a moisturizing sunscreen. Alternatively, you can simply use a moisturizer on your body, including areas like the neck, wait for a few minutes and then apply the sunscreen.

2. Use sun protection from clothing. The sun protection efficacy of clothing is measured by UPF, also called UV protection factor. A denim jacket may give you protection of 1200 UPF, which is far, far higher than any sunscreen would give. So the best option for areas that can be covered by clothing, is clothing!

sun protection from clothing

3. Even though sunscreen sticks look very easy to use, they are not suitable for those with hairy body areas, like the arms and the legs. Also the amount of sunscreen that is paid out by sunscreen sticks, also varies based on the pressure you apply, and the weather. So even though sunscreen sticks are less messy, they probably can be best used as an add on sunscreen, and not your main sun protection sunscreen.

4. Sunscreen sprays are best reserved for the body. Make sure to point the spray nozzle away from your face and towards your body when spraying. Avoid using the sunscreen spray in closed spaces – rather apply your spray sunscreen in a well ventilated area, to prevent inhaling your sunscreen filters.

best sunscreen spray

So there, we covered every aspect of getting started on the best sunscreen for you, based on skin type, climate, skin concerns specifically. You should now be able to zero in on the sunscreen most suited to you. 

For specific support on identifying the best sunscreens for sensitive skin, or for looking up sunscreens for acne prone skin, please use the take the quiz for the preferred sunscreen recommendations, customized to you! Want more assistance, reach out to our team in a DM on our Instagram page, and our product experts would love to help you get started on the best sunscreen for you.

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