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all you need to know about sunscreens

all you need to know about sunscreens

Exposure to UV rays from the sun as well as mobile phones and laptops is the number one cause of skin ageing. Every moment we are exposed to daylight, the skin damage gets compounded like money in the bank. Unprotected skin can show signs of premature ageing, wrinkles, dull and uneven skin tone, hyperpigmentation, among others. The best defence against this type of skin damage is to limit daylight exposure and protect your skin with Broad Spectrum SPF. Here is everything you need to know about sunscreens, how they benefit the skin, and what type of sunscreen would work best for your skin type. 

what are UV rays and how do they affect the skin?

While UV rays are invisible to the naked eye, they cause significant skin damage. About 95% of UV rays that reach the ground are UVA rays, which cause early skin ageing, while the other 5% are UVB rays, which are chiefly responsible for ‘sunburns’.

UVA (ageing) rays generate free radicals, which can lead to premature skin ageing, hyperpigmentation and wrinkles. UVA rays can penetrate deeper into skin, all the way to the dermis. UVA rays are always present and can penetrate glass, which is why it is imperative to wear sunscreen every single day, even when you are indoors. 

UVB (burning) rays cause sunburns. These high-energy rays typically penetrate the epidermis and can cause long-term damage to the skin. 

what is SPF?

The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) in sunscreen is an indication of the level of protection a sunscreen could give to prevent burning.

SPF 15, 20, 25 = Medium Protection

SPF 30-50 = High Protection


How does SPF work?
SPF15 blocks 93% of UVB rays; SPF30 blocks 97% of UVB rays; and SPF50 blocks 98% of UVB rays.

Doubling the amount of chemical agents to produce SPF 50+ provides little extra protection.

Note that mixing one SPF30 sunscreen with another SPF50 sunscreen will not make your sunscreen SPF80; on the contrary, the sunscreen will get diluted and you will be protected with SPF40. It is best not to mix one sunscreen with another, or anything else, unless the sunscreen is specifically designed to be mixed in with something else. 

will using sunscreen prevent vitamin D production?

The lack of Vitamin D is another growing concern amongst Indians today, so this is a legitimate question. The answer, however, is no. Since sunscreens cannot block 100% of UV rays, Vitamin D production can be achieved even while wearing sunscreen. Studies have shown that with a small amount of incidental exposure during daylight hours, such as walking to the car or exercising in the balcony, the skin can produce sufficient levels of Vitamin D. 

You should always apply sunscreens 30 minutes prior to exposure, even if you intend to boost your Vitamin D levels. We strongly recommend that you wear sunscreen every day, regardless of the weather, whether you’re indoors or outdoors, or your skin type.

different types of sunscreens
physical sunscreen (also known as mineral sunscreen)

  • How it works: This type of sunscreen sits on top of skin and reflects the sun’s rays off it like tiny mirrors. 
  • Benefits: It is better suited for sensitive skin as it prevents the UV rays from penetrating and does not get absorbed into the skin.
  • Ideal for: all skin types and conditions, including sensitive skin and post-resurfacing treatments.  

chemical sunscreen

  • How it works: Chemical sunscreen absorbs and transforms the sun’s rays into heat. 
  • Benefits: These tend to feel light and look unnoticeable on any skin tone, and are more water resistant and thus useful for sports or swimming activities.
  • Ideal for: Chemical sunscreen is suited to most skin types and conditions.

how to choose a sunscreen based on your skin type?

Sunscreen is one of the most important elements of your skin care routine and Dermalogica offers a few which are suitable for all skin types. These take care of your skin, protect it from UVA and UVB rays, and environmental assault like free radical damages, and help you live in your healthiest skin. 

Do remember that sunscreen must be generously applied all year round, whether indoors or outdoors. Sunscreen provides protection not only from the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays, but also from those emitted by blue screen devices, like laptops and smartphones. Sunscreen can be either physical or chemical, and it’s important to understand the product and your own skin type before incorporating one into your routine.

what is dry skin?

If your skin often feels tight, especially after bathing, you notice that it is flaking or peeling, and it feels rough to touch, it looks grey or ashy or excessively red, then you likely have dry skin. A simple test to check whether your skin is dry is to lightly scratch the skin with your nail - if a grey line develops on the skin, then your skin is dry. Dry skin often worsens in the winter months and generally needs a lot of moisture and hydration through the year. Dry skin, if not cared for properly, can cause fine lines, cracks, and skin to age quickly. The sunscreen you choose should not only protect you from the sun’s harmful UV rays indoors or outdoors, but should provide hydration and nourishment as well. 

what is oily skin?

Oily skin is characterised by a constant shine or greasy layer on your skin, enlarged pores and acne or breakouts around the oilier areas, and the fact that your makeup just won’t stay put. This is further exacerbated in the summer and monsoon months when the excess sweat makes your skin oilier still. Oily skin needs to be handled with care and products that are specifically suited to oily skin types, so as not to further increase the sebum produced or worsen any skin concerns like clogged pores or breakouts. 

what is sensitive skin?

If your skin easily reacts to new products and fragrance, and tends to get easily red or irritated, chances are your skin is sensitive. Sensitive skin must be protected from the sun and other harmful free-radicals, especially during the summer months when the rise in the temperature may already affect the skin internally. Using skin care products meant for sensitive skin will minimise the chances of irritation and flare-ups. 

If you have no such complaints from your skin, then congratulations, you have normal skin! This means that you can choose skin care products meant for ‘all skin types’ or even products labelled ‘oily to normal’ or ‘dry to normal’, depending on which skin type you identify with more. 

sunscreen for dry skin

Dermalogica has a wide range of sunscreens of different SPF levels and for different skin types. Here are the best sunscreens for dry skin, for both men and women:

dermalogica dynamic skin recovery spf50 moisturiser

This broad-spectrum moisturiser-cum-sunscreen helps combat the appearance of skin ageing, with an SPF of 50. Antioxidant White Tea, rich in polyphenols, and a unique polypeptide help improve the appearance of photoaged skin. An active sunscreen can protect against UVA and UVB rays and blends smoothly over the skin to provide the perfect finish. It also provides long-lasting hydration to the skin, which further helps curb visible signs of ageing caused by dry skin. 

dermalogica protection 50 sport spf50
Water-resistant for up to 80 minutes, this broad-spectrum sunscreen provides protection for your face and body. This sheer solar protection treatment defends against prolonged skin damage from UV light and environmental assault. Oleosome microspheres help enhance SPF performance and counteract moisture loss triggered by extended daylight exposure. The lightweight formula helps neutralise damage and bind moisture to skin without a greasy after-feel, and is great for those who play sports or need to spend long hours in the sun. 

sunscreen for oily skin

Here are the best sunscreens for oily skin, for both men and women:

dermalogica oil free matte spf30

This broad-spectrum sunscreen helps prevent shine and skin ageing on oily, breakout-prone skin. Its lightweight, ultra-sheer formula contains an advanced blend of Zinc Gluconate, Caffeine, Niacinamide, Biotin and Yeast Extract, and the oil absorbers help maintain an all-day matte finish, preventing shine without any powdery residue. The sunscreen’s sheer formula provides defence against skin-ageing UV light. This sunscreen works best for oily skin as it absorbs the excess sebum secreted by the skin through the day to leave you with a matte finish that lasts all day long. 

dermalogica prisma protect spf30

This light-activated, multitasking moisturiser provides broad-spectrum defence while preventing future signs of skin damage. Intelligent drone technology is activated by visible light to help boost skin’s natural luminosity. Breakthrough antioxidant technology helps protect skin against pollution. Broad spectrum SPF30 provides protection from UV damage, while a bio-ferment from Sage helps maintain an even skin tone. Advanced moisture magnets provide all-day hydration for visibly smooth skin. This moisturiser-cum-SPF works for oily skin as it hydrates and protects the skin without having to add extra layers on the skin. 

sunscreen for all skin types

While it’s important to identify and understand your skin type to ensure that you can incorporate products in your skin care routine best suited to your skin type, there are certain products that are more universal. Which means that no matter what your skin type is, these products will work well for you. These products would also work for people who identify with the ‘normal’ skin type, so these sunscreens are for everyone. 

dermalogica  invisible physical defense spf 30

Invisible, weightless defence that blends easily on skin, this sunscreen features only non-nano Zinc Oxide. Say goodbye to thick, white residue with this physical SPF formula that provides added blue light protection and helps soothe away the effects of environmental aggressors. Bio-active Mushroom Complex helps soothe skin, and reduce UV-induced redness and dryness. Antioxidant Green Tea helps defend skin against free radical damage. This physical sunscreen is meant for all skin types, including sensitive skin. If you are looking for a sunscreen to protect you indoors, the Invisible Physical Defense SPF 30 is ideal. 

dermalogica solar defense booster spf 50

Add critical UVA and UVB defence to your moisturiser or foundation with this broad spectrum sunscreen for all skin conditions. Sophisticated, non-chalky formula with Green Tea and Grape Seed extracts forms an invisible shield against skin-damaging environmental assault. Antioxidant Vitamin C provides added defence against skin-ageing free radicals and improving skin smoothness and softness. You can mix equal parts of this booster with any of Dermalogica’s moisturisers for an SPF surge in your skin care routine, or you can use it as is, for the ultimate UV protection. You may also mix this with your foundation to give your cosmetics an element of protection. Keep in mind to reapply after vigorous physical activities like exercising and swimming. 

dermalogica power bright face moisturiser spf50

Dark spots and uneven skin tone can occur on any skin type, which is why this moisturiser-cum-sunscreen works for everyone. This moisturiser with SPF 50 and skin-hydrating Safflower Oil uses Brown Algae to help combat oxidative stress caused by air pollution and other external free-radicals. Niacinamide helps reduce the appearance of uneven pigmentation and balance out the skin tone, while ultra-hydrating Hyaluronic Acid works with a plant-based polysaccharide to help strengthen skin's moisture barrier, reducing the appearance of fine lines. This also has Licorice Root Extract and Bisabolol to help soothe the skin in the heat. For optimal results, remember to apply your sunscreen at least thirty minutes before stepping out in the sun, and pair this sunscreen with the dermalogica power bright dark spot serum. 

dermalogica dynamic skin recovery spf50 moisturiser

This broad-spectrum moisturiser-cum-sunscreen helps combat the appearance of skin ageing, with an SPF of 50. The combination of Antioxidant White Tea, rich in polyphenols, and a unique polypeptide helps improve the appearance of photoaged skin. Active sunscreens protect against UVA and UVB rays. It blends smoothly over the skin to provide a perfect finish. While most of us remember to blend in our sunscreen into our neck, the nape of the neck is often neglected. So make sure you pay attention to that area while applying your sunscreen.

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