by Mansi Vyas, Co-Founder, Azafran
The summers are almost here with the fear of tan lines, sunburns and more. When it comes to sun protection, one of the most common misconceptions is that you don’t need sunscreen indoors. However, that’s far from the truth.
What do the experts say?
Dermatologists often say that if there is one skincare advice you must religiously follow — it would be applying sunscreen. The sun is the number one cause of wrinkles, sunburns, tanlines and it doesn’t matter what your skin tone is. Sunscreen not only shields your skin from the harsh UVA/UVB rays but also ensures the efficacy of the other skincare ingredients you may use since sun rays can oxidize and reduce the impact of the product.
Sunscreen should be applied every day to exposed skin, and not just when you are stepping out in the sun. When you are going to be indoors, for instance, in the pandemic, you can apply sunscreen just on the face and hands. It’s never too late to protect yourself from the sun and minimize your future risk of skin cancer.
In addition to that, the glass typically used in car, home and office windows are designed to block most UVB rays, but it does not offer protection from all UVA rays. So even if you’re indoors, or sit by a window, you still run the risk of exposure to UVA rays and possible skin damage. Even on a cloudy day, up to 80% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays can pass through the clouds.
Why do we need to reapply our Sunscreen?
While the sun does not decompose the efficacy of the sunscreen, it is our own sweat and oils that break down the components used. For it to be efficacious, sunscreen needs to form a layer on the skin. Ideally one should apply sunscreen after every 2-3 hours of the first application. In order to maintain the protective barrier of the sunscreen, reapplication is crucial.
Sadly, there is no such thing as an all-day sunscreen, therefore, one application in the morning cannot suffice, keeping you protected from the sun throughout the day. Sunscreens should be applied to dry skin 15 to 30 minutes before going outdoors. Coat the skin thoroughly and blend it well. Don’t forget that lips get sunburned, too, so apply a lip balm that contains sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Sunscreens should be reapplied approximately every two hours or after swimming or perspiring heavily. More so even the water-resistant sunscreens may lose their efficacy after 40 minutes in the water.
What type of sunscreen should you use?
The type of sunscreen you choose is a matter of personal choice. However, there are 2 types of sunscreen that are available: Mineral and Chemical Sunscreens, Often called physical sunscreen, mineral sunscreen is composed of ‘minerals’ as their active ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. They don’t get absorbed in the skin, they settle on top of the skin, providing a physical barrier reflecting away the sun’s UVA and UVB rays from the skin.
Where you opt for a Mineral Sunscreen or Chemical sunscreen, do keep one thing in mind. Do not skip out on your sunscreen routine, it’s surely going to help you out in the longer run, giving you healthy, nourished skin.