Sunscreens protect your skin from the dangerous UV rays and reduce skin damage, premature ageing, and skin cancer. They work in two different ways. Some work by scattering the light, by reflecting it away from your body, while others absorb the UV rays before they reach your skin. There are numerous sunscreens available in the market, ranging from water-resistant, to SPF 50, to broad spectrum. With the different sunscreen options available, buying the right one can be really confusing. Here is a quick guide to help you choose the best sunscreen.
Sun Screens with High Sun Protection Factor (SPF) - An SPF of 15 filters almost 93% of UV rays, SPF 30 filters 97%, and SPF 50 keeps out almost 98% of UV rays. It is seen that regardless of the strength, no sunscreen stays effective for more than 2 hours and one has to re-apply the sunscreen after sometime for best results. Sunscreens with SPF 15 are good enough to protect you from UV rays, but in case you are sensitive to light or have a history of skin cancer in your family, you can go for sunscreens with a higher SPF.
Broad Spectrum Sunscreens- Broad spectrum sunscreens protect you from both UVB as well as UVA rays and thus protect you from both skin burning and skin ageing. So, going for a broad spectrum sunscreen is definitely a good idea.
Water- & Sweat-Resistant Sunscreens- If you're into swimming or exercising, you can go for the water - or sweat-resistant sunscreens. But you have to understand one thing; wearing a water or sweat-resistant sunscreen doesn't actually mean they are waterproof. According to FDA guidelines, water-resistant sunscreen will just stay effective for 40 minutes in the water and highly water-resistant ones will be effective for almost 80 minutes in water. So if you plan to stay for a very long time in the pool, you definitely need to re-apply the sunscreen lotion.
People with very sensitive skin should avoid sunscreens that contain active ingredients like avobenzone, octocrylene, octinoxate, and go for the ones which contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.
People with skin conditions like Rosacea can go for sunscreens with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide and avoid sunscreens with alcohol, fragrances, and preservatives.