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ABCs Of Sunscreen

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We put the disclaimer in every claim to protect you against the harmful effects of sunrays. Consider this your manual for sun protection. Scroll to get the whole picture.
First And Foremost
Come to terms with the fact that you need to protect the largest organ of your body from the sun. Its harsh rays have an adverse effect on your skin. What begins with sunburns leads to premature ageing which could also lead to cancer and malignant melanoma. Take care before it escalates quickly. Even your infant  
A Matter Of Time
Slather away first thing in the morning and 30 minutes before you step out. Why? ’Cause you need to let it penetrate into your skin before sun exposure. And you CANNOT excuse yourself on days you happen to stay indoors. Seriously, there’s no escaping this.
No Sun, No Care?
In the p.m. your skin’s in repair mode. What with external factors not being a criterion anymore. While you can go easy, finding a happy medium would be recommended. Swap it for a night cream or serum that’s heavily packed with vitamin E. Because it naturally works towards blocking harmful rays. Yes, it matters even at night.  
The Frequency
There’s a four-hour cutoff. Reapply your sun care once every four hours. Else, you defeat the purpose. Thought your jobs ends after slapping it on in the morning? Hah!
Ray(s) Of Sunshine
There’s UVA (long-wave ultraviolet A) that penetrates deep and ‘ages’ you. And then there’s UVB (short-wave ultraviolet B) that cause ‘burns’ and redness, damaging the skin’s surface. These rays are the ones capable of causing cancer. Aside from these, ever come across the term broad spectrum in your sun care products? It’s basically protection from both UVA and UVB rays.
Sunscreen, Sunblock – Tomayto, Tomahto?
ABSOLUTELY NOT! Sunscreen works best on UVA rays and is a chemical shield. While sunblock works against UVB rays and is a physical form of sun care. Look for one with broad spectrum.
Physical Or Chemical Formula?
Physical sunscreens ‘physically’ create a barrier against the sun. They are safe, natural minerals (like Zinc and Titanium) that shield and protect against UV rays. While chemical sun creams absorb UV rays and transform them into something less damaging, using a chemical method.
The Truth About SPF
Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is the measurement of how effective a sunscreen is at preventing sunburn. It’s a measure of protection only from UVB rays. For example, SPF 30 blocks about 97 per cent of UVB rays. Unfortunately, it doesn’t measure protection from UVA rays. UVA causes tanning, pigmentation, fine lines, sun allergy, and ages skin. The measure for UVA rays is PA (protection against UVA). PA++ indicates moderate protection, while PA+++ shows greater protection.
The Math
Did you know that SPF 30 filters 97 per cent rays and SPF 50 filters 98 per cent? Clearly busting the higher-the-SPF-more-the-effect myth. And external factors like weather, contact with water, incorrect application can’t be neglected. Thus, putting every dermatologists’ claim (that SPF 30 is all we need) to perspective. Again, don’t forget that SPF only protects you against UVB rays.
Star Ingredient
Zinc oxide is the only FDA-approved ingredient to combat UVA and UVB rays. It’s an effective, physical blocker that creates a white veil on applying. Go for one with at least SPF 30. Even for Indian skin micronized zinc oxide is better – it doesn’t leave a whitish residue on the skin.
Layer Slayer
Play with textures. Alternate your skincare textures with your SPF formulas. If you usually moisturize heavily, opt for lighter textures with your sun protection. Like gels to avoid feeling greasy. But if lightweight serum is your preferred texture, then you can use a lush and dense lotion or cream. Although, a cream that suits your skin type is more crucial than the texture itself.
Cosmetic Confession
It’s great that your make-up contains SPF but it’s not enough. Don’t even think of ways to eliminate that step, because it’s a no-win situation. What you could do is be mindful about smaller features. Areas where you don’t usually apply your sunscreen. Like mascara for your lashes, lipstick to protect your pout, or even nail polish for your tips and bits. Spritz face mist with SPF for touch ups. Or leave-in conditioner with SPF for your strands.
The Big C
It reduces the damage caused to the DNA of the skin by the ultraviolet rays of the sun. It sure does prevent Cancer but doesn’t eliminate the risk completely. Leave no room for doubt.
SPOT IT. SHOP IT.
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