Five Things You Should Look for When Buying an Effective Sunscreen

Sunscreen is an indispensable part of our skincare routine. Wearing sunscreen before stepping out is mandatory.

Picking the best sunscreen for your skin, given the infinite options one can find in the market and the unfathomable jargon on their labels is overwhelming. We have simplified some of those essential jargon to help you determine what things you should consider when purchasing an effective sunscreen. Read on to learn more.

Go for broad spectrum 

Search for a sunscreen that has ‘broad spectrum UVA-UVB’ or ‘broad spectrum’ mentioned on its label. This key factor brings all the difference. UVA-UVB means the product will shield you from both types of Ultraviolet rays – UVB ( responsible for causing tans, burns, and even skin cancer) and UVA (responsible for causing skin aging).

It should be PABA-free 

Para-aminobenzoic acid, or PABA, is commonly used in sunscreens. Although PABA helps absorb UV rays of the sun, the likely skin irritation, skin allergies, and in some cases, even skin pigmentation caused by it are not worth giving it a try. Hence, go for a PABA-free sunscreen.

Always go for a water proof sunscreen 

Let’s say, you are on a holiday, in a tropical region, and the hot weather makes you sweat profusely, tempting you to go to the pool or the beach for a swim. Therefore, always pick a water-resistant (and sweat-proof) sunscreen. It will offer protection for 40 to 80 minutes in the water. Re-apply before going for another dip.

Begin with SPF 30, but you may go higher 

Both UVB and UVA rays can cause skin cancer. UVA rays can accelerate signs of aging, causing wrinkles, while UVB rays lead to sunburns. Dermatologists suggest choosing a sunscreen with at least SPF 30, which shields the skin against 97 percent of the UVB rays. But for fair-skinned people, higher SPFs work better. But you should know that the enhancements are minimal—for instance, SPF 15 offers 93 percent protection, but do not assume SPF 30 to be twice as effective.

Determine your skin type

Some sunscreens are designed particularly to aid those with oily, sensitive, or dry skin. According to experts, people who have dry skin should search for ingredients like lanolin, glycerin, oils, aloe, and silicones (such as dimethicone) and should not opt for sunscreen gels or sprays with alcohol. If you have oily skin, go for gel or lightweight lotions with ingredients such as isododecane or silica. For people with sensitive skin, fragrance-free and hypoallergenic are best bets, and so are mineral-rich sunscreens with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Preservatives and alcohol must be avoided.

When you go out, the sun may feel pleasant on your skin, but consider the risks that go much beyond skin tan and skin burn. Use sunscreen and stay protected!


Satavisha hails from the city of joy, Kolkata. She took up writing as my profession amid the pandemic when the world was at a standstill. Here, she acquired a balance between her passion for writing and sharing various ideas and facts through her stories.
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