Are you planning to hang out on the beach? Are you stepping out for an evening stroll? Or are you working hard outdoors? Whatever it is you are doing, one thing to always remember before setting out of doors is the gentle sunscreen lotion. Not just women, but men too benefit greatly from this cosmetic cream that can protect you from many hazardous effects to your skin.
The weather, climate, or the time of the day do not matter. Always apply sunscreen before you go outdoors, as it not only prevents suntan but also prevents premature aging and skin cancer. Here we are going to see the best sunscreens in India at the moment!
Factors to consider while buying sunscreen
▪ The expiration date should be definitely noted before buying any skin product, and sunscreen is no exception. The chemicals in the product can cause allergies if they are beyond their use-by date, and companies do not take responsibility for any side effects due to this reason. Also, the cream might not give the best benefit.
▪ Chemicals used should be noted carefully. If you have sensitive skin, then avoid sunscreens with high alcohol content, fragrances, parabens, and preservatives. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are the most gentle ingredients in sunscreens, look for them while buying. Sunscreens with these ingredients can also be used for children. However, for children between 6 months to 10 years, there are specially made sunscreens that cater to their delicate skin. So avoid the use of regular sunscreens on them.
▪ The skin type plays a significant role while selecting the ideal sunscreen. If you have dry skin, go for creams with ingredients such as glycerin, lanolin, oils, aloe vera, etc. For oily skins, get lotions with silica or isododecane. For those prone to acne, they should avoid creams with alcohol and fragrances. However, this depends from person to person, and it’s just best to go for a non-greasy lotion and see how it fits you.
▪ Protection Grade of UV-A + or PA rating should be considered before buying. PA+ rating signifies some UVA protection. The highest rating, PA+++++, indicates extremely high UVA protection. As a norm, the higher the SPF, the higher is the PA value.
Types of Sunscreen
▪ Cream-based: If you have dry skin, go for a cream-based moisturizing sunscreen. Nowadays, less oily creams are available which do not look sticky even on oily skin. For dark-skinned people, sunscreens with micronutrients are available, which blend in with the skin, not allowing then to whiten skin. Studies show that cream-based sunscreens work the best.
▪ Lotion based: Lotions are thinner and can be used for applying on larger swathes, like hands, neck, and legs. They also tend to be less greasy.
▪ Gel-based: Gels can be used by men to apply in hairy parts of the body, like the chest and legs. They are also suitable for oily skinned people.
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▪ Sprays: Sprays are really easy and quick to apply. You can cover your entire body with a spray without too much fuss. Just be careful not to spray near your face.
▪ Water-resistant: They generally mean resistant and not waterproof. No skin product can be waterproof. The resistance will work for sometime when you are swimming or extremely perspirant. But it has to be reapplied after around an hour in the water. Opt for cream-based water-resistant sunscreens as they work best, and do not get diluted quickly in water.
Also check the additional things to consider before buying Sunscreens.
Best Sunscreens in India
1. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock, SPF 50+
A cream-based sunscreen with SPF 50, this combines the helioplex technology, a breakthrough innovation for UV protection. It is non-greasy and light on the skin. It gets absorbed within minutes, leaving no shine on your skin. It is water and sweat resistant and made from oat kernel extract. It is free from para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), a known skin allergen. It works well for all skin types in both men and women.
2. Biotique Bio Morning Nectar Sunscreen Ultra Soothing Face Lotion, SPF 30+
Made with honey, wheat germ, and seaweed, this is a skin moisturizer and sunscreen lotion. It can be applied over your face and neck after cleansing. It gives a visibly, brighter skin appearance after continuous usage. With an SPF of 30, it is ideal for all skin types, as it is a lotion and not a heavy cream-based product.
It is most useful in winters when all kinds of skin get dry and not in summers when you sweat a lot, as it has moisturizing properties. Biotique is well known for its herbal combinations, so you need to have no fear about the effectiveness of this product.
3. Lotus Herbals Safe Sun UV Screen Matte Gel, SPF 50
This is a gel-based sunscreen with an SPF of 50, which works wonders on oily skin. The gel is absorbed immediately and gives your skin a matte finish, which makes you look fresh.
Just apply this gel and then, after a few minutes, apply regular powder or makeup. The soothing properties include vanilla extract, horse chestnut for protection against tanning, and comfrey for sebum control.
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The gel can be applied liberally over face, neck, arms, etc. It comes in a tube, and the lid is quite tight so that it can be carried with you. The only cons are that the sunscreen contains parabens.
4. Lakmé Sun Expert SPF 50 PA+++ Ultra Matte Lotion
This product works well for all skin types but is especially suitable for people with combination skin. It is cream based yet not oily and non-greasy. When applied, the cream is absorbed into the skin quickly, giving a matte and even finish to the surface.
It can be applied after cleansing and moisturizing and before applying makeup. The cream is sweat-resistant and does not run in the heat; it stays firm. It also prevents tanning.
5. Lotus Herbals Safe Sun 3-In-1 Matte Look Daily Sunblock, SPF 40
A cream-based sunscreen from Lotus Herbals, this product works well with all skin types, and especially for oily skin. It has soothing and astringent properties for the prevention of acne in oily skin.
It can be used by men too. It has a lightweight composition and gives a matte finish on the application. It can be used all over the body. It contains birch, mallow, and hops extract, which not only protects the skin but also lightens it when used regularly. The cream is sweat-resistant, keeping skin dry and fresh all day long!
6. Aroma Magic Cucumber Sun Screen Lotion, SPF 30
Aroma Magic by Blossom Kochhar uses aromatherapy to formulate products that have healing properties on your skin. The sunscreen lotion is completely natural as it avoids all kinds of parabens, alcohol, artificial fragrances, and harsh chemicals.
This product is made from cucumber extract, which we all know, has an incredibly soothing effect on the skin. It is also enriched with coconut, soybean, and wheat germ oils. The mild mineral zinc oxide is used in the cream to reflect the sun’s rays. The consistency is thin and can be applied easily all over the body.
The lotion is a little oily in nature, due to the absence of parabens, and it does leave some white patches on the skin upon application, but they get absorbed in a few minutes. It is very good for normal to dry skin, and for use in winter.
7. Re’equil Oxybenzone and OMC Free Sunscreen SPF 50 PA+++
Made for oily, acne-prone, and sensitive skin, this sunscreen by Re’equil is extremely lightweight on the surface. It spreads like a thin lotion over the skin but has a cream like matte effect.
It is non-comedogenic, meaning that it contains no ingredients that will clog your pores and lead to acne. It is an oxybenzone and OMC free formulation. It is very mild with no added fragrances and can be used by men and women both.
The most crucial factor is that it does not require frequent reapplication and can be reapplied every 5 to 6 hours.
8. WOW Anti Pollution Sunscreen SPF 40
This sunscreen by WOW provides unique protection from PM 2.5 pollutants along with sun protection. The skin’s upper layer is shielded from particulate matter entering it and making it dull.
Minerals like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide reflect the sun’s rays and protect against UVA and UVB rays. The lotion is 100% vegan and free from parabens. It is also water-resistant and contains plant extracts in its composition. The sunscreen comes in the form of a lotion and is suitable for all skin types.
9. Jovees Argan Sun Guard Lotion SPF 60 PA++++
Jovees, as a brand, formulates all its products using organic and plant-based extracts. This sunscreen has been developed using Argan oils, green tea, chamomile, and calendula. It has a light texture and gets absorbed quickly.
It has moisturizing properties and makes your face look fresh even after a long time. It is very good for dry skin, having natural moisturizers in it. It is also paraben and artificial fragrance-free.
10. Biotique Bio Sandalwood Sunscreen Ultra Soothing Face Lotion, SPF 50+
A cream-based sunscreen, this product is suitable for all skin types. Use it before going outdoors in the hot sun, or before any water activities. It retains its SPF even after 80 minutes in the water.
It is alcohol-free, animal testing free and harmful chemical-free, using only botanical material. Organic portions of sandalwood, wheat germ, and honey have been used to formulate this product. It is made to be applied on the face and can be used by men and women.
Additional things to consider:
Why do we need sunscreen?
- There is a misconception that sunscreen needs to be applied only while going out into the hot sun. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
- The sun’s rays always contain UVA and UVB rays that penetrate our skin and damage it. UVA rays are more numerous in the sun’s rays and are responsible for premature aging and wrinkles in the skin.
- UVB rays are deadlier as they cause sunburn and skin cancer. Therefore, even if you are not going out in direct sunlight, the sun’s rays will always get to you.
- During winter, too, it is essential to apply sunscreen as the rays target you from a slant, as the sun is actually closer to the Earth during this time.
Ideal Sun Protection Factor (SPF)
- According to experts, the Indian weather requires you to use a sunscreen with an SPF of a minimum of 30 to 50. More is fine if you are out in the sun longer or if you have susceptible skin.
- However, a really high SPF of, say, 75 or 100 do not necessarily offer you more protection. They are formulated to provide a thicker block out of UVB rays, which are anyway less in comparison to UVA rays, thus giving a false sense of full protection to consumers.
- A sunscreen with SPF 30 provides you with ideal protection if reapplied regularly and consistently.
How to apply sunscreen
- If your skin burns typically out in the sun after 10 minutes, by using a sunscreen with an SPF 30, you could stay safely protected for 300 minutes, that is, a factor of 15 times.
- So, technically, you would need to reapply the sunscreen again after 5 hours to stay protected. But this can be challenged by various factors, like sweating and wiping your face, which can remove the sunscreen, or by applying it too thin, or washing your body.
- Therefore, to combat these factors, ideally, you need to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours. Apply generous dots of sunscreen on your cheeks, forehead, nose, and neck and then rub it in with circular motions. Sunscreen needs to be used at least 15 minutes before you go out into the sun.