With the increasing level of pollutants in the atmosphere and depletion of the ozone layer, our skin is all the more exposed to the sun's harmful rays. This is why dermatologists highly advice people to use sunscreen, also known as sun cream, to protect their skin from UVA and UVB radiation.
It becomes challenging to choose one sunscreen when various brands like Neutrogena, Biotique, Ponds, Himalaya, Khadi, and many more are available in the market. In this article, we have discussed some points which you should go through before buying one. Get to know more from our expert, Dr. Hitaishi Kaushik, a dermatologist, as she reveals some hacks on applying sunscreen.
Dr. Hitaishi Kaushik pursued her Ph.D. in the field of dermatology and is currently working as a research associate in the dermatology lab at PGIMER.
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Table of Contents
In this buying guide, we have mentioned all the points that you must know before buying a sunscreen for oily skin like the type, SPF, non-comedogenic, and more. Moreover, there are wide varieties of sunscreens available in the market, selecting one can be difficult. So, explore this article to know more!
There are three common types of forms in a sunscreen; cream or lotion, gel, and spray. Cream-based sunscreens are generally heavier than others and are usually recommended for dry skin as it keeps the skin moisturized and hydrated throughout.
But if you have oily or acne-prone skin, you must go with gel, fluid, and spray-type sunscreens as they are lighter than cream-based sunscreens and settle down on the skin's surface quickly, giving a non-greasy look. However, do take note that some cream-based sunscreens are for all skin types, so we have recommended all forms of sunscreens in the product recommendations list.
There are various sunscreens, such as cream-based, gel-based, powder-based, silicon-based, etc., suitable for various skin types. Amongst these, gel and spray-based sunscreens are recommended for oily skin. These types are lightweight, colourless, non–sticky, and better absorbed by the skin.
There are many harmful ingredients like paraben, artificial fragrances, alcohol, oxybenzone, octinoxate, and other preservatives to increase the product's shelf-life. These ingredients can harm the skin with allergic reactions, reddening, and some can even cause thyroid; hence, people with sensitive and acne-prone skin should avoid it.
Due to the soaring temperature and increasing pollutants in the atmosphere, having allergic skin is no more unusual. Today, many cosmetics companies are trying to be in sync with all the skin issues people face. If you have allergic skin, we have a solution for you. Look for the word 'Hypoallergenic' on the product and wear sunscreen without fear.
Sunscreens are a must for acne-prone skin as well. During acne treatment and post-acne scarring, sunscreen is highly recommended. It is because acne treatments usually make the skin more photosensitive, i.e., it is highly prone to damage by the sun and can darken the acne scars.
However, they must avoid silicon-based sunscreen, should be oxybenzone, PABA, fragrance, avobenzone, oil, and paraben-free, and must be non-comedogenic. Mineral-based sunscreens are a good option for such people. These sunscreens contain ZnO, TiO that doesn’t penetrate deep into the skin and only provides superficial layering, reflecting the sunlight.
Get a water-resistant sunscreen if you sweat too much or do water activities. Check the label properly, as it should mention the duration of the effect of sunscreen.
Most sunscreens give protection for about 45 minutes while swimming or any other water activity. For sweating, they protect for up to 60 minutes. For better results, we recommend you re-apply sunscreen after every 2-3 hours because after towel-wash, the sunscreen comes-off.
Lastly, do not get confused with water-resistant and waterproof. Some companies use them interchangeably, but they slightly differ. Water-resistant means that the sunscreen will retain the sun protection factor (SPF) for a specified period of 2-3 hours. In contrast, waterproof means that the water will not affect the sunscreen at all.
There is a special type of water-resistant sunscreen as well in the market. These sunscreens are essential if you get indulged in water sports activities or if you tend to sweat a lot. Conventional sunscreens melt or wash away when they come in contact with water.
In such a scenario, try water-resistant sunscreens. They usually contain anhydrous formulation, are w/o emulsions, and have water-resistant substances. Such sunscreens have a rating of 40 or 80 which means they should be reapplied after 40 or 80 minutes of contact with water, respectively.
Non-comedogenic means that the cream won't block the pores while allowing your skin to breathe, keeping it away from breakouts, pimples, and acne.
If you have oily or acne-prone skin, you must check for non-comedogenic sunscreen. Moreover, avoid creams with fragrance and choose ones with a non-greasy formula and has a matte finish so that your face wouldn’t look as oily.
Comedogenic components tend to clog your pores and increase the chances of flaring up acne. People with oily or acne-prone skin must check if their sunscreen is free from comedogenic ingredients. Commonly used comedogenic ingredients are silicons, mineral oils, beeswax and plants wax, cocoa butter, coconut, wheat germ, and soybean oil.
SPF or Sun Protection Factor is a measurement for how long it can delay the burn from the ultraviolet rays if you apply sunscreen. Any product with SPF 30 means it would take 30 times longer to burn than if you used no sunscreen. For example, SPF 30 means approximately 300 minutes. After every 5 hours, it will lose the effect, and you will have to re-apply.
If we talk about the level or percentage of protection, SPF 15 filters 93%, and SPF 30 filters 97% of the sun's rays. Also, 90% of the UV rays pass through the clouds and get strongly reflected between 10 am to 2 pm. So, people who are outdoors at this time would want SPF 30 or a higher one to avoid any sun damages, rash, reddening, tanning, and more.
SPF tells about how much UVB radiation is blocked by the sunscreen. SPF 30 means it absorbs up to 97% UVB radiation. Similarly, SPF 50 blocks almost 98% UVB radiation. However, merely a high SPF value doesn’t make it the best sunscreen because even though higher SPF values give better protection from UVB radiations, it reduces UVA radiations' protection.
Hence, you must look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen and not just a sunscreen with high SPF. You need some sunlight for your body to synthesize vitamin D as well.
Ever heard about "Broad Spectrum"? It is a safety standard used to measure the protection against UVA and UVB rays of the sun. UVB rays cause sunburn, affect the outer layer and melanin of the skin.
In contrast, UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin resulting in premature aging and wrinkle line. So, it would be best if you consider sunscreen with Broad Spectrum SPF that protects your skin from both UVA and UVB rays.
Various radiations from the sun are detrimental for the skin like UVA (absorbed by inner layers of the skin, thus damaging the collagen tissue, which leads to the formation of wrinkles, premature aging), UVB (damages superficial layer and can cause sunburns and tanning). Visible radiations also have damaging effects on the skin; they can cause hyperpigmentation.
Hence, broad-spectrum sunscreens should be used, i.e., besides SPF, you must check for other factors in the sunscreen which protect against UVA, UVB, and visible light. PA labels ensure that it is effective against UVA radiations. PA +++ is considered efficient.
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Ultra Sheer Dry Touch
Enjoy Swimming Without Worrying of Being Burnt
Bio Morning Nectar Sunscreen
Ayurvedic Sunscreen With Enriching Properties
UV Water Transparent Sunscreen
A Spray-Type Sunscreen With Natural Brightening Ingredients
Ultra Light Natural Sunscreen
Get the Benefits of Turmeric and Orange Oil With This Product
Sunshield Matte Look Sunscreen
Sunscreen With Kaolin Clay and Lemon Extract for Super Oily Skin
Oxybenzone and OMC Free Sunscreen
Preservative and Oxybenzone-Free for Sensitive and Acne-Prone Skin
Sun Protect Non-Oily Sunscreen
For Those Who Can't Wear Makeup
Chamomile & White Tea Sheer Matte Day Cream
Oil-Free Sunscreen Gel
Gel-Based Formula With High UVA Protection
Herbal Aloe Vera Sun Expert
A Sunscreen With Aloe Vera
If you love swimming or often go to the beach, we know your worries! Here, go for this sunscreen from Neutrogena. Even if you're diving deep in the water, this water-resistant cream will protect your skin from tanning. This cream has a thin texture and settles down on your skin quickly without clogging your pores, giving a smooth and matte finish.
The product's unique thing is its Helioplex technology, which offers all the more strong protection against the harmful UVA and UVB rays while maintaining an optimal layer for a longer duration on the skin. This product is also suitable for those who stay outdoors for a long time because it has an SPF 50 and a retaining capacity of 80 minutes.
This product contains Ayurvedic properties such as Ghrit Kumari Pulp, Methi seeds, Kusumbhi and Moongphali oil, and many more. Together, all these ingredients make the right combination as they are known for curing acne, slowing down aging, reducing blemishes, a toner, a cleanser, and more.
Whatever your skin type maybe - normal, oily, dry, or acne-prone skin, this product with all the Ayurvedic properties is for you. Along with this, it contains wheat germ and seaweed, a great source of Vitamin E with anti-aging properties that help smoothen and make skin complexion fairer.
We recommend this product to those who are looking for a preservative-free product with UVA and UVB protection.
If you are working in a metropolitan city surrounded by vehicles and your face easily gets oily or greasy, then you must go with Wow's sunscreen as it is a spray-based product. It is easy to use and gets absorbed quickly by the skin without clogging pores while protecting from the pollutants with its broad spectrum.
Moreover, its natural brightening ingredients like raspberry and carrot seed extracts prevent premature aging, sun damage, and scars, giving a fairer and fresher look. However, some users have said that with excessive sprays, you have to pat a little with your fingers on the face to let the skin absorb the cream.
This sunscreen offers a great combination of turmeric and Orange oil. Turmeric is known for its anti-bacterial properties that can cure skin damages, while orange oil helps the skin to absorb the cream quickly with its anti-inflammatory properties.
The best selling point of this cream is its long duration of sun protection. It completely excludes the hassle of re-applying the cream after every 2 hours because it gives a long hold of 6 hours. This cream is definitely for those who stay outdoors and struggle to get breaks in between.
If you have super oily skin and you think that you have tried all non-oily creams, here’s a product that will end your search. It contains kaolin clay that prevents and absorbs excess oil. Furthermore, it is a natural detoxifier and exfoliator that removes surplus sebum from the skin.
Do you suffer from hyperpigmentation, a condition where the skin gets dark patches? Worry not! this cream has lemon extracts that help in brightening and fading the skin's dark spots. Many oily skin type users of this cream have given a thumbs up because the skin absorbs it quickly.
If you have sensitive and acne-prone skin, this sunscreen that is preservative and oxybenzone-free is for you. It is a dermatologically tested and clinically proven non-comedogenic sunscreen that will prevent pores from clogging, so you do not have to worry about any allergic reactions.
This cream provides 6 hours of long protection from UVA and UVB rays; therefore, re-applying will no longer be a problem. Many reviewers have loved the mild fragrance and soft touch of the cream.
If you are one of those who can't wear makeup because you're afraid your allergies might flare-up or simply just don't like wearing it, then relax! You don't have to worry about it because this is a hypoallergenic tested cream that will give a fresh look on your face without harming the skin.
Additionally, it is a five in one cream, meaning that it protects the skin from redness, darkening, dark spots, uneven skin tone, and fine lines. Many users have called it "a family cream suitable for all skin types."
Chamomile is a herb with anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties that can soothe the skin, reduce redness and blemishes, and relieve skin irritants like eczema. White tea extracts, on the other hand, help the skin to recover from any sun damages. It has high amounts of anti-bacterial and anti-aging properties that help prevent wrinkles and fine lines.
We recommend this product to those dealing with skin allergies as this cream is a hypoallergenic product and helps to cure free radicals. According to some reviewers, the cream gives an excellent matte finish making it ideal for dry skin.
You can use this gel-based sunscreen while exercising as it has water-resistance properties and can retain the SPF for a more extended period. Make sure to re-apply once you wipe your face.
It has no added preservatives, so people with sensitive can also use this cream without worrying. It is one of the best-reviewed sunscreens on Amazon, and many users have praised the texture of this gel-based cream.
Khadi is one of the most trusted brands in India, known for its quality herbal products. The company always uses natural ingredients that are suitable for most of the skin types. This product is packed with many enriching ingredients like Aloe vera, a good moisturizer for the skin, rose extracts, turmeric, cucumber extracts, papaya leaf extracts, and many others.
This cream is for all skin types. We specifically recommend this product to those looking for natural ingredients. Many people liked the quick absorption of this cream; however, some were disappointed with its non-brightening effect.
If you want to get the know-how on other skin/body care products, then you can always check the articles mentioned below.
Prevention is always better than cure. We can't control the UV rays reaching the surface, but we can protect ourselves from harmful rays. So, it becomes vital for us to prevent our skin from direct sun rays, and to do so, it is essential to choose the right sunscreen.
Author: Nikhil Deora
No. 1: Neutrogena | Ultra Sheer Dry Touch
No. 2: Biotique | Bio Morning Nectar Sunscreen
No. 3: WOW | UV Water Transparent Sunscreen
No. 4: mamaearth | Ultra Light Natural Sunscreen
No. 5: Lacto Calamine | Sunshield Matte Look Sunscreen
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