How to choose the right sunscreen

Sunscreens are an effective way of protecting the skin from harmful rays when out and about. Sunsceens are always good to apply while on a holiday in a hottest country or a wedding at the beach. More and more options are becoming available in the market to suit varying lifestyles.

Here are some basic things to consider when choosing sunscreen.

Sun Exposure

Each one of us has different levels of exposure to the sun. Think about how much you are exposed to the sun on a daily basis. If you only stay in the sun a short while then you should use a combination of a light sunscreen and moisturiser. You could also choose cosmetics with sunscreen in it, such as foundation.

If you are exposed to the sun more in your daily routine, for instance if you  like playing sport or exercising outdoors, then go for a harder-working sunscreen that offers maximum protection.

If you live near a beach or you enjoy summer vocations in a sandy or hot location, then go for a water resistant sunscreen, which can be easily applied and reapplied.

Physical or Chemical Sunscreens

Sunscreens come in two categories: physical and chemical. Physical sunscreens contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. They work by reflecting UV rays away from the skin. Chemical sunscreens function by absorbing UV rays. If you are using a chemical sunscreen, then make sure you apply it before moisturisers and makeup. If you are using a physical sunscreen then do it the other way round; applying moisturiser first and then the sunscreen. Sunscreens can also be catagorised as both types.

Consult a dermatologist if itching starts after applying sunscreen. Some people’s skin reacts to zinc oxide after prolonged use of the physical sunscreen. It’s best to speak to your dermatologist when choosing your sunscreen so that you can be sure of buying the right kind for your skin and levels of sun exposure.

Fake tan users

If you are using fake tan, then do not assume it will also offer adequate protection against UV rays. Use a separate sunscreen as well. Or find a fake tan lotion which has sunscreen in it. However, bear in mind that the length of protection varies for standard sunscreen and tanning products. Sunscreens provide, on average, protection of about two hours, whereas protection provided by tanning sunscreen may not last as long.

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