Are You Applying Your Sunscreen Correctly? We Let Experts Decide
From an ounce to a shot glass’s worth, the opinions on how much sunscreen is enough have the internet split and everyone confused. But when it comes to protecting your sensitive skin, especially your face, you can’t count on the guessing game.
We asked dermatologist Aneesh Seth everything about applying sunscreen so, you can enjoy the sun this winter season while protecting your skin from any solar damage.
Q. How much sunscreen should you ideally be applying and how many times a day?
The reason the opinions are so diverse on this is because the quantity of sunscreen is subjective to everyone. “It really depends on your face size. But the average that seems to be enough is about 1 teaspoon for your face and 1 shot glass for your body,” explains Dr Aneesh.
“You should ideally be reapplying your sunscreen every 2 hours, but it also depends on the kind of sunscreen you use. If you’re comfortable with water and sweat-resistant sunscreen, then you can reapply it less frequently. But if you’re out in the sun a lot, sweating or getting drenched then obviously you need to reapply it more often,” he says.
Q. Does the quantity of sunscreen affect its efficacy against sun protection?
“Yes, SPF is measured by putting 1mg/cm2 on a glass plate and is then measured to protect against the UV rays. If you apply less than the advised amount, you would not be getting complete protection,” explains Dr Aneesh.
Q. Is it true that melanin provides enough sun protection?
There are few myths on how people of colour do not require sunscreen as the melanin found in our skin gives natural protection. “While it is true that we have a basal SPF in our skin, the sun still damages our skin barrier resulting in many issues like sensitivity, rapid ageing, UV pigmentation and eventually, in rare cases, skin cancer. Hence, SPF is an absolute must for us just like everybody else,” explains Dr Aneesh.
Q. Do we need SPF Indoors?
Even while indoors, you’re exposed to UV rays through doors and windows, not to forget now with hybrid working systems, we’re even more exposed to blue light through our laptops and mobile screens. Hence, yes, you require SPF even while you’re indoors to avoid UV and blue light damage.