Everything You Need To Know About Sunscreen


Everything You Need To Know About Sunscreen

This easy-to-follow guide will help you apply SPF the right way and enjoy an endless summer vacation 

Wearing sunscreen is the greatest thing you can do for your skin. In fact, it needs to be as much a part of your daily groove as cleansing your face or texting your best friend. It’s the biggest beauty green flag. Our Roman empire.  

But before we dive in, let’s brush up on some science. There are two types of sun rays that can affect your skin: UVA and UVB. The former is more likely to cause harm to the top layers of your skin (hello, sunburn) while the latter penetrates much deeper and can cause premature ageing. SPF, or Sun Protection Factor indicates the duration and level of protection a particular sunscreen provides against UVB rays. And when it comes to the UVA rays, your sunscreen’s PA or Protection Grade of UVA rating will come in handy. Higher the SPF and PA rating, the longer it lasts and the more protection it provides. Think of them like Superman and kryptonite.

The mineral vs chemical debate 

Certain pop culture feuds will always be remembered. JLo vs. Mariah Carey, Truman Capote vs. The Swans, Mineral vs. Chemical sunscreen, and so on. Now let’s put them to test for one final round. Mineral sunscreens contain ingredients like zinc and titanium and work by creating a physical barrier between your skin and the sun. In comparison, their chemical-based counterparts penetrate your skin and absorb the harmful UV rays. Mineral sunscreens are best suited for people with sensitive skin as they are less irritating. However, chemical sunscreens are far more cosmetically elegant because they are lightweight and don’t make you look like you’re in Kabuki makeup. 

Extra layer: Occupying the middle ground are combination sunscreens which have chemical and physical filters — offering the best of both worlds.

There’s something for every skin type 

Do you have oily or acne-prone skin? Look for water and gel-based formulations that won’t clog your pores. On the other hand, people with dry skin should use hydrating, cream-based products to protect their skin barrier. Sensitive skin types should steer clear of irritants like fragrance and alcohol and if you have combination skin, you should go for non-greasy options with moisturising properties. Finally, people with normal skin can basically use everything. 

Extra layer: Multi-tasking formulas FTW. Pick something that contains skincare actives like hyaluronic acid and niacinamide. You’ll thank us later. 

The trick is to keep reapplying 

Just like your favourite Spotify playlist, sunscreen works best when you put it on repeat. Instead of slathering on a thick layer for the entire day, apply a small spoonful or two finger lengths on the face and a full shot glass on your entire body. Repeat after us: I will reapply my sunscreen every two hours. See? It’s just as easy as memorising a Taylor Swift lyric. 


Extra layer: Make sure it’s the last step of your skincare routine before applying base makeup — which should ideally contain SPF as well.

Words by Adarsh Soni and Srishti Patnaik 

Illustrations by Ria Mohta