Keep Your Skin Sun-Safe
It’s never too late to start wearing SPF
It’s official: You should never skip sunscreen—the building block of any skincare regimen. According to Mumbai-based dermatologist Dr Aparna Santhanam, “Sun exposure causes Indian skin to develop uneven pigmentation. It can also lead to ageing of the skin, heatstroke, sunburn, worsening of existing problems and even certain kinds of skin cancer. The best preventive measure to take against all of these is sunscreen.”
What to buy
Sun protection has come a long way, with several products and varying formulations flooding the market. A few thumb rules can help you identify the best formula for your skin type. “Check labels for an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 20, and words like ‘broad spectrum’ or ‘dual spectrum’, indicating UVA coverage. Look for ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which are physical blockers and indicate broad protection,” advises Santhanam.
How much is too much?
Says Santhanam, “For your face, apply at least 15 to 20 ml of sunscreen.” Apply it at least 30 minutes before exposure to the sun, and reapply every three to four hours. If you are swimming or out on the beach, reapply every hour or so. Other measures you can take for maximum protection against the sun’s harmful rays are:
1. Avoid sunlight from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
2. Use scarves, hats and umbrellas to shield yourself.
3. Include bright red- and orange-coloured fruits and vegetables, which are high on beta-carotene, lutein and lycopene that help fight sun damage.