Do's and Don'ts of Sunscreens

Sunscreens are a precaution against sunburn. When we talk of skin care, the first thing that comes to mind is a sunscreen, particularly, for those required to move out under the hot sun. The use of sunscreens as advised by experts together with other sun protection aids, reduces the chances of skin cancer and premature skin aging caused by sun rays.

The Importance of Sunscreens

Everyone knows the importance of wearing sunscreen in summers in order to avoid sun burn and skin damage. It is recommended for everyone to wear a sunscreen no matter what your skin tone is. If we trace the pattern of usage of sunscreen, we will see that in Egypt rice barn extract and jasmine were used to shield the skin from sun. Both the rice barn and jasmine worked as Sunscreens. First commercial sunscreen was invented back in 1936 and afterwards its process of evolution started. In modern times, sunscreens are water resistant and are included in many other cosmetic products just like foundations, serums, primers and creams.

It is very important to protect ourselves from harmful Ultraviolet rays. Exposure to UV rays can lead to several skin problems like hyper-pigmentation, fine lines, inflammation and in worst scenario skin cancer. Because of this, finding yourself a best sunscreen is a must.

Ingredients of a Sunscreen

Sunscreens are generally made from a mixture of active ingredients like Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octisalate, etc. along with some inactive ingredients viz., water, silica, beeswax, glyceryl stearate, some copolymers, disodium EDTA etc.

When to apply a Sunscreen

  • Apply generously 15 minutes before sun exposure

  • Reapply after 80 minutes of swimming or sweating

  • Immediately after towel drying

  • At least every two hours

Sun Protection Measures

Staying in the sun can cause premature aging and also, increase the chances of skin cancer. To lower this risk, you must use a sunscreen with a broad spectrum SPF (Sun Protection Factor) value of 15 or higher and other sun protection aids like:

  • Avoid exposure to the sun, especially from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.

  • Wear full-sleeved shirts, pants, hats, and sunglasses

  • Children under six months: Seek a doctor's advice

Safety & Precautions to be taken

  • Sunscreens are for external use only.

  • Do not use on damaged or broken skin.

  • Avoid contact with eyes - in case, the sunscreen contacts the eyes, immediately wash your eyes with clean water repeatedly.

  • Suspend further application and see a doctor if a rash were to appear on the face (or body).

  • The product must be out of bounds of children - always seek medical help in case a child swallows it unknowingly.

Other information

  • Store the product safely to avoid exposure to high heat and direct sunlight.

  • Avoid spillage as it can stain some fabrics.