Are You Protecting Yourself From Sun Tan?


Take the quiz.

Which sunblock would you prefer to buy – sunblock with SPF 30 or SPF 50?

Which colors do you prefer wearing while going out?

What is the right way to consume Vitamin D?

Does your sunblock have UVA or Broad Spectrum Protection?

Do you use sunscreen even at home?

Do you avoid stepping out between Noon and 4:00 PM?

Do you wear hat or sunglasses while heading out of your home?

If you are already tanned, do you take measures to protect yourself from further damage?

Do you use sunblock while swimming?

Which one will you use – tanning oil or sunblock?

Sun is a great source of energy and stuff, agreed, but if your skin is your priority, you better find other sources of Vitamin D. As per the studies, and as we have learnt in our science classes in High School, the protective layer of Ozone is slowly depleting which is, directly and indirectly, causing a lot of damage to us. This means that the sun causes more damage to your skin than you think.

Here is how Sun damages your skin:

  • Exposure to the sun causes our body to kick in preventive measures against UV rays and gradually develop tanning.
  • Although the sun feels good sometimes, prolonged exposure to sun ages the skin prematurely.
  • Sometimes, the skin ages so much that bruises and wear-tear of the skin happen every now and then. This might not be evident during the younger years but as we grow old, these signs begin showing up.
  • Getting out often can also cause coarse wrinkles, mottled pigmentation, freckles and sallowness.
  • Elastosis (symptoms: wrinkles, fine lines and saggy skin) which is caused by the destruction of elastin and collagen tissue is also caused by harmful rays of the sun.
  • If you are not taking care of your skin, you might also end up dealing with (big and small) tumours and skin cancer.

Now that we know that there are so many reasons to avoid the sun, we are in a better shape to understand the common mistakes that we do while trying to hide from the sun.

Nap @ Västra hamnen” by bjaglin is licensed under CC BY

Common Mistakes

  • Sun is a source of Vitamin D but that does not mean it rains Vitamin D all the time. Studies suggest the best time to absorb Vitamin D naturally is when the sun rises and until it is 9:00 AM.
  • Keeping the activities that involve roaming in the sun in the afternoon. If possible, avoid going out after 10:00 AM and until 2:00 PM.
  • Covering face with the ‘dupatta‘ and thinking it is ‘enough’. Although it is a good practice, the local factory did not add the UV protection to your ‘dupatta‘.
  • Not investing in good quality shades because Jimmy Choos are a priority. I totally understand your love for shoes but unless your shades absorb the harmful UV rays, you will not be able to wear those sexy shoes or carry that pricey bag.
  • Go out in the sun because ‘I am a hardcore tomboy’. You might be a hard egg but your skin is still girly soft and needs protection of the best sunscreen.

Thankfully, all these little mistakes that we do are minute and can be corrected. All you need to do is put a little thought and effort into taking care of your skin.

By now, it is no rocket science to you that the sun causes a lot of damage to your skin. Although we put in some effort in protecting ourselves, let us look at the right things to do.

How to Take Care Of Your Skin?

  • Do not go out in the sun unnecessarily. No matter what, avoid going out from 10 in the morning to 2 in the day.
  • Use the best sunscreen. It is the best way to protect yourself. It guards you against the harmful rays of the sun. Below we discuss top sun screens that are easily available.
  • Wear a cap and good quality UV protective shades. A hat will protect your face and ears while shades will protect your eyesight from the damage.
  • Cover yourself when you go out. Use a tightly woven cloth to do so. However, do not forget to apply sun block before tieing the cloth.

Many girls crib at the idea of using a sun block on their skin because it is sticky and feels weird. However, no matter how much you hate it, it is the best solution available at the moment. PERIOD.

How does a sun block help?

sunscreen in the desert” by N@ncyN@nce is licensed under CC BY-SA

Sun blocks or sun screens are creams that are made up of ingredients aimed at blocking the harmful radiations of the sun from reaching the skin. There are two types of UV rays – UVA and UVB.

UVB rays are the main reason behind sun burns and other minor skin abrasions and troubles. These rays affect the outermost layer of the skin. However, these rays are not so common and cause significant damage mostly when one goes to higher altitudes. That being said, there is no reason why you should not protect yourself from these rays.

UVA rays are the ones that penetrate deep into the skin and cause severe damage. The ageing of the skin, wrinkling of the skin, skin cancer and tanning of the skin is caused by exposure to UVA rays. They account for 95% of the UV rays absorbed by the skin and are present in the atmosphere almost throughout the day.

What is SPF?

Another big question that everyone asks is the meaning and significance of SPF. Without going into technical details, SPF or Sun Protection Factor is the measure of the ability of a sun screen to protect skin from sun damage. Sun rays take 20 minutes to penetrate into our skin and cause damage, now, a cream with SPF 15 will increase this protection by 15 times. Thus, an SPF 15 cream will protect your skin from the harmful rays for 300 minutes (5 hours). This is how SPF works. More SPF means protection for a longer period of time. Another thing to note here is that the SPF also has to do with

Another thing to note here is that the SPF also has to do with a number of UV rays that get blocked. No sunscreen (even the best sunscreen) is 100% efficient. To give you an idea, an SPF 15 cream will filter out 95% of the UV rays, an SPF 30 will filter 97% and an SPF 50 will filter out 98% of the rays.

This means that even after applying the best sunscreen you might get sun burns and suffer skin damage but the chances for the same are considerably reduced.

The Best Sunscreen

Best Sunscreen

Although I support the use of sun screens, I do not recommend going for ANY sunscreen. Skin is a valuable organ of our body and we should not trust any product blindly. Therefore, I have shortlisted and reviewed a few best sunscreen that I have used in the past or I am currently using.

Lotus Herbals Safe Sun

When it comes to sunscreen, Lotus is a brand that I blindly trust. It has been with me on every vacation and on every outdoor adventure. It works like a charm and I have never had a problem with it. Also, since it is available in different volume and SPF, it gives me the freedom to use the same brand on different occasions. For example, on a daily basis, when I have to go out, I use SPF 15 and on my road trips, I usually Prefer SPF 30 or 50 depending on the place I am going. Lotus Herbals Safe Sun has the right ingredients in the right amounts that help my skin stay cool, relaxed and hydrated.

I would recommend this cream in case you have to go out often and are looking for an economical yet highly effective option.

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Sunheal Sunscreen Lotion

For the times when you wish to look good and apply sunscreen at the same time (think of day time parties and events), this is the sun block that you should be using. It blends in with the tone of your skin, is virtually invisible and serves its purpose efficiently. I have been using it from last few months and I am really impressed by its performance.

I would recommend Sunheal Sunscreen Lotion if you are a part of frequent get-togethers, parties and social events where makeup cannot be avoided.

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Sea Ferns Sunscreen

Before switching to Sunheal, I used Sea Ferns on occasions when I had to travel and attend events. The pump bottle made it highly portable and leak free and the non-sticky nature ensured that my skin never looked oily. The special thing about Sea Ferns is the fact that unlike other sunscreens, this one smells really nice and gets absorbed deep down into your skin. You can even feel it after hours of application.

I would recommend it for times when reapplying the sunscreen is not an option or if you are travelling and wish to care about one less thing.

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Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch

Neytrogena is another brand that I trust for many reasons. First, their products are really nice and second, they fit into the budget without a secind thought. The sunblock is no different. It performs amazingly well, protects your skin from the sun and can be used on a daily basis. Before I started using Lotus, this was the product I was relying on. I love the rich feel and flowery smell it has.

I would recommend this sunscreen if you are looking for an option that you can use on a daily basis but do not wish to break your bank.

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Honestly, if you wish to protect yourself from the sun damage, there is nothing better than using a sunblock. These creams are loaded with the right ingredients in the right quantities and are safe for the skin.

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