A Beginner’s Complete Guide For Sunscreen Use


You may not be a Skincare Expert. Well, you may not care about skincare at all. But one of the most important steps you need to incorporate into your life, if you haven’t already, is using sunscreens. It’s something you cannot compromise. You need to use this humble skincare product to prevent your skin from early signs of aging, allergies and, the worst of them all, skin cancer.


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Ultra Violet B Rays are the reason why you get sunburns or tans. This is where SPF comes in. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and it indicates the amount of time you’ll be protected from these harmful UVB rays. SPF 5 gives you 50 minutes of protection. That also means you have to reapply your sunscreen after 50 minutes. This is why you should opt for sunscreens that have at least SPF 15, which will give you 150 minutes (or 2 hours and 30 minutes) of protection SPF 30 will give you 5 hours of protection.


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Ultra Violet A Rays are responsible for wrinkling and other signs of premature aging. This is where PA or Protection Grade comes in. PA+ denotes the least amount of protection while PA+++ denotes the most amount of protection. Some Japanese sunscreens even have PA++++.

The Chemical Sunscreen

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Chemical sunscreens absorb the sun rays – they absorb the UV rays and transform them into heat and then release the heat from the skin. These tend to be thinner, more spreadable and more wearable on a daily basis. They even look good in photos!

The Physical Sunscreen

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Physical sunscreens act like a shield; they simply block out the sun rays. These tend to give you that ghastly white-cast after you apply them, which some people may be wary of. However, Physical Sunscreens are great for those who have Sensitive Skin as they don’t cause irritation or enhance one’s rosacea and redness. These also don’t clog up the pores as much and have a longer shelf life.

Gloomy Days

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Say the clouds are scattered all across the blue sky… Do you still need to use a sunscreen? Yes. It doesn’t matter if it’s raining or snowing, it’s always best to have sunscreen on since UV rays can penetrate through just about anything.

“I live in a castle”

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If you live in a castle with no windows or ventilation then, yes, you may skip sunscreen. However, if your palatial abode has windows or even the tiniest hole through which sun rays can enter, you’re going to need your sunscreen. Jokes apart, you really do need some protection even if you’re working indoors all day. SPF 15 and PA++ will suffice.


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What happens when you layer a BB Cream with SPF 10 over a sunscreen with SPF 15? Do you immediately have a brand new shield that will give you SPF 25? No. You cannot add those digits up like you would in math class. It just doesn’t work that way. However, layering products that have SPF will mean more coverage. Say you missed a spot on your chin while applying your sunscreen; the SPF 10 BB Cream will cover that part up.

What comes first?

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If you’re someone who wears makeup before stepping out for the day, you need to make sure you apply your sunscreen before you apply your makeup. As you might already know, most sunscreens have a designated wait time (wait 10-15 minutes before stepping out into the sun). So, after cleansing and moisturising, apply your sunscreen and then proceed to do your makeup. That’ll make sure you’ve had the sunscreen on long enough before you go out for the day.

The Japan Factor

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Japanese sunscreens are some of the best the world has to offer. If you have relatives and acquaintances living/visiting Japan, ask them to get a couple of sunscreens for you. Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand also usually stock of some of the bestselling Japanese sunscreens. You could choose from brands (or sister/sub-brands) like Biore, Shiseido, Cosme Decorte, Kanebo etc.

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