Sunny day sagas

Going haywire on choosing the right sunscreen? Here are a few points to consider before investing in one

Published: 02nd April 2018 11:12 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd April 2018 05:13 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD:For the last one week, one is terrified to step out their house, thanks to the blazing sun. And every girl out there is browsing through blogs and quora to check the best sunscreens available in the market and save their skin from the nemesis.

We may not be able to rescue people from the heat wave but we can surely suggest how to sail through it, keeping the sun damage at bay.Ardent followers of Chinmayi Sriprada are familiar with the fact that she is not just a mesmerising singer and dubbing artiste, she is also a skincare junkie. Thanks to her magnanimity to share with us, her secret to her radiant and healthy skin.

Inspired by her videos, Hyderabad Express spoke to her on how to choose to choose the right sunscreen for our skin.The well-researched skincare enthusiast says sunscreen is a single anti-aging product that one should use but no one tells us that, here in India at least.

Check out her drawings from her research and references from various websites and publications on Sunscreen:

SPF stands for sun protection factor - protects from us from UVB, which burns our skin. SPF does not protect us from UVA radiation which is what causes tanning, photooxidation of melanin and premature skin aging.

As sunlight passes through the atmosphere, all UVC and approximately 90% of UVB radiation are absorbed by ozone, water vapour, oxygen and carbon dioxide. UVA radiation is less affected by the atmosphere. Therefore, the UV radiation reaching the Earth’s surface is largely composed of UVA with a small UVB component. Therefore it is safe to say that we need a sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 15 and a UVA protection of at least four stars in India. A lot of sunscreens available over the counter usually don’t have clear labeling on ingredients, UVA/UVB protection.

You need an approx 1/4 tsp of sunscreen applied at least 30 minutes before sun exposure and reapplied every two hours of sun exposure.

There are a lot of unnecessary concerns on “chemicals” and the danger of zinc oxide. Zinc Oxide and other UV reflectors are usually encapsulated so that they are not absorbed by the skin. Newer sunscreen formulations in several Asian countries and European countries have non-nano zinc oxide. There is not much clarity on the labeling here in India and I source my sunscreens from either Europe or other Asian countries.

Cloudy or bright as summer, one must apply sunscreen.

There is also a lot of worry on Vitamin D absorption. Though the concerns are legitimate, Indians seem to have an epidemic of Vitamin D deficiency, despite having a culture of not wearing sunscreen. One of the reasons for Indians having a deficiency is cited to be genetic and the best way to manage this is regular check-ups and Vitamin D supplements after advice from a doctor.

Korean and Japanese sunscreens are far ahead in their research and finding newer, safer ingredients that are elegant to wear on a daily basis without heaviness or a white cast. US-based sunscreens are not much recommended because of older FDA norms dating to 1990.

One must certainly avoid oxybenzone in sunscreen.

Just like Chinamyi, other skin care experts and bloggers too suggest that one must read and research before using because sunscreen is not just about preventing skin damage due to the sun but also aging of the skin.

— Purnima Sriram
purnima@newindianexpress.com
@iyer_purnima

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