How to Choose Sunscreen for Dry and Sensitive Skin
Your skin is the largest organ and the foremost barrier of your body. It protects you from environmental pollution and external stresses. It is therefore natural for the beauty industry to focus on the products that provide the tender loving care to your skin and keep it looking young.
In the crowed of the toners, moisturizers, and exfoliation gels, the humble sunscreen is the most important product your skin needs.
Different skin types have different requirements, so when you buy a sunscreen, you should keep your skin type in mind.
Sunscreen - Why is it Important?
Sunscreen protects your skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, and its application is arguably the most effective and important part of any skincare regime.
Sunscreen keeps you looking young. The Ultra Violet (UV) radiations present in sunlight damage the elastic fibers in the skin, which are responsible for the skin’s ability to stretch and recoil. This damage from UV radiations tends to accumulate over time, and the skin starts to lose its elasticity and begins to sag and wrinkle. Sunscreen helps retain the precious moisture of your skin and significantly delays the appearance of premature aging.
Is sunscreen different for different skin types?
People with sensitive skin are allergic to a range of ingredients in a skincare product and are quick to develop skin issues like rashes, burning, redness, and irritation. Some people have skin that is allergic to fragrance. However, people with sensitive skin are often more sensitive to ultra-violet radiation as well, and therefore it is even more important for them to apply daily sunscreen.
If you have sensitive skin, then opt for a sunscreen with the following properties and ingredients:
- Physical sunscreen: A physical sunscreen should be your preferred choice if you have sensitive skin. Physical sunscreens, also called mineral sunscreens, are made of mineral ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium oxide, which reflect ultraviolet radiation and are gentler on your skin. Both these ingredients are suitable for skin prone to eczema and rosacea.
- Fragrance-free: If your skin is allergic to fragrance, you should buy a fragrance-free sunscreen.
- Avoid irritants: Avoid sunscreen that is laden with irritants like parabens, dyes, and lanolin.
- Vitamin E and aloe vera: A sunscreen with vitamin E and aloe is your best bet for sensitive skin as they are well tolerated. Both ingredients soothe and condition your skin.
If your skin feels tight and uncomfortable after a face wash, it means you have dry skin. This means that the sebum in your skin is low. Having dry skin compromises your skin’s ability to retain moisture, hence making it look perpetually parched. For dry skin, invest in a sunscreen that comes with these properties:
- A sunscreen that moisturizes: Since the problem with dry skin is the retention of moisture, use a cream-based sunscreen that doubles up as a moisturizer.
- Aloe vera extract and wheatgerm: Dry skin needs to be kept constantly hydrated. Use a sunscreen with ingredients that keep up the hydration level of your skin to its optimal. Aloe vera and wheatgerm extracts are two ingredients that keep your skin supple and plump.
- Chia seeds: A sunscreen with chia seeds extracts helps accelerate the absorption of all the goodness that your sunscreen provides.
How to apply sunscreen?
No matter what your skin type is, sunscreen will only be effective if applied the proper way.
- Use SPF 30 and above: A SPF of 30 and above blocks 97% of the sun’s UV rays. Anything lower than this is risking your skin to harmful exposure of sun rays.
- Apply to all exposed area: It’s not just your face that takes a beating when you head out, it’s all other exposed areas like hands, neck and upper chest that are regularly exposed. Sunscreen should be applied to all exposed areas for maximum protection.
- Use it directly on your face: Skip the hand to face routine and dot the sunscreen directly on your face. Direct application quickens the pace of absorption.
- Daily use: Sunscreen needs to be applied daily for the optimal safeguard
- The 20-minute rule: Always apply sunscreen at least 20 minutes before stepping out for the sunscreen to work up its magic.
- Re-apply every three hours: It is recommended that sunscreen be reapplied every three hours because sunscreens can oxidize after exposure to sunlight.
- Sunscreen goes first, and then the moisturizer: The presence of moisturizer on the skin would hinder their function. Hence, apply sunscreen first, allow it some time to be absorbed properly, and then apply moisturizer.
A good sunscreen is your skin’s lifelong best friend. Its proper use not only packs a punch in your daily skincare routine but is also a game-changer when it comes to nurturing your skin. And remember, different sunscreens for different skin types are the key to give the best care your skin needs.