Not only outdoors, sunscreens plays a crucial role in protecting your skin while you are indoors from UVA rays which enter through standard glass windows and can penetrate deeper into the skin than UVB rays, becoming a contributing factor to photo-aging -- which are changes seen as dark spots, wrinkles, and leathery textured skin.
Broadly there are four types of skin and to choose the best sunscreen it's very important to know your skin type. This can be done by washing your face with the help of gentle cleanser. This will wash away the makeup, pollutants and other dirt. Wait for an hour and make sure that you do not touch your face. Your skin should return to its natural state which will help to determine the type of your skin. Take a tissue paper and dab your face. The area consisting of your forehead and nose must be the place where you concentrate.
* Normal Skin: If your skin shows no oil or no flaking and it feels smooth and supple, you have a normal skin type
* Oily Skin: If there is lots of grease on the tissue paper, then you have an oily skin type. It is common that you might have a shine and large pores
* Dry Skin: If the tissue paper is accompanied by lots of flakes and dead skin, then your skin is dry. You need to consider moisturizing your skin
* Combination: Any combination of the above-mentioned skin types is a combination skin type. This is very common skin type. Your skin is generally oily in the forehead and nose area and dry elsewhere
Now that you know your skin type, it's easy to choose the perfect SPF Sunscreen for yourself. If you have dry skin, look for a sunscreen with a moisturiser or sunscreens that contain hydrating ingredients (ceramides or hyaluronic acid).
If you have oily skin type, creamy sunscreens can usually feel sticky and heavy. Opt in for water-based or a lightweight formula sunscreen which is considered ideal for oily skin type.
If you're blessed with normal, uncomplicated skin, your choice is easy. Any high-quality sunscreen will work for you, whether spray, cream or stick.
Along with the SPF factor it is equally important to look at the PA factor. SPF is a grade used to rate the level of UVB protection. The higher the number, the higher the UVB protection.
PA is a grade used to rate the level of UVA protection. The more "+" symbols, the higher the UVA protection.
Typical sunscreens offer protection from mostly UVB Rays. UVB Rays burn your skin while UVA rays cause skin aging and age spots when your skin is overexposed. A broad spectrum sunscreen or a full spectrum sunscreen protects you from both.
(Plabita Sharma, National Training Manager, The Body Shop India)
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