Sunscreen Basics 101
Baelified Journal

Sunscreen Basics 101

If dermatologists could recommend one skincare product unanimously, it's got to be sunscreen. But, why? What's the hype behind a sunscreen cream? It's quite simple! Your skin is constantly exposed to the harmful rays of the sun, and it's high time we give our skin a little sun care.   

Found yourself in a sticky situation in understanding & choosing the right sunscreen for your skin? Well, we've got your back. Read on to unlock all the secrets of sunscreen right here!   

Decoding Sun Rays   

The sun's rays are a combination of different rays including UVA & UVB. But, what's the difference between the two? Let's find out. UV or ultraviolet rays are classified based on their wavelength.   

UVA rays have a higher wavelength and tend to penetrate deep within the skin through the dermis. With continuous exposure, they tend to cause tanning and premature ageing of the skin.   

Its counterpart, UVB rays, have a shorter wavelength and tend to penetrate the top layer of the skin through the epidermis. With continuous exposure, they tend to lead to sunburn & skin redness.   

Types Of Sunscreen Cream  

The first step to breaking down the nitty-gritty of a sunscreen cream is to get a glimpse of its variants. In dermatology, there are two primary types of sunscreen. You can either get a mineral/physical one or a chemical one.   

What's the difference between the two? Well, a mineral or physical sunscreen uses an array of mineral UV filters like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to deflect the sun's rays, before they penetrate deep within the skin.   

On the other hand, chemical sunscreen combines different UV filters that absorb UV rays of the sun, and convert them into energy, even before they can harm your skin. As they are quite thin in consistency, they're a great fit for everyday wear.   

If you want to get the best of both worlds, a hybrid sunscreen is a perfect fit for you.   

How Do You Choose A Sunscreen?   

Now that you know about the two types, how do you choose the right one? Well, it all boils down to your skin's needs and your personal preference.   

When choosing a photostable sunscreen, you need to think about several vital parameters like SPF, water resistance, active ingredients, skin type & PA value. Feeling like it's a lot of TMI? Let's break it down!  


The first factor to think about when choosing a sunscreen cream is to look at its SPF. The Sun Protection Factor or SPF of a sunscreen depicts how well it protects your skin from the UVB rays of the sun. In other words, it tells you how long would it take for the UV radiation from the sun to redden & burn your skin.   

So, ideally, if you were to use a sunscreen cream with SPF 30, it would take 30 times longer to burn your skin than when you aren't wearing sunscreen.   

Often we think that a higher SPF number would mean increased protection for your skin. But, that's just a myth. According to several studies & dermatologists, a higher SPF, like SPF 100, tends to create a sense of false security, as they encourage you to stay out in the hot sun longer. That's why it's ideally recommended to use a product between SPF 15 & a sunscreen SPF 50.   

SPF 15
93% Protection
SPF 30 97% Protection
SPF 50 98% Protection

B. PA Value

Ever noticed the letters "PA" followed by multiple plus signs on your sunscreen bottle? That's the PA factor! Another aspect to ponder when picking the right sunscreen for your skin is its PA or Protection Grade of UVA factor. The PA index value measures the protection of your skin from UVA rays

PA+  Some UVA Protection
PA++ Moderate UVA Protection
PA+++ High UVA Protection
PA++++ Extremely High UVA Protection

All in all, both rating scales are great for knowing just how much protection your sunscreen cream has to offer for your skin.   

C. Water Resistance

Another phrase that you'd commonly find on your sunscreen label is water-resistant. But, what does it mean? Does it mean that your sunscreen is waterproof? Nope, there's no such thing as waterproof sunscreen. Simply put, the water-resistant value shows how long your sunscreen will stay on wet skin, post which you'd need to reapply.   

For instance, if the water resistance on your sunscreen is 40 minutes, it doesn't mean that you can only stay in the water for 40 minutes. Instead, the product might not be as effective at protecting your skin after 40 minutes, and you need to re-apply it.   

D. Active Ingredients

To make the sunscreen extra-good for your skin, they're packed with superfoods & active ingredients. With the harmonious blend of different UVA & UVB filters, superfoods & active ingredients, a sunscreen can effectively protect your skin from those harmful rays, while giving it an extra burst of love & care from deep within.   

Looking for a superfood sunscreen to add to your skincare routine? Try our Avo-Good Day Sun Defense & Skin Nourishing sunscreen with SPF 35 & PA +++. Infused with avocado extract, aloe juice & niacinamide, this 2-in-1 sunscreen helps to protect, nourish & hydrate your skin with all its vitals, leaving it soft n'supple. Plus, it's fast-absorbing & non-greasy!   

E. Skin Types

Last but not the least, when shopping for sunscreen, it's important to think about your skin type to reap the most out of it. For instance, if your skin is oily & greasy, you might want to keep an eye out for a water-based gel that protects your skin from the sun, without adding extra oil to your skin. On the other hand, if dry skin is a key factor, look for a sunscreen cream that doubles as a moisturiser.   

How Can You Apply A Sunscreen?   

When it comes to how to apply sunscreen on the face, it's best to follow the 'three-finger' rule. All you have to do is squeeze a little bit of the product along the length of your index, middle and ring fingers and lather it evenly on your face and neck. That's it. That's how easy it is.   

Don't forget to slather it on at least 20 minutes before you head out, and keep applying every two hours for better & effective results.   

All in all, a sunscreen cream is one product that every skincare enthusiast lives by, and is definitely a must-have for your skincare routine, irrespective of your skin type. So, catch hold of our sunscreen lingo when shopping for the right one to find the perfect fit for your skin.   

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)  

1. Does sunscreen stop skin darkening?

No. Sunscreen helps to shield your skin from harmful UV rays, but it doesn't mean that it's completely impenetrable. According to the American Cancer Society, sunscreen is a filter which doesn't block all UV rays. So, your skin may still absorb UV rays, causing a slight tan on your skin, even while you're wearing sunscreen.   

2. Can I apply sunscreen directly on the face?

Absolutely! For better protection, it's best to apply a sunscreen cream as the last step of your skincare regimen.  

3. Why should you wait for 15-20 minutes after the sunscreen to go out

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it takes 15 to 20 minutes for your skin to absorb the product completely, reducing the risk of sunburn & redness.  



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