Sweaty, sticky, stifling — summers in India’s tropical climate call for a little extra care. Your usual sunscreen is not enough if you love swimming or lazing by the beach. In such scenarios, only a good waterproof sunscreen can give you sufficient protection. Even though most skincare aficionados religiously follow the CTM routine — cleansing, toning and moisturising — many often tend to miss out on applying good sunscreen in summer. Unfortunately, no matter how regularly you follow the other skincare steps, if you miss out on a good waterproof sunscreen, your dream of perfect skin will remain incomplete. Sunscreens not only protect you from the sun’s harmful rays but also delay premature ageing, fine lines and wrinkles. According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, regular application of sunblock can even reduce the instances of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.
How to select your sunscreen
Normal or waterproof, the efficacy of your sunscreen depends on its sun protection factor or SPF. It indicates how much protection the product offers against ultraviolet radiation. The higher the SPF, the more protection your sunscreen gives. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using sunscreens with a minimum of SPF 30.
Forms and types of sunscreen
Sunscreens are commonly sold in the form of lotions, sprays, bars and powders. You can choose from these depending on your skin type and needs. For example, if you have oily skin, a gel-based lotion sunscreen will be apt for you. If you are travelling, you can use a spray sunscreen that will be handy. That’s not all. You can get sunscreens in different types — chemical, mineral or physical, and hybrid. Chemical sunscreens work by getting absorbed into your skin. It then captures the sun’s ultraviolet rays and converts them into heat and releases it from the body. Meanwhile, mineral sunscreens contain ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which act like a barrier on your skin and reflect the UV rays away. Hybrid sunscreens work as a combination of both chemical and mineral sunscreens.
UVA and UVB
Sunlight includes ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. While UVA has a longer wavelength and is responsible for ageing, UVB has a shorter wavelength and causes sunburns. It is important to choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that offers protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Your sunscreen should also contain the ability to protect your skin from UVA rays, also known as the protection grade of UVA or PA factor. The more the PA factor, the better the sun protection.
How to apply sunscreen
According to The New York Times, sunscreen should be applied at least 20 minutes before stepping out in the sun. If you are using a chemical sunscreen, you can apply sunscreen first to let your skin absorb the product. Mineral sunscreens, on the other hand, should be applied as the last step of your skincare routine since it acts like a protective shield. Healthline recommends reapplying sunscreen every two hours, especially if you are out in the sun. Make sure to take an adequate amount of the product and apply it on your face, neck and other parts that are sun-exposed. Know which sunscreen is best for you with this ultimate guide to sunscreens in India
The best waterproof sunscreens for you to try this summer
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- Bioré UV
- Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock
- Lotus Herbals Safe Sun
- Laneige Watery Sun Cream
- Innisfree Tone Up No Sebum Sunscreen
- Aqualogica Glow+ Dewy Sunscreen
- MCaffeine Coffee Powder Sunscreen
- Thank You Farmer Sun Stick
- Avene Sunscreen
- Earth Rhythm Sunscreen
- Minimalist Sunscreen
- Plum Chamomile & White Tea Sheer Matte Day Cream
The Bioré sunscreen is a water-based, non-greasy product that offers SPF 50 and PA++++ protection. It spreads easily and leaves no white cast. The product has a micro defence formulation, wherein the aqua micro capsules in the sunscreen release moisture upon application to keep the skin hydrated. The formula’s waterproof feature confirmed by an 80-minute water resistance test makes it an ideal waterproof sunscreen for swimming and water sports. Image: Courtesy Amazon
The Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunblock is a waterproof sunscreen with SPF 50+ and PA+++ protection. It features Helioplex technology which offers powerful protection against the sun’s harmful rays. A clean and light formula, this sunscreen gets absorbed easily on your skin and feels weightless. It is waterproof, sweat proof and resists rub-off. This sunscreen is ideal for people with oily skin as it is non-comedogenic and won’t clog pores. It is also free from harmful ingredients like para-aminobenzoic acid. Image: Courtesy Amazon
The Lotus Herbals Safe Sun Sports Super-Stay Sunblock is your perfect companion for a day out at the beach or when you engage in sports or water activities. With calendula and chamomile extracts, this photostable sunscreen offers an SPF of 70 and ensures PA+++ protection without making your skin greasy. Suitable for all skin types, this sunscreen protects you from daily pollution by forming an invisible micro-filter layer on the skin. It is waterproof, sweatproof and is also free from preservatives. Image: Courtesy Amazon
The Laneige Watery Sun Cream has a lightweight watery texture. With an SPF of 50 and PA++++, the formula has birch sap extracts that help lock in moisture while also protecting your skin barrier all day. It is also waterproof and sweatproof. Image: Courtesy Amazon
The Innisfree sunscreen comes with a strong waterproof formula that also gives your skin a 24-hour tone-up look. Its unique sebum fix formula ensures sebum control and is hypoallergenic as per clinical study findings. It has an SPF of 50+ and offers PA+++ protection. Image: Courtesy Amazon
The Aqualogica sunscreen is a must-try for those with oily skin. The sunscreen contains a blend of papaya, vitamin C, and hyaluronic acid that helps give a radiant glow to your face. In addition, it stimulates the aquaporin channels that push moisture from beneath the skin to the surface layer to make your skin glow from within. It offers SPF 50+ and PA+++ protection. A very lightweight non-sticky formula that gets easily absorbed on the skin, the waterproof sunscreen doesn’t leave a white cast. It is also fragrance-free and colour-free. Image: Courtesy Amazon
This sunscreen from MCaffeine contains natural sunscreen agents. This translucent powder is water-resistant and comes with an SPF 50 PA+++ protection It also features an application brush that lets you apply the product on your face effortlessly. The caffeine content protects the skin from UV damage and helps soothe inflammation. It is also rich in kaolin clay, which controls oil and mattifies your skin. Ideal for people with sensitive skin, this sunscreen is also fortified with the goodness of almond oil and vitamin E, which resists UV rays and reverses skin damage. Image: Courtesy Nykaa
This sunscreen stick gives you ample protection from UV rays and blue light. It is water-resistant and has an SPF value of 50+ and PA++++, which makes it ideal for water activities or when you sweat a lot. It is also infused with centella asiatica, calamine, Asiatic acid, and madecassic acid, which helps soothe your skin and revitalises the skin barrier. Packaged in an easy-to-use form, this sunscreen can be your saviour when you are out in the sun and want to reapply the product frequently. Image: Courtesy Nykaa
This photostable product by Avene is a broad-spectrum sunscreen that offers protection from both UVA and UVB rays. It is best suited for people with dry and sensitive skin. It contains pre-tocopheryl, a photostable vitamin E precursor which provides additional cell protection. It also comes with Avene Thermal Spring Water, which has natural soothing and anti-irritating properties. With SPF 50, this sunscreen does not leave a white cast and is also water-resistant. Image: Courtesy Amazon
The Earth Rhythm Ultra Defence Hybrid Sun Fluid – SPF 50 offers broad spectrum protection. It is a mineral sunscreen enriched with the goodness of raspberry seed oil, yashad bhasma and zinc oxide. It offers PA++++ protection and comes in a lightweight gel formula. Besides having hydrating properties, it helps control suntan, dark spots and hyperpigmentation. The formula is non-toxic and free from chemical filters. Image: Courtesy Nykaa
The Minimalist sunscreen is a hybrid lightweight sunscreen that hydrates your skin without making it greasy. It leaves you with a natural, moisturised and non-shiny look. The sunscreen is rich in vitamins A, B, E and F that help repair skin and minimise the damage caused by UV exposure. The product is also oil-free, fragrance-free, silicone-free and paraben-free. It offers SPF 50 and PA++++ protection. Image Courtesy: Amazon
The Plum sunscreen is fortified with chamomile extracts, white tea extracts and gingko biloba extracts. While chamomile extracts are rich in anti-inflammatory properties, white tea extracts are natural antioxidants. The gingko biloba contents also help fight early signs of ageing. This mattifying formula offers SPF 50 and PA+++ and UVA protection. The sunscreen is free of silicones, parabens, phthalates and sodium lauryl sulfate. Image courtesy: Amazon
Prices of the products mentioned in the story are subject to change.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: Waterproof sunscreens are a type of sun protection products that don't get wiped off by water. You should use a waterproof sunscreen when you are near any water body such as the beach or a swimming pool. Waterproof sunscreens are also ideal when you are engaging in any kind of physical activities or hitting the gym where you sweat a lot.
Answer: Waterproof sunscreens work by creating a barrier on your skin which water can’t penetrate. So, the product stays on longer, giving you adequate protection.
Answer: Waterproof sunscreens are generally safe for sensitive skin. However, one should only get hypoallergenic sunscreens from reputed brands. Before buying one, make sure to check the list of ingredients along with the SPF and PA factor. You should also consult a dermatologist before buying sunscreen.
Answer: You should reapply waterproof sunscreen every two hours. You should also follow the reapplication instructions on the product packaging.
Answer: You can remove waterproof sunscreen using a mild face wash. If your sunscreen is water-based, you can remove it using a cleanser. If your sunscreen is oil-based, you may need an oil-based cleanser to remove the product completely.
Answer: Most waterproof sunscreens have an SPF of 50 or above. While selecting your waterproof sunscreen, make sure to pick a broad spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF and PA value.