No wonder sunscreen lotions and related products have an established market in the skin care niche. Men and women equally like to take care of their personality. And we all know face value counts a lot, research suggests that it’s not only the females but males that favors the usage of sunscreen lotions. Here’s why we’ve suggested top 10 sunscreen lotions that can be used by males and take care of their skin and protect it from harmful sun damage.
According to every dermatologist, sunscreen is one of the most important, if not the number one skincare product you should always invest in regardless of your gender. Many of us think of sunscreen as an optional part of skincare, especially men. This is because usually, on Indian brown skin sun damage happens gradually and we tend to ignore that which does not show visible harm instantly. But the benefits of sunscreen far outweigh the long term damage that your skin undergoes thanks to the sun’s harsh rays. But since men generally tend to skip sunscreen, male skin tends to show signs of sun damage easier and earlier than women.
There is also a misconception that you need not wear sunscreen if you are indoors and away from direct sunlight. But dermatologists unanimously agree that even when you are indoors or traveling in cars with no direct sun exposure, it is necessary to wear sunscreen as UV rays can penetrate through the glass as well as tinted car windows. However, there are way too many brands with their specific formulations and varying degrees of SPF (sun protection factor), so it can easily get quite confusing to choose the right sunscreen for yourself. The degree of SPF along with the chemical formulations used in the sunscreen are important factors that must be considered to choose the correct product, for getting the best protection. Technically speaking, most sunscreens are not marketed as “for men” products in the market since these are unisex cosmetic items as they should be. Most of the sunscreens in our analysis can be used by both men and women as sun rays are equally damaging to your skin regardless of your gender. Throughout the reviews of the sunscreen, we will use few scientific terms such as physical and chemical SPF and PA ratings, which would be explained under the buying guide. Please go through that section to understand which one would be suitable for your skin type. We hope our reviews would be helpful for you to choose the right sunscreen for yourself.
Top 3 reasons why you should wear sunscreen:
- Protection from harsh sun rays and their effects as well as heat exhaustion
- Prevent skin cancer and maintain even skin tone
- Prevent premature aging and skin damage from collagen breakdown
Best Sunscreen For Men – Reviews
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Avene is one of the most renowned brands in the cosmetic market originating in France, especially known for producing some of the best sunscreens for every type of skin. This is a physical sunscreen with a high-end SPF 50, and the light and non-greasy formula of this sunscreen emulsion is suitable for all skin types but especially recommended for those with oily and sensitive skin. Although this sunscreen has a dry touch formula, which means it is non-greasy, lightweight, and mattifying, the brand claims it is still moisturizing and suitable for dry skin type without leaving a white cast. The sunscreen is also water-resistant which means you can go longer without having to reapply as it will not wash away with sweat. One of the best features of this sunscreen along with being a broad-spectrum sunscreen is that it also claims to be hypoallergenic, free of parabens, non-comedogenic along with being free of fragrance, which makes it the perfect choice for those with sensitive skin. This sunscreen also has thermal spring water as an ingredient which the brand claims would soothe the skin along with preventing skin damage. The formula is water-resistant and long-lasting (98% protection approximately 4 hours) so you don’t have to reapply frequently.
Why we recommend it
- It’s ideal balance between desire and security
- Light and non-greasy texture: imperceptible, non-oily texture for particularly pleasant application
- Particularly formulated for larger body areas
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This sunscreen by the renowned cosmetic brand L’Oreal claims to have formulated this sunscreen specifically catering to men’s skin. The SPF 20 in this sunscreen is on the lower end of sun protection but it would still give you approximately 95% protection. Along with UV protection, this sunscreen also claims to soothe razor burns and any irritation caused because of shaving. The sunscreen has a lightweight, non-greasy formula that blends into your skin effortlessly on every skin type. This has a chemical SPF formula so more suitable for those with dry skin.
Shield your skin with ultimate moisture this season, as Loreal Men Expert Moisturizing Fluid to guard your skin from harmful sun rays and lessen darkening of skin. It comes with Active Defense System that fortifies the skin's tussle with ageing and darkening. After using L'Oreal Men Whitening Moisturizing Fluid, you will find that your skin has become nourished and fairer and more importantly an even tone. You can smear it in the morning after you have gutted your face mask skin. If you use it after shaving, L'Oreal Men Moisturizing Fluid dismisses any kind of annoyance due to razor blisters. It is light and leaves the skin feeling flat.[amazon box=”B004JOB5IE”]
Why we recommend it
- It comes with an Active defense system: Is a potent soothing active ingredient, helps support the skin's natural resistance against daily antagonisms for less tension and more ease
- Blend of melanoblock and vitamin C: These are 2 active ingredients proven to regulate the production of melanin
- SPF 20 PA+++: Protects skin from ill effects of sun
- Gives a global whitening action and supports the skin's natural resistance
- Dampness and fluid texture precise for men – non-greasy, non-sticky, enters quickly and gives 24 hour hydration
- Dark spots become less perceptible, skin is evidently fairer and more even in 4 weeks of usage, skin is protected from UV rays to help avert further darkening and skin ageing. Packaging may differ.
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Lotus is a brand based in India under Vedicare Ayurveda, known for producing quality herbal and natural cosmetic and skincare products since 1993. This cream-based, broad-spectrum sunblock has a very reliable sun protection factor of 40 and PA+++ which gives you approximately 97% protection with reapplication needed every 3 to 4 hours. This product is marketed as a sunblock rather than sunscreen which means this is a physical sunscreen, making it a great option for those with acne-prone and sensitive skin. This also has a mattifying formula which means those with oily skin can also use this easily. But the brand claims this is suitable for every skin type so those with dry skin can also try this multi-purpose sunblock with a moisturizer if it feels too dry. The brand claims that this sunblock not only works on blocking UV rays but also as a BB cream equivalent product (BB creams are tinted moisturizers that give you an even tone similar to a light foundation). But the tint will suit those with light to medium skin tone and may not suit those with a dusky and dark complexion.
The Lotus sunblock SPF 40, offers will not look oily on your face. It effortlessly blends into your skin to give you an exclusive matte finish. Linking UVA and UVB properties with skin lightning fixings, this sunscreen not only defends your skin, but also lightens it. Smear this Lotus matte sunscreen SPF 40 on to your face before walking out of your house to stay endangered from damaging UV rays. For best consequences, apply the sunscreen at least 20 minutes before going out in the sun.
Why we recommend it
- Birch extract: Revitalizing, lessens skin oiliness and refines skin pores
- Mallow extract: Comforting and anti-inflammatory
- Hops extract: Severe properties
- Apply generously and evenly on face and unprotected parts of the body (neck, arms, legs, etc.) before exposure to sun
- Re-apply frequently
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Himalaya’s Protective Sunscreen Lotion is a double-action formulation that protects you from harmful UV rays and, at the same time, nourishes your skin. Himalaya has received a US patent for CINNABLOC, an active sunscreen agent used in Protective Sunscreen Lotion. CINNABLOC is extracted from the herbs Spiked Ginger Lily and Greater Galangal, which have natural UV ray shielding properties. The US patent has been granted for the discovery of a natural sunscreen composition and using it in a herbal cosmeceutical product. With an SPF of15, Himalaya’s sunscreen gives your skin protection from UV rays. Key ingredients: Spiked Ginger Lily has a wide range of therapeutic benefits. The powdered rhizomes of the plant are used as an antiseptic agent and for muscle aches and pain. Its warming properties make Spiked Ginger Lily an effective skin moisturizer. Aloe Vera, known for its many healing properties, can be used topically or consumed in its juice form. The leaf of this plant has a number of therapeutic properties. It is rich in enzymes, polysaccharides and nutrients which exhibit antibacterial and antifungal action. A natural UV inhibitor, its hydrating, softening and intense moisturizing properties nourish the skin.
Why we recommend it
- Its light-in-weight stimulating sunscreen for men
- It offers high level SPF broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection from daily damage and premature aging
- Contains Caffeine, Vitamins C and E to energize tired and dull skin44
- Vitamins C & E to energize tired & dull skin
- With a non-sticky
- Oil-free & fragrance-free formula
- It leaves skin energetic & healthy looking
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No wonder Cetaphil is one of the best skincare ranges for your skin. They are non-comedogenic, non-greasy and dermatologically tested. Made with SPF 50+ and special filters, Cetaphil Sun provides advanced protection against UVA, UVB and Infrared Radiations both indoors and outdoors. Its gel based formula blends right into your skin, resulting in non-sticky, healthy looking skin at all times. It is Gel based which means it get absorbs quickly and it is also non sticky.
Why we recommend it
- Gel based, absorbs quickly and non sticky
- Nourishing with vitamin E
- This light, no grease oil feeds and hydrates your skin while also guards it from the damaging rays of the sun
- Non-comedogenic, Non-greasy, fragrance free from the # 1Â brand recommended Dermatologically
- Ultraviolet Rays of the sun are made of UVB and UVA, it is imperative to guard the skin against both UVB and UVA to prevent suntan and other damage
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Lakme is one of the oldest and most trusted cosmetics and skincare brands from India and the Lakme Sun Expert range is one of the oldest sunscreen ranges released in the Indian market. What makes this sunscreen stand out is its high SPF rating of 50 with a PA+++ rating which makes this a broad-spectrum sunscreen, which gives you the highest 97% protection. As this sunscreen has a gel-based mattifying formula it is suitable for most skin types and especially for oily skin although it has chemical SPF, which means it leaves no white cast at all after application. The lightweight consistency of the sunscreen also makes it suitable for layering, that is, it can easily be layered above moisturizer and is suitable for those who want to wear makeup on top.[amazon box=”B0744R95BT”]
Why we recommend it
- Non gluey, lightweight gel sunscreen which blocks up to 97 percent harmful sun rays
- Broad spectrum uv guard protects from both UVA and UVB rays
- Avert sunburn, dark spots, untimely ageing and skin darkening
- This is hypoallergenic tested against allergies and non-comedogenic does not block pores
- This has been tested by dermatologists
- Apposite for all skin types
- Delivers ultra-matte after feel
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Sun can be wicked for your skin. Apart from the perceptibly, muddled tan and sunburns, the UV rays of the sun damage your sin, cause crinkles, premature ageing! Lotus Herbals Safe Sun Anti-Ageing Anti Tan Ultra Sunblock SPF-100+ PA+++ is crammed with natural constituents like thyme, soy protein and licorice which not only protect your skin but also boost production of collagen to improve skin elasticity and delay visible signs of ageing.[amazon box=”B00DRE2NBU”]
Why we recommend it
- Thyme is rich in antioxidants which aid fight free radicals and mend skin health to guard your skin from premature ageing. It has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial stuffs which help heal trivial skin illnesses and control breakouts.
- Soy Protein is a natural conditioner which brings intense hydration and lock in vital moisture in the skin. Phytoestrogens in Soy Protein help crop estrogen which decreases the arrival of fine lines and wrinkles and stays skin ageing.
- Licorice lightens and enhances your skin tone and guards it from further damage from outside elements and pollutants. It lessens arrival of marks and dark spots and evens out skin tone. It feeds skin from inside to give it a natural, healthy glow.
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This broad-spectrum physical sunscreen is loaded with natural ingredients that prevent sun damage with medium strength SPF 30 and PA++. This sunscreen was specifically formulated to prevent tanning, pigmentation, redness from sunburn, and premature aging. The nongreasy formula is especially suitable for oily skin. Natural ingredients such as black plum extract offer astringent and moisturizing effects whereas hawthorn extracts have antioxidant benefits. Overall, this is a great sunblock offering about 95% protection.[amazon box=”B008TO8PY2″]
Why we recommend it
- The Black plum extract is astringent and moisturizing
- Octyl methoxy cinnamate: Organic UV-B sunscreen agent
- Zinc cote: Physical sunscreen agent, micro fine
- Titanium dioxide: Physical sunscreen agent
- Benzophenone 3: Excellent organic UV-A sunscreen agent
- Simply apply cream generously and squarely on face and exposed parts of body before exposure to sun
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Nivea is another old and trusted brand especially known for producing moisturizing skincare cosmetics. This broad-spectrum sunscreen lotion with a physical SPF of 50 and the highest PA++++ rating which gives all-round protection from UV rays. The non-greasy, fast-absorbing water-resistant formula makes it suitable especially for oily skin and can be applied all over the body because of its lotion formula. The sunscreen is also very moisturizing which makes it suitable for dry skin as well.[amazon box=”B00E96MU5E”]
Why we recommend it
- The Nivea Sun Lotion provides instant protection, you don't have to wait for 20 minutes
- Nivea sun lotion is water resistant
- Nivea Sun Lotion has light and non-sticky formula which is quickly absorbed
- It provides protection against both UVA and UVB rays
- Nivea Sun lotion has PA++ and Advanced Collagen Protect. It protects skin's collagen to help prevent wrinkles caused by frequent sun exposure
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Neutrogena is a trusted skincare brand of American origin, and the ultra sheer dry touch sunblock is one of the oldest and well-known sun protection products available in the Indian market. The brand claims that the dermatologically tested, non-comedogenic, mattifying formula is suitable for every skin type, but as this is a physical sunblock we would say those with acne-prone and oily skin would find this most suitable. The HELIOPLEX formula prevents active ingredients from breaking down faster under UV rays thus offering stronger protection.
Neutrogena presents Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 50+, a radical, dermatologist-tested formula that contains helioplex technology, the latest breakthrough in UV protection. Stabilized with Helioplex, it provides superior balanced broad-spectrum protection against skin-aging UVA and burning UVB rays, and combines it with Dry Touch Technology for and ultra-light, non-shiny finish. Serious sun protection never felt this light on your skin. This lightweight sunblock has a light fresh scent and is gentle enough even for sensitive skin.[amazon box=”B000EPA4GQ”]
Why we recommend it
- Offers broad spectrum UV protection against both UVA/UVB rays
- Non-greasy, oil free
- Fast-absorbing and water-resistant
- Dry-Touch Technology delivers ultra-light, non-shiny finish
As we have already stated in the introduction sunscreen should be a necessary part of your skincare regimen, but since there are so many variants of sunscreen out there it might get confusing for you to choose the right one. We have put together this buying guide to specifically help you, especially if you are looking to purchase sunscreen for the first time. For this, you need to have a basic understanding of sunscreen and how it works to protect your skin against sun damage, along with how it will interact with your skin type. So if this is your concern then read on.
Let’s get the basic idea of Sunscreen out of the way before we can dive into further complex details regarding the various types and formulations.
To understand sunscreen, first, you need to understand which sunscreens protect you against, yes, the evil solar radiation (UV A and UV B). These solar radiations are at the root of what causes damage to your skin. While UVA rays penetrate deep to cause long-term and sometimes irreversible damage like premature aging and wrinkles; the shorter wavelength UV B rays are even more harmful as they cause both short-term/immediate damage like sunburn and in the long term may cause skin cancer.
The chemical formulations or active ingredients in sunscreen work in various ways to protect your skin, by either absorbing and deactivating or deflecting and degrading the UV rays.
Types of Sunscreens
Sunscreens similar to moisturizers are manufactured in the form of creams, lotions, gels, sprays, sticks, oils, and even pastes. It may take a bit of experimentation to find the right sunscreen suited to your skin type. But it is fairly easy to choose based on your skin type which we will discuss later.
For example, gel-based sunscreens are the best options for acne-prone skin. Spray sunscreens are better suited for kids. Try to pick a non-greasy formula in case you wear makeup on a daily basis.
Broad Spectrum Sunscreen
To put simply, broad-spectrum sunscreens, as the name suggests are those that protect your skin against both UVA and UV B rays of the sun. This wide range of protection thus shields you against every type of sun damage like skin cancer, premature aging of the skin (wrinkles, thickened and sagging skin, age spots, etc.). Sunscreens that are broad-spectrum are usually labeled as so or will mention both UVA and UVB protection on the label.
The reason why both UVA and UVB protection is necessary is that primarily UVB rays cause sunburn. So, UVB protection protects you from getting sunburns and the soreness that comes with it. Additionally, and way more dangerously UVB rays play a greater part in causing skin cancer too. Notably, UVB rays are not as strong around the winter months, as well as in mornings and evenings throughout the year. But wearing sunscreen as protection even during these phases is important just to be safe.
Unlike UVB, UVA rays are equally prevalent throughout the year and at all times of the day. They actually account for 95% of the UV radiation that reaches the earth. On top of that, while they don't cause sunburn they are a leading cause of skin cancer and skin aging. Something we can all certainly use protection from.
This is why a higher rating of SPF does not necessarily mean better or higher sun protection. SPF on its own specifically provides more protection against UV B and not UV A. Hence, this is where the idea of broad-spectrum and PA rating comes in.
Read ahead to understand what SPF entails, so you can take a further informed decision while choosing a sunscreen.
SPF (Sun Protection Factor)
If you have browsed past the sunscreen section at the cosmetic aisle of malls, you may have noticed that every sunscreen has SPF stamped on them in big bold letters with various numbers beside them. SPF which stands for Sun Protection Factor is the key feature in sunscreen that works to block the harmful Ultraviolet (UV A and UV B) rays of the sun. There are also UV C rays which are the most harmful, but it does not reach the earth’s surface so you only need to concern yourself with the UV A and B rays.
There are two types of SPFs which are basically chemical formulations, and they can be either Physical/Mineral SPF or Chemical SPF.
The numbers beside SPF stand for the measure of how much the particular formulation of sunscreen would protect your skin from sun damage caused by harmful UV radiation. To elaborate, this measurement determines how long it will take for sun rays to burn or damage your skin while you are wearing that degree of sunscreen, relative to when you are not wearing sunscreen. Further specifically, SPF is a measure of protection against UV B rays as UV A protection is not rated.
However, there is no specific time frame as to how long exactly a certain number of SPF will protect you, rather the number is more specific towards how much radiation it blocks. This is why higher does not necessarily mean better, as some misconstrue the number as a pass to stay out in the sun longer feeling a false sense of protection. This is not how it works. But as an approximate measurement, skin typically burns after 10 minutes of exposure to the sun. But wearing sunscreen gives you the leeway to stay in the sun without risking sunburn for about 2 hours. This estimate is not absolute and may vary according to sunlight intensity and skin type along with how much sunscreen you use. With anything about SPF 40-50 you are already getting nearly 98% protection, any number beyond that is a waste and usually a marketing gimmick. So we recommend you to rather be generous with using the sunscreen rather than looking for a higher number hoping for better protection. It is dermatologically recommended to use a minimum of SPF 15 which blocks around 93% of the sun’s rays, with the best protection starting at SPF 30 and above that filters 97% sun rays. To put it in further scientific terms, SPF 15 allows about 7/100 photons through the sunscreen barrier, while SPF 30 allows 3/100.
It is important to remember that no sunscreen will filter out sun rays completely, especially the UV B rays. This is why prevention through staying covered even while wearing sunscreen by using umbrellas, hats and long-sleeved clothing is a better practice.
Moving on to variations of SPF, like we mentioned before there are physical and chemical SPFs.
These mainly entail the ingredients and protect your skin in different ways.
These are also known as mineral SPF. These kinds of sun protection factors form a barrier or shield on the skin. This is why sunscreens with this kind of SPF are also known as sunblocks. These kinds of sunblocks sit and form a layer on the skin and work by deflecting the harmful rays of the sun. These sunscreens usually have active ingredients such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. These ingredients are versatile and are effective to fight both People with acne-prone or sensitive skin or rosacea would fare better with such formulas as these do not block pores and are quite gentle on your skin. Depending on the type these also tend to be more moisturizing, so if you have dry skin you may like physical SPF too. What’s more, these sunblocks are also safe for children and pregnant women. Another benefit of a physical sunscreen is that they become effective immediately after application, unlike chemical SPFs which usually need 15-20 minutes to get absorbed and be effective and they also tend to have a longer shelf life. Since physical SPFs tend to have a heavy consistency, they can be difficult to blend and may leave the dreaded white, chalky cast on the face. This is one of the biggest flaws of these sunscreens. Naturally, most of us want to avoid this, thankfully there are some brands that have circumnavigated this flaw and there are few physical sunscreens available in the market that are either tinted or have very minimal or disappearing white cast effect when applied. When it comes to cons, physical SPF also tends to have lower lasting power on the skin, as they rub off and come off with sweat easily. So if you are using physical SPF be sure to apply generously and reapply more frequently.
A sunscreen with chemical SPF on the other hand absorbs the UV rays of the sun instead of deflecting (as physical SPF does) and releases it from your body as heat energy. These types of SPFs are usually formulated with active ingredients or organic chemicals such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate. These ingredients tend to be easier to blend on the skin, have a thinner and less greasy consistency, and thus do not leave the dreaded white cast as physical SPF does, also making it suitable for everyday use. This is why sunscreens with chemical SPF are most suitable for people who wear makeup and they also tend to be quite suitable for dry skin. Unlike physical SPFs you also don’t need a lot of product to get good protection, a little amount goes a long way. Basically, you can use these sunscreens like your daily moisturizer. Chemical sunscreens also come with waterproof/resistant formulas thus making them suitable for people who play sports or go swimming. However, chemicals SPFs also tend to have irritant properties, and some of the active ingredients may be sensitizing for people sensitive or acne-prone skin. These types of sunscreens also need some time to be effective as they need to be absorbed properly in the skin to work.
PA Rating on Sunscreen
Just like SPF ratings (with numbers) you may see PA ratings on sunscreens/sunblocks too. PA rating system comes from the Persistent Pigment Darkening (PPD) method. This method tests the effect of UVA radiation which causes a persistent darkening (tanning) of the skin. The PA analysis is done based on exposing people of various skin tones to UV A radiation and testing how long it takes for their skin to darken or tan, thereby comparing the impact on protected and unprotected skins.
Although no specific rating or measure of PPD is possible as there is no standard system for scoring, various systems are used to get a general PPD score for testing the UV A protection strength. So, in general terms, the PA rating on sunscreens is the strength of its UV A ray protection. PA is rated with + sign and the highest PA rating available in the market is ++++.
If the label of your sunscreen says that it has PA+ (which is the lowest rating), it means it offers the minimal possible protection against UVA rays. PA ++ rating on products suggests it offers moderate protection against UVA rays and similarly, PA+++ rating offers the best protection. Recently a higher rating of PA++++ has been formulated and is available in few sunscreen products that have been newly launched. However, there is no substantial data available that suggests PA++++ offers more protection than PA+++, so the two ratings do not have much conclusive difference. PA+++ is just more commonly available than PA ++++, as the latter is relatively new. So, it comes down to your personal preference which of the highest available ratings you choose.
Choosing Sunscreen According To Your Skin Type
Using the right product for your skin type is almost as important as protecting your skin by wearing sunscreen. Not to mention, using the right product for your skin type is necessary to maintain healthy skin as well. To do this, of course, you need to understand your skin type, and once you do that you can not only choose the right sunscreen but decide on an entire skincare routine based on that. Broadly speaking, there are 4 types of skin: dry, normal, combination, and oily. There are sub-categories among these, like sensitive, acne-prone, and aging/mature skin.
You may have skin that fits into only a single type or has skin that is a combination of all of these. In this section, we will try to explain how to determine your skin type, so that you can choose the right sunscreen based on that.
To briefly explain each type of skin:
Dry – This type of skin can easily be recognized by the dry texture often having flakiness, or peeling during drier seasons. Extremely dry skin may also feel irritated, sensitive with itchy feeling, and lacking in glow because of the skin being dehydrated. Low fat/li[pid content also causes the skin to be drier. All of these conditions cause the skin to feel uncomfortable and tight. Both internal and external factors may cause dry skin, but external factors such as season, harsh treatments, etc. are manageable. But internal causes of dry skin such as medication, allergies, maturing skin, etc. are health-related and need medical and dermatological treatment. If you do not take good care of dry skin, you may start developing wrinkles earlier and they may get even more prominent if you tend to skip sunscreen.
Normal – As the term suggests, this type of skin is balanced in every way without being too oily or too dry, and correct ph level. This type of skin is also called eudermic which stands for well balanced. Normal skin does not feel itchy, flaky and neither is it prone to breakouts, acne, or blemishes. The skin feels generally balanced throughout every season and stays supple without large, open pores.
Combination – This skin type is a mix of both dry and oily and will have areas of both. Usually, such skin types tend to have dry skin around the chin and cheeks, with oily skin on nose and forehead areas. This skin type also may or may not have blemishes, acne, or sensitivity in the oily zones. The skin conditions may vary throughout the season with it being dry in winters and extra oily in summers. The sebum production is generally higher in the T zone compared to the rest of the face for this skin type, causing the skin to appear greasy and shiny in those areas.
Oily – People with this skin type have greasy, shiny skin (especially the T zone) due to excessive oil and sebum production. This skin type also usually tends to be prone to breakouts and acne, because of the clogged pores caused by excess sebum. Oily skin also has visibly large and open pores.
Now for the subcategories,
Dry, Oily and Combination skin types can all be sensitive, acne-prone, or aging/mature skin.
Sensitive skin types tend to be very reactive and vulnerable to a lot of things from cosmetic products to health conditions to environmental effects. For example, they tend to have a harsh reaction to environmental factors such as dry air, wind, and UV rays. Sensitive skin also shows the effect of stress and hormonal imbalance more than other skin types. Sensitive skin can also react easily to harsh cosmetic products by breaking out or becoming excessively dry or oily, feeling itchy and looking red.
Aging/Mature skin is not necessarily a skin type as we all reach this phase of skin at some point or the other in our lifetime. All the top categories of skin type can fall under aging/maturing. Our skin does go through a huge change as we get older from its physical structure to its appearance. Aging skin shows signs of deeper wrinkler, fine lines becoming more prominent, skin generally looking more lackluster, and having a sagging appearance. The main reason behind this is the decrease in the production of collagen and cell regeneration. The skin may also become dryer with age even if you had a different skin type in your youth. As we have already mentioned, sunscreen is especially effective to fight these signs of aging, as UV rays are notorious for breaking down skin barrier and collagen, worsening wrinkles, pigmentations, and age spots.
Read on to figure out how you can figure out your skin category.
There are two methods by which you can simply figure out your skin type right at home.
The first one is the blotting paper method.
- For this, you will need a tissue or blotting paper.
- Wash and clean your face without being overly stripping before trying this.
- Wait about an hour and then use the sheet of blotting paper or tissue to gently pat your face.
Hold the sheet up to the light and see what comes off on the paper.
- If there is a lot of oily residue on it, then you evidently have oily skin.
- If there is barely any oil present, then you probably have a skin type that is on the drier side.
- As for normal to combination skin, there will be a small amount of oil residue on the paper.
The second method you can try is the bare face technique, and this method is relatively easier to try at home as you do not need any extra material like paper for this.
To try this method-
- Wash your face with a gentle cleansing product, something that does not overly strip your skin
- Do not use any moisturizer or skincare products as you usually should after cleansing
- Wait for 30 minutes to an hour.
If your face feels uncomfortably dry, tight, and stripped you possibly have a dry skin type.
If your skin looks extra shiny and greasy especially on your forehead, cheeks, and nose, you are of the oily skin type.
In the case of combination skin, you will notice patches of oily and dry areas. For normal skin as well it would be more or less the same as combination skin.
Sensitive skin can react to cleansing products and feel itchy or extra dry, also having a red inflamed appearance.
If these two methods are not helpful for you to figure out your skin type and you have further skin concerns, you may need to talk to a dermatologist or a professional regarding your specific concern.
As a final note, there is a general misconception that if you have normal or oily skin you do not need moisturizer or similar skincare. This is a big myth and every skin type needs hydration and moisturization just like they all need sunscreen, you just need to pick the right product for it.
We hope by the end of this guide you have figured out your skin type, and if so then it is time to move on to the sunscreen that would be suitable for your specific skin type.
Sunscreen for Normal Skin type – As we mentioned before, just because you have normal skin does not mean you should skin moisturize. In the case of sunscreen as well similar rules apply. Although you can use almost any sunscreen because you are blessed with the best skin type, try to choose one that is fairly moisturizing and non-comedogenic (would not clog pores). Depending on the season you may need extra hydrating sunscreen during the winter months, or you can just use your usual moisturizer first and then layer sunscreen on top.
Sunscreen for Combination Skin type – As combination skin types are characterized by an oily T zone and dry cheek areas, you need to opt for a moisturizing but lightweight moisturizer. If you have acne-prone combination skin or sensitive combination skin, we would suggest getting physical sunscreens because they do not clog pores and
Sunscreen for Oily Skin type – We mentioned before that there is this misconception that skin on the oilier side of the spectrum does not need that much moisturization, and this applies in the case of sunscreen as well. Choose a formula that is moisturizing without being too heavy as this will prevent your skin from producing extra sebum, even if you choose to skip moisturizer in the summer months. Be sure to clean and wash your face well with an oil control cleanser before you apply or reapply sunscreen. Oily skin also tends to be prone to acne and breakout as the excess sebum ends up clogging the pores, so we would suggest an oil-free physical or gel-based sunscreen that is non-comedogenic if you have oily skin, as these tend to be most lightweight. This is even more important if you wear makeup on a daily basis. Look for sunscreens with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide which suggests that they are physical SPF.
Sunscreen for Dry Skin type – Sunscreens are usually low on moisturization factor in order to make them lightweight and sweatproof. But if you have skin on the dryer end of the spectrum, your skin will not only crave that extra moisturization but may feel uncomfortable and tight if you choose a formula that does not have any moisturizing effect. Dry skin also tends to look worse with the white-grey cast that many physical sunscreens give as it may stick to your dry patches and do not blend well enough.
Of course, you need to choose a sunscreen high on moisturization factor, you can even choose oil-based formulas with emollient factors, for example, a sunscreen containing ceramides, plant-based butter, peptides will be a great choice. But if your skin is extra dry you may need to pair it up with your moisturizer for extra hydration.
Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin type – One important thing to remember about sensitive skin type is it is not the same as allergies. You can be allergic to certain formulations or particular ingredients without having sensitive skin. But if you do have sensitive skin it is highly likely that your skin will have a reaction to harsh chemicals, fragrances, or even new skincare products. It is therefore very important to do a patch test before using any skincare product, including sunscreen before you use it on your face so that you can avoid any severe reaction. Wait for 24-48 hours after a patch test before you start using a product. Choose a sunscreen that is gentle but the formula would depend on whether you have dry, oily, or combination skin, as all of these skin types can fall under the category of sensitive. If you are someone who reacts to fragrances choose one that is fragrance-free along with other irritating ingredients such as alcohol, essential oils, etc.
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