Education Director Dermalogica India
Sunscreen is a relatively new addition to the Indian woman’s beauty regime. Hence, there is a lot of confusion over the product, its usage and benefits. Exactly what strength SPF suits the Indian skin?
Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is an indication of the length of time one can be out in the sun without burning, thus a sunscreen’s ability to delay sun induced redness or burning on the skin. Multiply the amount of time you can stay out in the sun before burning, with the SPF number on the sunscreen provides you with the time you can safely stay out in the sun or when reapplication is needed. For example, SPF15 x 10 minutes (your natural burn time in the sun) = 150 mins, therefore you will need to reapply the sunscreen after approximately 2.5 hours. An SPF15 provides about 94% protection from UVA & B rays, SPF30 blocks 97% and anything higher above provides a maximum 98.5% protection.Thus, no matter which factor is used, reapplication is required. Sunscreens no longer need to be greasy and chalky, with newer ingredients and advanced technology brands have developed sunscreens for specific skin conditions, for example oil-free sun block for oily skin absorbs excess oil and provides a matt look. Apply around one teaspoon to the face, and a full ounce (think shot glass) to exposed part of the body for optimum coverage. The golden rule - reapply every two hours whilst outdoors.
What are the summer concerns that urban Indian women tend to ignore?
Urban Indian women don’t feel it necessary to apply a sunscreen whilst they are in the house, travelling in a car or at work in an office. However, ultra violet radiation penetrates through glass (tinted and un-tinted) and windows, thus a sunscreen needs to be applied 365 days a year throughout daylight hours. Wear SPF as part of a “daylight defense” regimen to help prevent skin cancer, premature aging and photodamage. Women tend to skip on moisturizer in the summer; however it is needed depending on the skin condition. A prescribed moisturizer will hydrate, nourish and smooth the skin. Quite often eyes, ears, lips, hands & feet are neglected from the harmful damage of UV rays. One needs to use a solar shield for eyes, ears & lips. We should also use a sunblock meant for our body (especially for the exposed body parts). The humidity in the summer months can lead to congestion and blocked pores, thus exfoliation is a necessity to give a smoother and even skin texture/tone, whilst preventing breakouts.
Compared to facial skin, we tend to neglect the rest of our body. What would you suggest as a basic skincare routine for the hands and feet?
Spa manicures and pedicures are a must for healthy looking hands and feet, especially ones which include exfoliation, masque and moisturizing. Your home regimen should include using a conditioning body wash (no soap) followed by a body scrub, thrice a week, to polish and rejuvenate the skin. It is advisable to use an antibacterial buffing cloth daily with your body wash, this accentuate the removal of dead skin cells. Always apply a hydrating body cream daily after a shower to nourish & condition the skin. Protect hands with a hand and nail cream, especially after washing hands during the day.
What type of skin - dry/sensitive/oily/normal is most susceptible to damage in summer? What is the one most important skincare regimen for each type of skin?
All skin types are equally susceptible to sun damage and need to be equally protected. Sensitive skin however can get highly inflamed and irritated with sun exposure and would require calming and soothing products which help to reapir and protect the barrier function. Applying a physical sunscreen for sensitive skin is a must! Oily skin has a tendency to breakouts in the hot, humid conditions, thus exfoliation is important to keep breakouts and congestion at bay. Normal skin needs to be protected from sun damage thus application of a sunscreen is vital. Dry skin requires application of a nourishing moisturizer with sun protection. However all skin types need to
follow a basic homecare routine of, cleansing, exfoliating, toning and moisturizing (with SPF).
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