Let's face it, Summer in India is very different from Summer anywhere else. Especially if you live in cities like Mumbai, Hyderabad and Delhi. Summer won't be summer without the wishful Goa trip with your friends and the scorching heat that you keep running from. Even if the official summer months are almost over, you know that escaping the sun is an all-year program for anyone on the continent. However, it's 2023, and we all know the internet is raving about sun protection essentials and sunscreens, and we’re here to tell you, it's true. UV ray damage is no
joke and no tan is worth risking a sunburn over. And to start off on the right foot, let us remind you that your natural melanin can only help with preventing a very small amount of sun damage, and no aloe vera gel, coconut oil, or carrot seed oil works against sun protection. Sun protection is not just about sunburns or tans, it is about the UV rays you expose yourself to. Being recommended to wear sunscreen has become as common as suggesting to drink more water in the skincare community and it’s all for the right reasons! And no boys, wearing sunscreen does not make you any less of the man you are. In fact, everyone loves a guy who knows how to take care of themselves.
Along with premature aging as one of the side effects, according to many dermatologists skin cancer’s leading cause is inadequate sun protection. And no, sunscreen or moisturizer with SPF 15 or 20 won’t suffice for the long run. The most suitable and preferred sunscreen SPF range is 50 or higher, which protects the skin for 2 hours in the sun.
The concept of “natural” or “ayurvedic” sunscreens are a total scam considering that even water is a chemical. The ingredients used in sunscreens are naturally occurring elements that are tested and scientifically proven to be safe for use.There are many sunscreens available in the market, however, it is generally recommended that South Korean and Japanese sunscreens are better as they don't leave a greasy finish or a white cast which was the case with popular and affordable sunscreens 5 years ago. Some even used to sting our eyes which were what drove us away from sun protection. Many brands have started producing skin-specific sunscreens with matte sunscreens for oily or combination skin and hydrating sunscreens for people with dry skin. Indian brands which are considered best for sunscreen are, Kirmica, Earth Rhythm, Re’equil, Minimalist, and Dot&Key.
To make sunscreen reapplication easier, sunscreen sticks available in both mineral and gel formulae have been introduced. After filtering through all of these choices and buying the sunscreen, the question remains where to apply and how much?
It is recommended that you take three fingers worth of sunscreen and apply generously all over your face, neck, back of your palms, ears, and feet (if they are exposed). If you wear shorts and t-shirts with cap sleeves, using them all over your arms and legs is also suggested as you don't want to end up like that woman who only applied sunscreen on her face.
Sunscreen has so many benefits that outweigh the little effort they take to blend and apply. If you are working through summer, we recommend this summer skincare routine
3. Vitamin C Serum
Pick a cleanser that doesn't dry your skin out and still extracts dirt our of your skin to avoid over-clogging of the skin, like ones with salicylic acid. If you live in drier regions, make sure to include a hydrating toner to balance out the dryness of summer.
Including vitamin C in your routine will help you prevent dark spots caused by sun exposure and facilitates sun protection by working with your sunscreen, and leaves a dewy finish making you summer ready!
Carry a sunscreen stick with you throughout the day for periodic sunscreen reapplication. If you work a 9-5 or are a student who is generally indoors, reapplying before leaving the building would suffice.
Along with sunscreens, the other utmost important fashion and sun protection essential accessories to wear are scarves, hats, and sunglasses! Commonly made fun of but very useful for avoiding suntans and sunburns. Most of the choice is up to your personal style because if you don't normally include feminine pieces in your outfits, a hat would be a better option for you than a scarf. However, if you live in humid spaces and scarfs make it inconvenient, carry an umbrella in classic Maharani style. To make things more interesting, feel free to throw in a pair of gloves that match your overall look too.
Bucket hats are usually the most fashionable hats preferred for style and sun protection purposes. Many stars are often spotted in bucket hats and sunglasses in the best Gen Z style possible. And we know by this that the younger generation may be taking sun protection seriously.
This brings us to sun-protective clothing as a way to prevent sunburn, unwanted tan, and or sun damage. There are clothing pieces specifically made to protect you from UV rays, however, usually what works are flowy full-sleeve tops and bottoms, midi skirts, and dresses that work wonderfully with your summer wardrobe and for sun protection. And they are also preferred for clothing in case of a sunburn to make sure they don't stick to your skin. However, straight from Indian aunties everywhere, we know that having at least one UV protection sleeve or glove that covers you entirely is essential. Especially if you drive bikes and scooters, having a headscarf and UV protection sleeve are essentials for drivers.
You can get UV protection bolero sleeves off online retail sites and keep them handy for when you're out in the sun but don't want to ruin your outfits otherwise. Ideally going for beige or black colours makes sense as they tend to suit almost every outfit. Sunscreens may be expensive for the use they come for, however, they could save you from the pain of sunburn, anti-aging creams when you're older, and potentially even skin cancer. Summer is about taking a step back and enjoying days out in the sun when the weather feels right.