The easy guide to buy the right sunscreen

The terms can be confusing, as can the messages you get from dermats and products. Here’s some dejargonised help

It’s that time of the year when dermatologists reiterate the use of sunscreen to save your skin from premature ageing and protect against under-reported skin cancer. Yet, is sunscreen safe for long-term use, considering the US Environmental Working Group (EWG), on its website, has expressed concern that some chemicals may mimic hormones? No one has a clear answer, so here, the basics you should know about sunscreen.

The first screen is physical

It takes us back to what our grandparents did when they stepped out into 40-degree heat. “Ayurveda asks us to dress in light colours that cover the body, the head and face, blocking both excessive heat and light.

The science also asks us to carry an umbrella,” says Dr Sahana Kumar, medical officer and skincare consultant, Institute of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, Bengaluru. It’s still good to take in morning and evening sun, while avoiding harsh sunlight at its peak times, she says.

In fact, these measures contribute to 80% of sun protection, while sunscreen accounts for just 20%, says Prof Neena Khanna, a dermatologist in the department of dermatology and venereology, AIIMS, Delhi. She prescribes sunscreen only for those who have photosensitivity and pigmentary melasma, both sun-caused. She goes a step further in saying that sunscreens are being pushed onto Indians by the pharma and cosmetics industries purely for profits.....Read more


Source web page: The hindu

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