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7 Factors To Choose The Right Sunscreen For Your Skin Type

The new age of skin care has given us an extensive list of ingredients spanning the worlds of science and nature, each bringing its own unique set of benefits. However, they could all be rendered useless if you don’t add sunscreen to your daily grooming routine. Applying sunscreen for men is one of the best things you can do if you want to maintain the natural health of the skin and avoid premature aging and adverse skin conditions. No matter the skincare routine or ingredients in moisturizers, serums and face wash, they make the skin extra photosensitive, thereby making the skin highly prone to UVA and UVB damage. This could result in mild skin conditions like melasma and sun spots or, in serious cases, skin cancer. If you want to jump on the sunscreen for men bandwagon, here are 7 factors to keep in mind while choosing a sunscreen.


  • Know the difference between chemical, physical and hybrid sunscreens: 

There are three types of sunscreens available in the market. Their formulations differ in sunscreen for men filters. Chemical sunscreens are made of filters like octocrylene, avobenzone and oxybenzone


They break apart the sun’s rays, absorb them into the skin and convert them into heat which is released by the body. They absorb easily into the skin and don’t leave a white cast. Physical sunscreens are made of filters like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. They form protective layers over the skin to block the sun rays and prevent them from penetrating the skin. 


This kind of sunscreen for men tends to feel heavier and oftentimes leaves a white cast due to the mineral filters. However, they’re relatively more water resistant. Hybrid sunscreens are made with a mix of both chemical and physical sunscreens. These simultaneously block and absorb sun rays for enhanced sun protection.


  • Decoding SPF and PA on sunscreen labels:

If you see the packaging of sunscreens, you will notice that it says ‘SPF 30/PA+++’. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor SPF and PA stands for Protection Grade. Both these aspects serve different purposes. SPF protects against UVB rays which are responsible for those painful sunburns and an inflamed redness in fair complexions. PA protects you against UVA rays which show physical results over some time like hyperpigmentation, sun spots, melasma and premature aging. The ‘+’ sign signifies the level of UVA protection. Here’s a simpler breakdown:

  • SPF 15 & PA++ blocks around 93% of the sun’s rays
  • SPF 30 & PA +++ blocks around 97% of the sun’s rays
  • SPF 50 & PA +++/+ blocks around 98% of the sun’s rays
  • SPF 100 & PA +++/+ blocks around 99% of the sun’s rays


  • The importance of broad spectrum: Order sunscreen for men that says ‘broad spectrum’ gives you protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Meaning, they have both SPF and PA components. So, always look for sunscreens that either say ‘broad spectrum’ or ‘UVA and UVB protection’.

  • Always look for water-resistant, not waterproof: As per FDA guidelines, manufacturers aren’t allowed to label their sunscreens waterproof as water, sweat and natural oils cause sunscreen to break down over a period of time. That’s why when you’re buying sunscreens, make sure they claim to be water-resistant as sunscreens have the ability to stay water-resistant for 40-80 minutes, depending on the environmental conditions.

  • Significance of SPF in other beauty products: Other cosmetic and skincare products like foundation, concealers, lip balm and moisturizers also contain SPF. However, most of them contain an SPF of 15 which offers minimal sun protection. You also need to keep in mind that sunscreens are usually applied generously to get the full effect of the product while other cosmetic products only need moderate application due to which they don’t offer an efficient amount of sun protection. So, using them alone during the daytime isn’t enough.

  • Identify skin type: Choosing a sunscreen based on your skin type will make sure the sunscreen for men works efficiently. Dry, dehydrated or sensitive skin types are better suited to hydrating, soothing formulas. If you have oily, acne-prone skin, a mattifying formula will work best. 

  • Types of sunscreens to choose from: As more people have grown aware of the importance of sun protection, the sunscreen market has been on a steady rise. That’s why the market is rife with different types of sunscreen formulations to cater to different skin types, needs and convenience. Lotion-based sunscreens are better for people with dry, sensitive skin as they soothe and moisturize. Water-based or gel-based are better for people with oily, acne-prone skin as they absorb quickly without making the skin feel greasy. Aside from this, people with oily skin can also use powder-based sunscreen. However, these are better used as touch-ups. Tinted sunscreens are ideal for those who prefer mineral sunscreens but struggle with a white cast that can make the medium to dark complexion ashy. They’re also great for those who look for a subtle makeup finish. Stick and spray sunscreens are made to be travel-friendly and suit all skin types. They’re also easy to re-apply throughout the day.


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