OUR TOP PICKS
1. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer
2. Lotus Herbals Safe
3. Re’ Equil Oxybenzone
As the hot summer sun is reaching its peak, and with temperatures rising to 43 degrees even in cooler parts of our country, to survive the scorching summer season your skin needs the best sunscreen in India. Even if you don’t burn easily in the sun, sunscreen does more than just prevent your skin from burning. It absorbs ultraviolet radiations from the sun, not only reducing the risk of getting skin cancer but also increasing your overall skin health, thus, preventing wrinkles, moles and sagging skin.
So, even if your skin care routine is top notch or you’re just a ‘throw some lotion on your skin’ person, sunscreen should be on top of your list cause it even prevents tanning, pigmentation, freckles and early aging.
Every sunscreen bottle flaunts an SPF(Sun Protection Factor) value and, if you’re a novice with respect to sunscreens, this guide will give you a detailed view on what SPF means and how it is a factor that affects the kind of sunscreen you are looking for. This guide also enlists a number of other factors to be considered before you go buy the must-have sunscreen.
Busting the Vitamin D Myth
Before we start, there are certain myths regarding sunscreens that make customers reluctant to use it. The most common one being that it causes a person to be deficient in Vitamin D as it prevents the human body from absorbing sunlight.
Firstly, one does not require more than 5 minutes in the sun to get a sufficient amount of Vitamin D that your body requires. Secondly, if the sun’s rays enter the atmosphere at very inclined angles, the atmosphere blocks the UVB type of rays (necessary for producing vitamin D).
This happens in the earlier and later parts of the day. So you’re basically making Vitamin D for only a short period of time and for the rest of the time, you’re honestly just getting burned or tanned. So before we proceed, I just want to clear the stigma related to sunscreens; they are just lotions that prevent skin problems and increase your skin health.
Factors to look for While Choosing the Best Sunscreen Lotions
1) SPF (Sun Protection Factor)
Sun Protection Factor is a measure of how efficient a sunscreen is in protecting your skin from UVB rays. Here’s a little summary on which SPF you should consider depending on your skin type and how long it protects you from sunburn and other types of skin damage.
If you have very sensitive skin which starts burning in around 10 minutes under direct sun, applying a sunscreen with SPF 15 will let you stay under the sun for approximately 150 minutes without burning. It is important to consider factors such as the intensity of sunlight and the amount of sunscreen applied. One should also remember that SPF is a measure of protection from UVB rays and cannot help you determine the duration of exposure.
For optimal protection, experts have recommended using an SPF 15 sunscreen, applying an amount of 2mg/cm^2 of the skin or 30 grams for full body coverage. For best effects, you should reapply every 2 hours.
The SPF scale is not linear, which means that an SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays while an SPF 30 blocks 97% of the rays. Under-applying sunscreen can also reduce your protection to the square root of the factor. That is if you under-apply SPF 30, you are getting a protection factor of only 5.5!
On a regular day, sunscreen with SPF 15 should work very well, and on a hotter day when you may spend a sufficient amount of time under the sun, SPF 30 is recommended. It is important to note that SPF 30+ may not always offer more protection from UVB rays. However, if you have a history of skin cancer, are very fair skinned or are a patient with melasma, using a sunscreen with SPF 30+ is recommended with reapplication every two hours.
2) Skin Type
We can all agree that a product which worked fantastically for a friend may not be as effective for you, sometimes resulting in adverse effects. This is because every human body is different and reacts differently to various products. Hence, even for sunscreen, choosing the RIGHT one entails choosing a product that is right for your skin type. For example, children have different sun protection needs than the average adult. Similarly, sunscreen for dry skin may not be suitable for someone with acne.
If your skin is more prone to an allergic reaction or acne, avoid products that contain fragrances or preservatives. Your skin is least susceptible to reactions if you just use the physical sunscreens instead of the spray cans. Also, avoid using sunscreens containing alcohol if your skin is allergy-prone. However, for someone with acne, gel formulas containing alcohol are more drying and less probable in aggravating acne.
If you have acne, it goes without saying that you should not use greasy sunscreens as they exacerbate acne breakouts. If you are on acne medications, it is advisable to use a cream-base sunscreen to prevent your skin from drying.
For dry skin types, using moisturizing sunscreens can be beneficial. They are usually formulated as lotions, ointments or cream, so look for these on the label.
Darker skin tones that tan easily but don’t burn may rarely feel the need to use a sunscreen. However, tanning is also caused by UV radiation damage which can be prevented using sunscreens. The older physical formulations can make your skin appear chalky but there are newer formulations which are micronized that easily blend with the skin.
For older people, even though their skin has absorbed a lot of UVB radiation already, sunscreen can help in preventing further risk of cancer, even for patients who have already suffered from skin cancer. Additionally, sunscreens also prevent wrinkles, sagging and spots. As the application to all parts of the body may be difficult, spray-on sunscreen is a viable option for them.
Checking the ingredients of lotions and creams that you apply on your body is always a good habit as you can find an ingredient that you haven’t had a good experience with or remember that element your friend asked you to check before buying a product. Here are a list of ingredients you want to look out for the next time you go looking for a sunscreen.
- UVA absorbers: avobenzone, meradimate, ecamsule (Mexoryl SX)
- UVB absorbers: cinoxate, para-aminobenzoic acid(PBA), ensulizole, octocrylene, homosalate, octinoxate, padimate O, octisalate, trolamine salicycate
- UVA and UVB absorbers: dioxybenzone, sulisobenzone, oxybenzone
- UVA and UVB sunscreens: zinc oxide, titanium oxide.
Chemicals can easily irritate children’s skin: oxybenzone and PBA have been associated with triggering skin reactions in kids. The physical sunscreens having zinc oxide and titanium oxide are better tolerated by children who have sensitive skin. For allergic-prone skin, check ingredients such as salicylates and ecamsule.
For dry skin check for moisturizing ingredients such as lanolin, oils and silicons such as dimethicone. For darker skin tones, chemical formulations, as well as titanium-based physical sunscreens, are encouraged.
4) Spectrum of Sunscreen
Sunscreen should offer a broad spectrum of protection. This basically means that your sunscreen should effectively provide sufficient protection from a significant amount of UVB and UVA ranges of the spectrum of light. UVA is responsible for wrinkles and premature aging, whereas, UVB causes burns and tanning.
In order to have a broad spectrum of protection, the UVA protection should at least be one-third of the UVB protection. Most broad-spectrum formulas contain multiple sunscreen constituents. A broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen should be used for extended, intensive exposure.
5) Manufacturing Date and Expiration
The golden rule while buying any cosmetics is, “Do not buy expired products!” I cannot highlight this enough. While it seems obvious that one should check the manufacturing date and the month of expiry on the product packaging before buying, it is also important to check this each time you use the sunscreen.
While that bottle of sunscreen is not over yet, is it still advisable to use it? An older product, for example, whose manufacturing date is of a year ago may not provide you with all the benefits the sunscreen has to offer. On the other hand, once the product has expired, the company is not responsible for any allergic reactions or symptoms you get if you still chose to use it. So keep in mind, if that expiration date has passed, do yourself a favor and buy a new sunscreen.
While trying to make a child use a sunscreen, convincing them to use it is half the battle. For this reason, go for more fun and colorfully packaged tubes. If you are using spray-on sunscreens, make sure it is not directly sprayed but first applied on the hands and then spread on the face using the hands.
As mentioned above, use sunscreens that are free of chemicals such as PABA and oxybenzone that cause allergic reactions. Using physical sunscreens made of titanium oxide or zinc oxide is the most advantageous to children as they don’t cause allergic reactions.
For a child of 6 months or older, you even get sunscreens personally curated for them. Use formulas having an SPF 15. You even get sunscreens that are personally curated for children in the age group of 4 to 10.
7) Water and Sweat Resistant
It is important to note that no sunscreen is waterproof and a manufacturer cannot claim that a product is waterproof. They are water resistant. If the product’s front label mentions that it is water resistant, it should also mention the duration for which it lasts.
For example, it should specify whether it lasts for 40 minutes while swimming or 60 minutes when sweating. For best results, it is always advised to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours, especially if you are swimming. The sunscreen rubs off when you towel-dry yourself, so you should apply more one once you are done.
8) Cream, Powder or Spray
While powder and spray-on sunscreens are faster to apply and use, cream-based lotions last longer than its other two rivals as it perfectly sticks to your skin.
Additionally, cream-based sunscreens are safer to use than its powder and spray counterparts as it does not contain any nanoparticles which, when exerted into the air, can enter the skin and cause damage. The cream-based sunscreen forms a protective layer that acts as a barrier against the UV rays and doesn’t wash off as easily as the powder and spray versions.
10) Useful For The Entire Family
While traveling for a vacation to a tropical place with beaches, it may be difficult to carry sunscreens that suit each skin type. There are some generic sunscreens that be as useful to all age groups that are traveling.
It is still advisable that if you are traveling with a child, carry a separate sunscreen that is specifically made for children as they are chemical-free. Children have sensitive skin and the general sunscreen, even if effective, may cause them discomfort.
If you take into consideration the above factors you will find a sunscreen that fits your customized personal needs. To make your job even easier, we have reviewed 15 best sunscreen lotions that you can buy this summer to protect your skin while you bask in the glorious sun!
Top 15 Best Sunscreen Lotions in India 2019
1. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock, SPF 50+, 88ml
The Neutrogena Ultra Sheer is a dermatologically tested formula that contains helioplex technology, which is a formulation of broad-spectrum ultraviolet rays(UVA and UVB)skin protection containing avobenzone and oxybenzone.
Its quantity is 88ml and has an SPF of 50+ to prevent sunburns. It is an oil-free, water-resistant and sweat-resistant sunscreen that is made for all skin types. What’s more is that its target audience is both, men and women!
- Good for oily and dry skin according to customer review analysis. After application, if you step out in the sun you do not sweat profusely.
- Recommended for people with acne-prone skin as it leaves the skin dry, preventing acne breakouts.
- Blends perfectly and does not leave chalky texture on the face.
- The moisturizing capability that helps the skin remain smooth and soft
- Not very water resistant should be reapplied in every 2-3 hours
- Can have a slight burning sensation if applied too close to the eyes or if you have very sensitive skin.
2. Lotus Herbals Safe Sun UV Screen Matte Gel, SPF 50, 100g
The Lotus Herbal Safe Sun is a cream based sunscreen that comes in a net weight of 100 grams. It contains Sebum Control Vanilla (Vanilla Planifolia), UV Protector called Soothing Horse Chestnut (Trapa Bispinosa) and Comfrey to provide effective protection against skin tanning.
Its target audience is women and it is recommended for users having skin types normal to oily. It is especially recommended for customers having oily skin. With an SPF of 50, it provides sufficient protection against UV radiation
- Easy to apply, worth the money and skin-friendly. Blends immediately after application and it feels light on the skin.
- Highly-recommended by users for oily skin
- Does not cause any reactions or acne breakouts
- While sweating it leaves a white cast on your face
- Contains parabens in the form of methyl and alkyl paraben.
- Can be a little chalky if not adequately applied
3. Re’ Equil Oxybenzone and Zero-Omc Sunscreen
The RE’EQUIL sunscreen is a dermatologically tested formula that is created for oily, sensitive and acne-prone skin. It is non-comedogenic which means that it does not cause blocked pores on usage.
It has an SPF of 50, provides PA++ protection and the packaging contains 50 grams of the product. It is also free from oxybenzone and OMC and contains advanced UVA, UVB filters which do not penetrate deep into the skin.
- Good for sensitive and oily skin. It causes no breakouts and provides excellent tan protection
- Unlike most cream products, has a more liquid texture but still leaves a matte finish
- Reapplication only required after 4 hours, more than other sunscreen products
- Little expensive for the amount of quantity provided.
- For darker skin tones, may leave a white coat on face
4. Nivea Sunscreen Lotion, Sun Protect and Moisture (SPF 30)
It comes in the packaging of either 75ml or 125ml. It provides instant protection and does not have a waiting time of 20 minutes.It has an SPF 30, is water resistant, lightweight and non-sticky.
It provides full coverage and is a broad-spectrum sunscreen that can be used by both men and women. It has a PA++ and Advanced Collagen formula that provides protection to the skin’s collagens to help prevent wrinkles that are caused due to long periods of exposure under the sun.
- Comes in a travel- friendly packaging
- Provides instant protection(don’t have to wait 20 minutes to go out in the sun after application)
- It is lightweight and does not leave a white cast on the face
- Water resistant
- It is not sweat resistant and face may turn oily after application
- Watery texture and can cause a burning sensation on sensitive skin if applied more than required
5. Biotique Bio Morning Nectar Sunscreen Ultra Soothing Face Lotion
The Biotique Bio Morning Nectar is a lotion-based sunscreen that comes in a quantity of 120ml. It is a broad-spectrum sunscreen having an SPF of 30. It is a face lotion made for all skin types and is suitable for both men and women.
It consists of natural ingredients such as aloe barbadensis, trigo foenum graecum, tritcum vulgare, carthamus tinctorius and honey which softens and brightens skin and replenishes lost moisture. It is a fresh-foaming, soap-free gel that contains euphorbia plant and wild turmeric which softens skin.
- Good for oily skin
- Moisturizes skin, leaving it smooth and soft and has a mild fragrance which is soothing
- Sticky if you have dry skin and may feel heavy
- Not recommended for summers but works satisfactorily in winters
6. Aroma Magic Cucumber Sunscreen Lotion
The Aroma Magic Cucumber is an SPF 30 sunscreen lotion that comes in a packaging of either 50ml or 100ml. It is free from chemicals such as oxybenzone and parabens. It does not contain any alcohol or artificial fragrance.
This product is specifically designed for men and can be applied in the neck and face area. The cucumber extracts soothe burns, and vitamins B5, C and E present in the lotion reduce visible signs of aging.
- Chemical-free that doesn’t cause pimples or breakouts on sensitive skin
- Travel-friendly packaging
- Causes skin to be oily and also not sweat-resistant
- Watery texture, may cause more product to come out than what is required
- Needs reapplication after 1 hour which is not very feasible.
7. Greenberry Organics SPF 40+ Sunscreen Spray Lotion
Greenberry Organics Sunscreen is a spray lotion that has an SPF of 40+ and comes in a packaging of either 1 or 2 100ml bottles. It contains kiwi extracts and other antioxidants that keep skin youthful. Additionally, it also contains aloe vera that helps keep the skin moisturized. It contains natural ingredients that are USDA & ECOCERT Certified. It is also free from chemicals like sulfates and parabens.
It offers broad-spectrum protection and the uses gluten-free, botanically based components making this a vegan product that is free from parabens and mineral oil. It works for normal to oily skin type and is suitable for both men and women.
- It is a lightweight product that doesn’t leave a white cast
- Does not make skin oily and is both water and sweat resistant
- Can be used effectively in both summers and winters.
- The spray bottle may not be very convenient to use
- Contains chemicals which are not mentioned in the description
8. Wow Anti Pollution SPF40
This sunscreen is an anti-pollution, water-resistant product that protects your skin from 2.5 level of pollution (pollution particulate matter of up to 2.5 micrometers). It is an all in one anti-pollution product and protects your skin against pollution, smog and other kinds of skin damage.
It is a broad-spectrum sunscreen having an SPF of 40 which provides protection against extreme sun. It contains alteromonas ferment extract, liquorice extract and vitamin B3 that eliminates the particles that come in contact with your skin, and also prevents premature aging.
- Effectively reduces pigmentation and sun tan
- Works like a charm against pollution and is long lasting.
- Does not make skin greasy or oily, hence does not cause breakouts
- The pump may get jammed easily and not very convenient to use
- Can cause breakouts on very oily skin
9. Ustraa Sports Sunscreen
The Ustraa Sports sunscreen is a physical (zinc based) sunscreen that is specially designed for men. It has an SPF of 50+ and comes in 100ml packaging. It is a non-sticky, non-oily sunscreen made for sport enthusiasts who stay out in the sun all day long.
It is sweat resistant, SLS and paraben free and should be applied at least 15 to 20 minutes before going out in the sun. Suitable for all skin types, it can be applied to the face, neck and any other visible parts of the body. Its targeted audience is men.
- The SPF 50++ provides medium to high range protection which can be used during outdoor activities such as trekking, swimming and long periods in the scorching sun.
- Contains zinc which forms an invisible layer on the skin, thereby protecting it.
- It is non-greasy and also works as a moisturizer
- Sweat resistant, water-resistant and long-lasting protection from the sun
- Not recommended for regular use
- Can form white patches or residues on skin that are difficult to remove
10. Cipla Rivela tint SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion
The Cipla Rivela is a full coverage sunscreen having an SPF of 50 and comes in a packaging of 50 ml. It is dermatologically tested and contains vitamin E which helps skin cells restore themselves from sun damage and promotes healing of scars and burns.
- Very effective against the sun
- Good texture and provides sufficient protection
- Can be a little greasy or oily
11. Rivela Gel Spf30+ Dry Touch Sunscreen
Rivela from Cipla is broad-spectrum, gel based sunscreen having an SPF of 30+ and comes in a packaging of 60 grams. It has PA+++ which provides protection from both tanning and premature aging of skin. It also contains argan oil essential which hydrates skin, reduces secretion and is known to have anti-aging property.
- Effective and meets all the requirements given in the product description
- Lightweight and is easily absorbed into skin, leaving no white patches
- Keeps skin moisturized and hydrated
- Recommended for oily skin and is successfully oil resistant
- It is more expensive in comparison to a number of sunscreens available in the market
12. Lass Naturals Sunscreen SPF 50+
The Lass Naturals is a hydro gel-based sunscreen having an SPF of 50+, coming in a packaging of 50 ml. The formula consists of a UV filter called “SunCat DE” which powers the protection provided against UVA and UVB rays.
The ingredients include rose water, aloe vera, Propanediol, Dehydroxanthan Gum, Betaine and Nipaguard SCE* which make the sunscreen oil-free and fast absorbing. The aloe vera provides moisturizing effect whereas the rose water is used to sooth burning. It is a water based sunscreen that can be used for people with normal to oily skin. Apply 20 minutes before going out in the sun.
- Recommended for people with oily and acne-prone skin
- Water-based product, hence, feels light after application and still provides a matte finish
- Contains natural and organic ingredients that don’t cause any allergic reactions
- The size of the pump is very small(only 50 ml)
- Not effective for extended exposure in the sun. Cannot be used extensively in summer and in places with high temperatures.
13. La Shield Lite Sunscreen Gel Spf 30
The La Shield Lite is an anti-tanning, gel-based sunscreen having an SPF of 30 and comes in a packaging of 30 grams. It is a broad-spectrum sunscreen that does not contain alcohol, dyes or any other preservatives and is hence, less prone to irritation.
It is dermatologically tested and does not contain any oil. Apply at least 20 minutes before going out in the sun and reapply every 2 hours for optimal protection from sun
- Provides good protection against the sun
- Recommended for both oily and dry skin
- Hydrates skin well and not only prevents tanning, but removes tan too.
- May not suit all skin types and can cause acne, breakouts or even allergic reactions
14. Bello Photostable Sunscreen SPF 40+
The Photostable sunscreen by Bello is a gel-based sunscreen having an SPF of 40+ and comes in a packaging of 75 grams. Its PA+++ feature provides broad-spectrum protection again UVA and UVB rays. It is both water and sweat resistant and is also free from parabens. It is a dermatologically tested formula that is non- comedogenic and hence, does not clog your skin pores.
- Recommended by dermatologists for oily and acne-prone skin.
- Does not leave any white patches on skin after application.
- Long lasting (Can last up to 5 hours!)
- Is not completely paraben free
- May not suit all types of oily skin and cause profuse sweating or acne.
15. Mom & World Baby Sunscreen Lotion
This sunscreen is one of the only sunscreens on our list that is recommended for kids. It is a broad spectrum, mineral-based sunscreen having an SPF of 50 and comes in a packaging of 120 ml. It’s PA+++ feature provides protection from UVA and UVB rays. It is a physical sunscreen which has a quick-absorbing zinc and titanium formulation that creates a protective layer on skin.
It has an extra sensitive formula which is free from parabens, mineral oil, sulfates and harmful chemicals making the product free from causing irritation and allergy on the sensitive skin of children and babies. It is also water-resistant so you can send your children into the water without the fear of them getting burnt.
It also contains Vitamin B3 that builds a healthy skin barrier and reduces discoloration and redness along the process. The vitamin C antioxidant tightens the skin, while still supporting collagen production. Lastly, Vitamin E prevents premature aging, thus, making the product both fit for mom and the baby!
- Sun protection provided is very good even in mountainous regions.
- Fairly water resistant and easily absorbed by skin
- Children did not face any rashes or allergies from using the product
- Lasts for about 2 hours and has sufficient moisturizing capabilitiesSulfate and paraben free and contains
- zinc oxide which is actually used to treat skin rashes and minor burns
- Just apply to a small area of your baby’s skin before actual usage as childrens’ skin is very sensitive and more prone to having reactions
Shine on With the Best Sunscreen Lotion!
This guide covers all the factors you should consider before buying a sunscreen fit for use. This guide also gives a review of the best sunscreens to buy depending on your skin type and requirements such as organic or chemical based. It covers sunscreens for men, women and children. So go ahead and buy that sunscreen so you can have a happy summer. Happy anti-tanning!!