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6 sun protection strategies for Indian skin: Myth vs Reality

Effective sun protection for Indian skin requires debunking common myths and adhering to reality-based strategies. Regular use of sunscreen, wearing protective clothing, and staying cautious even on cloudy days are essential practices for protecting skin against harmful UV rays.

Written By : India TV Lifestyle Desk Edited By : Kristina Das
New Delhi
Published on: April 05, 2024 16:00 IST
Sun protection tips
Image Source : FREEPIK Sun protection strategies for Indian skin.

With summers here, it is time to keep that winter cream aside and give your layer another layer of protection it needs. This is important to maintain healthy skin, more so in a country like India where the intensity can be very high. However, according to Dr Chytra Anand, Dermatologist, and Founder of SkinQ & Kosmoderma Clinics, certain myths around sun protection need to be debunked. 

Only fair skin needs sunscreen

This is a false claim. While darker skin has more melanin and offers some natural sun protection against UV rays, it does not prevent damage from exposure. Sunscreen is important for every skin type for protection against UVA and UVB rays. This can help reduce the risk of skin cancer, premature ageing, and sunburn.

Higher SPF means better protection

SPF or sun protection factor indicates protection against UVB rays, which cause sunburn. However, this may not correlate with protection against UVA, which often penetrates deeper and can lead to skin cancer and premature ageing. Therefore, choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays, regardless of the SPF level.

It is enough to apply sunscreen once a day 

Regular application of sunscreen throughout the day is important. This is more so if you have prolonged sun exposure, sweat, or indulge in activities like swimming. Regardless of the SPF, sunscreen wears off over time due to factors like sweating and rubbing. This is why reapplying it every two hours is important, or more frequently if necessary. 

Dark clothes can protect against the sun 

If anything, dark clothes will only absorb more sunlight and heat, making you feel hotter. Light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing made from UV-protective fabric is more effective in blocking harmful rays. Additionally, wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses provides extra protection for the face and eyes.

Sunscreen is not needed on cloudy days 

UV rays can penetrate through the clouds. While cloud cover might reduce the intensity of UVB rays, UVA can still reach the earth's surface and cause skin damage. Therefore, apply sunscreen regardless of the weather. 

Natural remedies like lemon juice or aloe vera can protect against the sun

While natural ingredients like aloe vera may soothe sunburned skin, they are not effective as protection against the sun. It is advisable to not rely only on natural remedies without using sunscreen as it can leave the sun vulnerable. 

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