Importance of Sunscreen and How to Choose the Right One?

A youthful woman applying sunscreen in her cheeks and smiling.

Sunscreen is a quintessential part of a daily skincare routine, regardless of your skin type or tone. The primary function of sunscreen is to protect the skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays, which can cause premature ageing, hyperpigmentation and even skin cancer. In this article, we will discuss the importance of sunscreen and how to choose the right one for your skin type.

Why is Sunscreen Important?

The sun emits two types of UV rays, UVA rays and UVB rays. UVA rays penetrate the skin deeply and cause ageing, while UVB rays cause sunburns. Therefore, employing sunscreen protects your skin from the sun’s harmful effects, like skin cancer.

Sunscreen also helps to prevent hyperpigmentation, which is a condition that causes the skin to darken in certain areas due to sun exposure. It is crucial for people with darker skin tones, who are more prone to developing hyperpigmentation.

How to Choose the Right Sunscreen?

Choosing the right sunscreen for your skin type is essential to ensure maximum protection from the sun’s harmful rays. Here are some factors to consider when selecting sunscreen:

Sun Protection Factor (SPF)

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to shield against harmful UV rays. However, it is essential to note that a higher SPF does not necessarily mean better protection. SPF 50 blocks about 98% of UVB rays, while SPF 100 blocks about 99%. Therefore, a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher is sufficient for daily use.

Skin Type

People with oily or acne-prone skin should look for a non-comedogenic sunscreen that does not clog pores. Those with dry or sensitive skin should opt for a sunscreen that contains moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid or glycerin.


Sunscreens come in different formulations, including creams, lotions, gels and sprays. Creams and lotions are ideal for dry skin, while gels and sprays are better for oily skin. Stick sunscreens are perfect for the face, especially around the eyes, where creams and lotions can be too heavy.

Broad-spectrum Protection

Look for a sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum protection and protects against UVA and UVB rays.

Water Resistance

If you plan to spend time in the water or sweat a lot, look for a water-resistant sunscreen that will stay on your skin for longer.

My Final Take

In conclusion, sunscreen is an essential part of a daily skincare routine. When selecting a sunscreen, consider your skin type, SPF, formulation, broad-spectrum protection and water resistance. You can protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays and keep it looking youthful and healthy by choosing the right sunscreen.


Dr. Vivek Nama

I completed my medical education in India and was drawn to Gynaecology due to its unique blend of medical and surgical aspects, particularly laparoscopic and complex pelvic surgery. My UK training included extensive experience in District General and Teaching Hospitals. Recognising the importance of evidence-based medicine, I was awarded a grant by the British Heart Foundation to pursue a research-focused Master's degree at the University of London. During this time, I collaborated with prominent figures in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, published research papers, contributed to journal chapters, and presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Conference in Chicago, where I received the Best Oral Presentation award in 2010. My career is marked by a dedication to advancing women's healthcare through evidence-based practices and surgical expertise.