Suraj hua maddham, lekin chamra jalne laga

Badn mera ye haye, kyon pighalne laga

Legend says that if you Shazam this song, you’ll find that it’s a diss track called Sunburn by Mother Nature. And almost the entire human population is guest starring in its video. Here’s how you’re being trolled and what you can do about it.

What are UV rays?

Basically, they’re a type of energy produced by the sun that falls in the ultraviolet region of the electromagnetic spectrum. For those of you failing physics like I am, this just means it’s radiation. And not the kind that turns you into Hulk. There are

two types of UV radiation that is harmful for our skin, UVA and UVB. UVA is responsible for premature aging and wrinkles (so let’s just call it UV-Aunty since that’s what it’s turning you into) and UVB rays give you sunburn and skin cancer (and this we’ll call UV-Burn, for obvious reasons).

What can they do to me?

Lots of things. Unprotected sun exposure gives you pigmentation (Fair and Lovely can’t save you from this one, guys) and sun spots or freckles. This then leads to an uneven skin tone. If you’re still dheeth, you can even get sunburn as well as wrinkles and leathery skin in the long term. You might even end up looking like Donald Trump. Plus, skin cancer. So yeah, no pressure.

 

Am I going to die?

Well, unless you’re immortal, pretty much yes. But are you going to die because of the sun? Not if we can help it. This is where sunscreen comes in.

 

What is sunscreen?

It’s a preparation in the form of a lotion/cream/aerosol/gel that protects you from the sun’s harmful rays. It’s like a Mace against the sun. The active chemicals inside a sunscreen convert the UV rays to less harmful things like heat. The metaphorical equivalent of Dora yelling “Swiper, no swiping!” Except to the sun. However, this isn’t the same as a sunblock, which physically blocks the UV rays.

Which one should I use?

Sunblocks block UV-Burn rays from reaching your skin while sunscreen can also block UV-Aunty rays, so sunscreens are a better choice.

Which sunscreen should I use?

This is very important. There is a general consensus that SPF 30 sunscreen should be used for everyday use and SPF 50 sunscreen for when you go outdoors. However, one must not forget that most sunscreens ONLY PROTECT AGAINST UV-Burn RAYS (this is us compensating for destroying the Ozone layer. Our bad). This is why one must look for broad-spectrum sunscreen since that is the only type that blocks both UV-Aunty and UV-Burn rays.

 

SPF ka kya scope he?

SPF (sun protectant factor) is how quickly protected skin reddens vs. unprotected skin. It is a measure of how much UV radiation is deflected. SPF 30 deflects around 97% while SPF 50 deflects around 98%. So while the difference seems like a lot, it’s really not. Saari marketing ki games hain.

 

Isn’t sunscreen greasy?

Believe it or not, sunscreens have been around a long time. Formulas to suit every skin type and target every age group have been developed. Non-greasy, extra moisturizing, lightweight, thick, even glitter sunscreens are now available. Generally, a cream based sunscreen being preferred for dry skin while a gel based one being for oily skin, with a lotion being used for normal skin is the general rule of thumb used.

How do I apply sunscreen?

Like you would apply any lotion. You should generously apply sunscreen to all uncovered skin around 15 minutes before sun exposure, making sure to miss no part. Generously being the key word. I’ll say it again for the kanjoos people out there. Generously. Sunscreen should be reapplied after every 2 hours or after getting out of the water. It doesn’t matter if it says it’s waterproof. You still need to reapply.

When is it okay to not put on sunscreen?

Basically, never. Even if you’re a loner who never leaves his/her room, it’s still important. Remember, UV radiation is a sneaky thing and can be absorbed and then given out or reflected by many different things. The only time you’re ever truly safe is when you’re completely covered. (Islam was onto something with those burkas).

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