How to choose the right SPF for your complexion?

With summer around the corner, it becomes essential to give your skin a generous dab of sunscreen before stepping out of the home. Products with different SPF range is widely available but picking the one which is right for your complexion is an overwhelming exercise.

The preferred belief is picking sunscreen that suits your skin type. However, it’s essential to also consider the right SPF according to the skin complexion.

Sun Protection Factor or SPF as we know it, is our personal saviour from the UVA and UVB rays. Apart from cosmetic issues such as skin burn, itchy and patchy skin, UVA/UVB are notorious for aggravating acne, wrinkles, and in extreme cases, it may even lead to skin cancer and cataract. Therefore correct SPF’s importance simply cannot be ruled out. So how do we pick a Sunscreen with the right SPF which complements according to the complexion? Before we begin, there are some general facts to keep in mind about picking a sunscreen :

  • Always settle for a sunscreen with Broad Spectrum coverage for protection from UVA/UVB
  • Always use sunscreen at least 15 mins before stepping out

We have all been there, done that when we picked up a sunscreen we thought fits out skin type, but ended up giving a chalky finish or a dull appearance.  Picking the sunscreen with the right texture according to your skin is an equally important step that we usually miss out on while we are hunting for that perfect sunscreen. Let us take a look at SPF elixir according to various complexion types:

Very Fair to Light Skin:

Very fair skin is highly susceptible to damage from direct and Sun exposure. Lighter skin does not produce melanin which protects the skin from damage. Very Fair skin does not tan and the sun’s effect on the skin grows manifold. Prolonged exposure is likely to give harsh skin burns and aggravate skin conditions such as Acne and Wrinkles.

Any sunscreen with SPF lesser than 30 is a recipe for disaster for very fair skin! Always look out for sunscreen with SPF content higher than SPF 30. SPF 50+ is most suitable for this kind of skin! You can pick SPF 50+ sunscreens that have natural soothing ingredients. Fair to light complexion skin has minimal melanin production. Nominal melanin production implies easy sunburns. Do not take risks by picking sunscreen with SPF lesser than 50+.  This type of complexion’s susceptibility to damage is much similar in the degree to the very fair kind of complexion. Mineral-based sunscreens will impart a good shine to this kind of complexion.

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Medium to Dark Complexion:

A medium to dark complexion is capable of melanin production. Indian skin type falls in this category. It burns minimally and tans with prolonged exposure to the sun. This means that this complexion kind has reduced after-effects in comparison to the fair and very fair kind of skin. However, this doesn’t mean that this complexion kind does not require any kind of pampering.

Pick a sunscreen with SPF 30+. A higher SPF will provide an equally broader spectrum coverage. As a medium to dark-complexioned skin, several minerals and clay compounds may leave some residue after application. Avoid minerals based sunscreen lotions and pick the ones with a clear finish. Chemical-based or micronised sunscreens are perfect for this complexion type.


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Deep Complexion:

Deep Complexion type does not get tanned.  It gets deeply pigmented with sun exposure. Melanin naturally prevents UVA/ UVB penetration This prevents the skin from getting damaged from the sun and thus deep skin complexion hardly tans. But prolonged exposure might result in loss of hydration and dryness. A micronised sunscreen with a clear finish is perfect for this type of skin. Anything above SPF 10+ is suitable for Deep Complexion. A higher SPF of up to SPF 30+ will just be perfect.



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– Article Written by Sizy

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