Protecting our skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays is of utmost importance. Sunscreen plays a crucial role in safeguarding our skin against sunburn, premature ageing, and the risk of skin cancer. However, with the myriad of sunscreen options available on the market, it can be challenging to determine which form of sunscreen provides better protection. We’re often faced with the decision between regular sunscreen and sunscreen sticks. Both options claim to shield our skin from harmful UV rays, but which one truly offers better protection? Let’s delve into the characteristics of each to help you make an informed decision. (Also read: How important is sunscreen for Indians; the right way to use it for skin cancer prevention )
Kiran Bhatt, Cosmetologist and Vice President of Junoesque Clinic shared with HT Lifestyle some useful insights regarding regular and stick sunscreen which can help you make a better decision for your skin.
Regular sunscreen, typically available in lotion or cream form, has been a go-to choice for many individuals seeking sun protection. It offers several advantages that make it a popular option.
1. Coverage and application: Regular sunscreen provides broad coverage over the skin, allowing for even distribution and protection. The lotion or cream can be easily applied to various parts of the body, including hard-to-reach areas.
2. Versatility: Regular sunscreen comes in various SPF (sun protection factor) levels, allowing users to choose the appropriate level of protection based on their skin type and the intensity of sun exposure. Additionally, it often contains additional beneficial ingredients like moisturizers, antioxidants, and skin-nourishing compounds, catering to specific skincare needs.
3. Consistency: The texture of regular sunscreen is often lightweight and absorbs into the skin quickly. It leaves a minimal residue, making it comfortable to wear throughout the day.
4. Reapplication: Regular sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours or more frequently if you sweat excessively or engage in water-related activities. Its lotion or cream form makes reapplication easier and more convenient.
Sunscreen sticks are a more recent addition to the sunscreen market, offering a different application method and distinct benefits:
1. Portability and convenience: Sunscreen sticks are compact, lightweight, and less prone to spillage or leakage compared to regular sunscreen lotions. They are ideal for on-the-go use and can easily fit into pockets, bags, or purses.
2. Targeted application: The stick format enables precise application, making it ideal for facial use and specific areas like the nose, ears, and lips. It allows for direct application without the need for spreading or rubbing, making it less messy.
3. Water resistance: Many sunscreen sticks have water-resistant properties, making them an excellent choice for activities involving water, such as swimming or water sports. The stick formulation tends to adhere well to the skin, even when exposed to water or sweat.
4. No greasy residue: Sunscreen sticks often have a drier consistency, leaving no greasy residue on the skin. This can be appealing to individuals with oily or acne-prone skin, as it reduces the risk of clogged pores and breakouts.
Both regular sunscreen and sunscreen sticks can provide effective protection against the sun’s harmful UV rays when used correctly. The key factor in determining their effectiveness lies in the formulation and the SPF level.
When choosing either option, it is crucial to consider the following:
1. SPF Level
Ultimately, the choice between regular sunscreen and sunscreen stick depends on personal preferences, skin type, and the intended use. Regular sunscreen may be preferred for its versatility and coverage, while sunscreen sticks offer convenience and targeted application. It’s important to prioritize consistent sun protection by using the appropriate SPF level and reapplying as needed.