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Best sunscreens in India: A Complete Guide

by Nisha Garg
Best Sunscreens in India

Sunscreens are a necessity. Applying sunscreen is the first step in taking care of your skin. No matter what your age is or what your skin type is, it’s a must. You must be wondering what this sunscreen is and why you should use it daily. In this blog, we’ll take from the basic to advanced level of sunscreens and see if it is a necessity or just a hyped product.

What is sunscreen?

The rays of the sun are a source of life and yet something very harmful for us, especially our skin. Sunscreen creates a screen or a layer between your skin and UV rays. It is a product that protects the skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation. It works by absorbing or reflecting UV rays, preventing them from penetrating the skin and causing damage.

What is SPF?

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. This is generally a numerical value that indicates the level of protection the sunscreen provides. It measures a sunscreen’s ability to protect the skin from the sun’s harmful UV radiation. The SPF number indicates how long a person can stay in the sun without getting burned while wearing sunscreen compared to how long they can stay in the sun without any protection. 

For example, if a person would typically burn after 10 minutes of sun exposure without sunscreen, using an SPF 30 sunscreen would allow them to stay in the sun for 30 times longer without burning, or 300 minutes. However, it is essential to note that this is a general estimate. The actual amount of time a person can spend in the sun without getting burned can vary depending on factors such as skin type, the intensity of the sun’s rays, and how much sunscreen is applied.

Importance of Sunscreen

Sunscreen protects your skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can cause damage to your skin cells. UV radiation is a type of electromagnetic radiation produced by the sun. Two types of UV rays can affect your skin: UVA and UVB.

UVA rays can penetrate deep into the skin and cause premature aging, while UVB rays can cause sunburn and skin cancer. Sunscreen helps to block both UVA and UVB rays and reduce the risk of skin damage.

How to choose the right sunscreen for yourself?

It is recommended to use broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher for everyday use and to reapply it every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating. Higher SPF values offer more protection. When choosing a sunscreen, there are certain things that you should consider:

 1. SPF

The least amount of SPF available in the market is SPF 15. Ideally, a good sunscreen must have SPF 30 atleast. More, the merrier. Most dermatologists recommend that the user apply SPF 50 all over their exposed areas.

2. PA+ factor

There are certain numbers and types of rays emitted by the sun. PA+ factor indicates that the particular product protects against UVA rays of the sun. While PA++ provides this protection in moderation, PA+++ is considered the best.

3. Broad spectrum

If this is mentioned on your sunscreen, it provides complete protection to the skin and even the deeper layers of the skin from harmful UVA and UVB sun rays.

4. Water Resistance

If you plan to be in the water or sweat, look for a water-resistant sunscreen. It is good to have such sunscreens in summer; the product does not come off quickly after sweating.

5. Skin type

Consider Your Skin Type as well; if you have sensitive skin, choose a fragrance-free and hypoallergenic sunscreen, or if you have oily skin, choose a cream that says non-comedogenic.

Benefits of Sunscreen

Sunscreen forms a protective screen on your skin to protect against the sun. The prevalent conception is that the sun causes only tanning. But that is the least harmful thing the sun is doing. The rays of the sun are capable of causing skin cancer and other severe skin issues. It also alleviates the process of aging and developing wrinkles. Regular use of sunscreen can help protect the skin from damage and maintain a healthy, youthful appearance.

1. Protection from UV radiation

The primary benefit of sunscreen is protection from the harmful effects of UV radiation. There are two types of UV radiation that can harm the skin, UVA and UVB. UVA rays are associated with skin aging, while UVB rays are associated with sunburns. Sunscreen is designed to protect against both types of UV radiation.

2. Prevents sunburn

Sunburn can be painful and increase the risk of skin cancer. Sunscreen protects the skin from UVB rays, the primary cause of sunburn.

3. Reduces the risk of skin cancer

Sunscreen can significantly reduce the risk of developing skin cancer, including both non-melanoma and melanoma types.

4. Helps prevent premature aging

Exposure to UV radiation can cause premature aging of the skin, leading to wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots. Sunscreen helps prevent these signs of aging by blocking the UV rays that damage the skin.

5. Maintains even skin tone

Sunscreen can help keep an even skin tone by preventing the formation of dark spots and hyperpigmentation caused by UV exposure.

6. Improves overall skin health

Sunscreen can help improve overall skin health by protecting against environmental damage and reducing the risk of skin infections and other skin problems.


What are the types of sunscreen?

You might be using sunscreen but not comfortable with it. It might be because you are not using the right type. There are different types of sunscreen available to fit every skin’s needs.

Sunscreen is available in various forms, including creams, lotions, sprays, gels, and sticks. The active ingredients in sunscreen can include chemicals like avobenzone, octinoxate, and oxybenzone, as well as physical blockers like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. It is recommended to use sunscreen generously and regularly, especially outdoors, to reduce the risk of skin damage and skin cancer.

When deciding the type of sunscreen to use, you should consider a few facts like, what is your skin type, and if it’s oily, you must avoid oil-based sunscreens. Not only skin type but you should also consider the environment in which you are. If you work more in the sun and are likely to get sweaty soon, you must want to have sunscreen that does not come off quickly and can be reapplied conveniently.

Two significant types of sunscreen: chemical and physical

Chemical Sunscreen

Chemical sunscreens contain organic compounds that absorb UV radiation and convert it into heat. They work by penetrating the skin and absorbing the UV rays before they can damage the skin cells. Chemical sunscreens are usually lightweight and easily absorbed into the skin, making them a popular choice for daily use. Some common chemical sunscreen ingredients include avobenzone, octinoxate, oxybenzone, and homosalate.

Physical Sunscreen

Physical sunscreens, also known as mineral sunscreens, use natural minerals like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to create a physical barrier on the skin. They work by reflecting UV rays away from the skin, preventing them from penetrating the skin cells. Physical sunscreens are often thicker and more difficult to blend into the skin, but they are also less likely to cause skin irritation or allergic reactions. They are a good choice for people with sensitive skin or those who are prone to acne.

Both types of sunscreens offer adequate protection against UV radiation, and it is a matter of personal preference which one to choose. It is vital to choose a sunscreen with broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays and to reapply it regularly, especially when spending extended periods outdoors.

Forms of Sunscreens

1. Creams or Lotion

These are the most common type of sunscreens in the market. These can be oil-based on non-comedogenic as well. Depending on your skin type and usage, these are the most suitable sunscreens. Always apply a generous amount of these on the exposed areas for maximum benefit.

2. Sprays

With technology and everything advancing, we have sunscreens in the form of sprays. These can be sprayed on your hands, legs, and other exposed areas quickly. They do not leave a white cast too. If you often go in the sun. A spray is kind of a must. They even can be applied over the makeup without hampering anything.

3. Gel

If you have oily skin and are more comfortable with gel-based products, there are also gel sunscreens. Choose a sunscreen with a good SPF number, and these can be a perfect choice for your face.

4. Sticks

Sunscreen sticks are very effective and convenient to use. The reapplication process with sunscreen sticks is straightforward. It might not be a good choice if you are wearing makeup and want to use these for reapplication.

5. Serums

Serums are so much in trend because of the active ingredients they contain. There are sunscreen serums also available in the market. While serums are good for skincare, their effectiveness as sunscreen is not great.

How to choose the right sunscreens Infographic

Top Ten Sunscreens Available in India

1. Neutrogena

Neutrogena is a very popular brand, and its products are perfect for the skin. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 50+ Lotion is a product gem. It is suitable for all skin types, from dry to oily skin. 

The MRP of this product is Rs 250 for a 30 mL quantity.

2.  AquaLogica

The Aqualogica Glow+ Dewy Sunscreen SPF 50 with Papaya & Vitamin C is an excellent pick for this summer. It gives a dewy finish and is ideal for all skin types. It does not need reapplication for 6 hours after one use. The cream protects against UV rays and blue light. It is a fantastic product for people with dull or tan skin as it helps combat these too.

The MRP of Aqualogica Sunscreen is 599 Rupees for 80g of the product.

3. Dr. Sheth

This sunscreen is excellent for people with normal and combination skin types. This product contains Vitamin C and ceramides, a great addition to your skincare regime.

The MRP of Dr. Sheth’s sunscreen is Rs 499 for 50g of the product.

4. Rivela Lite

Rivela Lite one of the most recommended sunscreens by dermatologists. It is a little on the tinted side and is great for people with oily and acne-prone skin. It may be expensive, but highly effective.

The MRP of Rivela Lite is Rs 1067 for 60g of the product.

5. Acne UV gel

This product has made a prominent place in the market. It’s more affordable than another pharmacy’s sunscreen. It is ideal for people with oily and acne-prone skin. It does not clog pores and feels light on the skin.

  • SPF 30
  • P+++
  • Protection against UVA and UVB
  • Oil-free, non-comedogenic
  • Water-Resistant

The MRP of Acne UV gel is Rs 798 for 60g of the product.

6. Minimalist

This is a light weight, moisturiser-meets-sunscreen. This broad spectrum SPF 50 with PA++++ rating, has a very light texture that spreads easily & disappers leaving behind a natural, moisturized, non-shiny look. It helps in repairing your skin and minimize damage caused by UV exposure. 

The MRP of this product is Rs. 399 for 50g.

7. The Derma Co 1% Hyaluronic Sunscreen Aqua Gel

This sunscreen provides the best protection from the UV rays. It’s effective formula provides protection from sun rays , while also reduce fine lines, wrinkles and make your skin soft and supple. 

The MRP of this product is Rs. 499 for 50g.

8. QUENCH Bravocado

This a a broad-spectrum with SPF 50 PA++++ gel based sunscreen. It has UVA & UVB filters to protect from harmful sun rays, infrared waves and sunburn. It’s ultra-lightweight, non-oily and non-sticky formula keeps your skin fresh and hydrated all day. 

The MRP of this product is Rs. 649 for 50ml.

9. Foxtale

Fortale’s brightening sunscreen provides maximum sun protection, prevents radical damage and tanning. It’s SPF 50 shields your skin against any sun damage. It also helps in fighting dark skin spots and reviving dull skin tone. 

The MRP of this product is Rs. 349 for 50ml.

10. Biotique

This nutrient-rich lotion contains pure sandalwood, saffron, wheat germ, honey and bark of the arjun tree to keep skin soft, fair and moisturized. It is very water resistant and retains SPF after 80 minutes in the water. 

The MRP of this product is Rs. 399 for 50g

Neutrogena All skin types 4.2 Rs. 250 for 30ml
  • Normal skin
  • Dry skin
  • Oily/ combination skin
  • Sensitive skin
4.3 Rs. 599 for 80g
Dr. Sheth All skin types 4.2 Rs.499 for 50g
Rivela Lite
  • Oily skin
  • Acne-prone skin
4.0 Rs. 1067 for 60g
Acne UV Gel All skin types 4.4 Rs.798 for 60g
  • Dry/Normal
  • Sensitive
  • Oily/ Combination
  • Acne-Prone
4.1 Rs. 399 for 50g
The Derma Co
  • Oily skin
  • Acne-Prone skin
  • Combination Skin
  • Normal Skin
4.3 Rs. 499 for 50g
Quench Bravocado All skin types 4.5 Rs. 649 for 50ml
Foxtale All skin types 4.7 Rs. 349 for 50ml
Biotique All skin types 4.1 Rs. 350 for 120ml

How Does Sunscreen Work?

Sunscreen works by absorbing, reflecting, or scattering the sun’s UV rays. Most sunscreens contain organic or inorganic compounds that absorb UV radiation and release the energy as heat. Some sunscreens also contain reflective particles such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide that reflect UV radiation away from the skin.

How often should you reapply sunscreen?

It’s recommended to reapply sunscreen every two hours or immediately after swimming, sweating heavily, or towel-drying. Suppose you spend more time outdoors, especially during peak sun hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. In that case, it’s a good idea to reapply sunscreen more frequently. Additionally, suppose you have sensitive skin or are prone to sunburn. In that case, you should reapply sunscreen more often to ensure proper protection.


Sunscreen is crucial to any skincare routine, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors. Sun exposure can cause many skin problems, including premature aging, wrinkles, sunburn, and even skin cancer. Sunscreen helps protect your skin from harmful UV radiation and reduces the risk of skin damage. When choosing a sunscreen, look for broad-spectrum protection, SPF 30 or higher, and water resistance. Apply sunscreen regularly and adequately to enjoy the benefits of sun protection.


Q1. Is SPF 30 or 50 better?

SPF 30 blocks about 97% of UVB rays, while SPF 50 blocks about 98% of UVB rays. The difference in protection between SPF 30 and 50 is relatively small, but it can make a difference for some people.

Q2. Is sunscreen spray or lotion better?

The choice between sunscreen spray and lotion depends on your personal preferences and needs. Most people prefer sunscreen lotion over sprays because sprays are more challenging to ensure even coverage, which may result in missed spots or insufficient protection if not applied carefully.

Q3. How long can you wear SPF 30?

Regardless of SPF level, the key to effective sun protection is regular reapplication. SPF 30 should be reapplied just as diligently as SPF 50 for consistent protection. The standard time duration for the reapplication of SPF 30 is considered to be 2 hours.

Q4. Is Aloe Vera Gel a sunscreen?

Aloe vera gel can be applied before exposure to the sun. While some studies show that Aloe Vera may block roughly 20% of UVs, it’s not a substitute for sunscreen. A sunscreen with good SPF will block more than 95% of UVs.

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