Best Sunscreens According To Your Skin Type To Carry Along On Your Travels

Sunscreen is important no matter whether you are at home or travelling. It not only shields the skin against harmful sun rays but also plays a multi-fold role in managing its health. And, in all the right ways.


Whether you’re exploring a city, hiking up mountains or swimming, you are constantly exposed to damaging ultraviolet rays and blue light from the screens throughout the day. However, a good sunscreen can protect you from such environmental aggressors and prevent tanning, sunburns and sun spots. Additionally, it also aids in reducing the appearance of signs of ageing like fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots and sagging. Known for evening out skin tone and protecting skin proteins (collagen, keratin, elastin) that contribute to keeping the skin healthy and smooth, sunscreens also reduce the risk of skin cancer, especially melanoma.

How to choose sunscreens?

Here are a few factors to consider while looking for the best sunscreen on the market.

1. Skin type

It is always recommended to choose a skincare product as per your skin type. If you have dry skin, creamy and moisturising formulas should be your go-to. Similarly, if you have oily or acne-prone skin, gel or water-based non-comedogenic formulas should be your pick. If you have sensitive and irritated skin, opt for one that is formulated without harsh chemicals, toxins and fragrances.

2. SPF

Considering the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of your sunscreen is key. Sunlight comprises two types of ultraviolet rays — A (affecting your skin beneath the surface) and B (shorter rays that cause sunburns). Hence, always choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects the skin from both UVA and UVB rays and that comes with an SPF of at least 30 to 50 or higher.

3. Resistant formulas

Always choose a formula that’s water and sweat-resistant for travelling purposes, as such sunscreens are more suitable for outdoor activities or a day out at the beach. Re’equil Ultra Matte Dry Touch Sunscreen Gel (Buy it for Rs 663 on Amazon) is a great formula that’s resistant to both sweat and water.

4. The type and ingredients

There are two types of sunscreens — physical (mineral) and chemical. Physical or mineral sunscreens (primarily made with FDA-approved ingredients zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) such as the CeraVe Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen (Buy it for Rs 2,499 on Amazon) create a protective barrier on the skin that deflects UV rays from the body. Whereas, chemical ones absorb the UV rays and convert them into heat so that they don’t harm the skin. You can always choose the type as per your preference however if you’re looking for a reef-safe formula, a mineral sunscreen would make for a better choice.

How to select a sunscreen based on your skin type

Choosing a sunscreen as per your skin type is of utmost importance and here are a few things to keep in mind that can help you do so.

  • If you have dry skin, choose a moisturiser that’s infused with broad-spectrum SPF or a sunscreen that’s also formulated with hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, ceramides and glycerin.
  • If you have an oily and acne-prone skin type, a lightweight gel-based sunscreen that’s also non-comedogenic and non-acnegenic should be your go-to.
  • For people with sensitive skin, a mineral (physical) sunscreen that’s formulated with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide or both would prove beneficial. These ingredients don’t irritate the skin, unlike chemical filters. Ensure that the product is hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic and dermatologist-tested. You can also look for calming ingredients like aloe vera, Centella Asiatica, green tea, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide in the formulation.

How to use sunscreens?

You should use sunscreen every day as the last step of your skincare routine 20 to 30 minutes before stepping out during the day. Also ensure to reapply it every two to three hours, especially when you’ll be exposed to the sun for a long time. After a strenuous and sweaty, outdoor adventure activity or a swim, slather on a good amount on your skin immediately to maintain its efficacy. Not to forget sunscreens should be used 365 days a year (yes, even in winter).

The importance of using a sunscreen every single day is simply non-negotiable and cannot be debated over, even for people with darker skin tones. It is an investment worth making, the advantages of which you’d start noticing after consistent use.

Check out some of the best sunscreens for different skin types

CeraVe Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50

INR 2499

A broad-spectrum mineral sunscreen that’s lightweight and non-greasy, the CeraVe sunscreen is loaded with SPF 50 and does not irritate the skin. It is suitable for sensitive skin types and is formulated with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide that form a protective barrier on the skin to reflect UVA and UVB rays. It also contains three essential ceramides that restore the skin’s natural barrier and lock in moisture.

Image: Courtesy CeraVe

Avène Very High Protection SPF 50+ Cream

INR 1289

This sunscreen by Avène is a broad-spectrum UVB-UVA high-protection sunscreen that’s ideal for dry and sensitive skin. Its formulation is a combination of a stable and effective patented filter system, a unique antioxidant complex (for cellular protection) and Avène Thermal Spring Water (for skin soothing and softening properties). It has a velvety smooth texture that feels comfortable on the skin. The sunscreen has a dry touch and is water-resistant and alcohol-free.

Image: Courtesy Avène

The Derma Co 1% Hyaluronic Sunscreen Aqua Gel with SPF 50 PA++++

INR 439

The 1% Hyaluronic Sunscreen Aqua Gel with the power of SPF 50 ++++ is a lightweight and fragrance-free formula that dissolves easily into the skin. It guards your skin not only against the UV rays but also against the blue light of the screens. Additionally, it has a combination of titanium dioxide, vitamin E and hyaluronic acid that fights sun damage, reduces fine lines and wrinkles and makes the skin soft.

Image: Courtesy The Derma Co

Re’equil Ultra Matte Dry Touch Sunscreen Gel SPF 50 PA++++

INR 663

One of the best sunscreens for all skin types, the Re’equil Ultra Matte Dry Touch Gel with SPF 50 PA++++ is a non-comedogenic and sweat and water-resistant product. Optimised for performance and comfort wear, it works as a barrier on the skin and has a velvety finish. Formulated by scientists and evaluated by dermatologists, this sunscreen is non-sticky, leaves no white cast and is paraben-free.

Image: Courtesy Re’equil

Aveeno Positively Mineral Sensitive Skin Sunscreen

INR 1949

Made with naturally sourced 100 percent zinc oxide and nourishing oat, the Aveeno Mineral Sunscreen is safe for even the most sensitive skin. It has a lightweight and oil-free finish that feels comfortable on the skin. This sunscreen is non-comedogenic and is created with no fragrance, parabens or phthalates.

Image: Courtesy Aveeno

Mamaearth Hydragel Indian Sunscreen SPF 50

INR 339

A gel-based sunscreen that’s ideal for all skin types, the Mamaearth Hydragel Indian Sunscreen soothes and hydrates the skin while protecting it from harmful UV rays. Its key ingredients include raspberries, which rejuvenate the skin and reverse the signs of ageing and aloe vera, which has anti-inflammatory properties and a soothing effect. Its lightweight and non-greasy formula contains no mineral oils, parabens or harmful chemicals.

Image: Courtesy Mamaearth

The Face Shop NaturalSun Eco Super Active Sun Cream

INR 1620

This sunscreen for the face and body creates an invisible and protective layer on your skin that becomes more effective in heat and water. Its water-resistant (up to 60 minutes) formula feels silky and gets absorbed quickly without leaving any residue behind. Suitable for all skin types, this sunscreen is made with sunflower sprout extract, niacinamide, zinc oxide and ascorbyl glucoside and is also dermatologist- and ophthalmologist-tested.

Image: Courtesy The Face Shop

La Shield SPF 40 & PA+++ Sunscreen Gel

INR 593

With broad-spectrum SPF 40 PA+++, the La Shield Sunscreen Gel is one of the most popular sunscreens out there. Its oil-free and sweat-proof formula gives a matte finish that does not leave a white cast. This mineral sunscreen also improves skin hydration while lending it a youthful radiance. It is made without parabens and is ideal for all skin types, including acne-prone skin.

Image: Courtesy Amazon

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunblock SPF 50+

INR 199

The Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunblock is infused with the Helioplex technology that provides powerful protection against sun damage. Offering protection that’s five times better than any physical shade, this water and sweat-resistant face and body sunscreen leaves a weightless and non-shiny finish on the skin. It spreads easily and gets absorbed quickly into the skin.

Image: Courtesy Neutrogena

Lotus Herbals Safe Sun UV Screen MatteGel

INR 199

Shielding the skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays and preventing premature ageing, discolouration, redness and pigmentation is the Lotus Herbals Safe Sun Sunscreen with SPF 50 PA+++. It has a blend of vanilla, comfrey and horse chestnut that prevents skin damage by neutralising the free radicals. Its lightweight and non-greasy gel texture spreads evenly and dries quickly, yielding a beautiful matte finish.

Image: Courtesy Lotus Herbals

Dr. Sheth's Ceramide & Vitamin C Sunscreen

INR 409

A great sunscreen for all types of India skin, the Dr. Sheth’s Ceramide & Vitamin C Sunscreen protects the skin from both UVA and UVB rays. It is an anti-pollution and anti-visible light sunscreen offering superior sun protection with SPF 50 PA+++. Formulated with ceramides, vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, the formulation consists of mineral and organic filters to also ensure strengthened skin barrier, reduce micro-pigmentation and ample hydration. It absorbs easily onto the skin without leaving any white cast.

Image: Courtesy Dr. Sheth’s

Laneige Watery Sun Cream

INR 1485

The Laneige Watery Sun Cream is one of the best sunscreens for dry skin, owing to its lightweight texture and moisturising properties. Apart from protecting the skin from the sun it also maintains the skin’s moisture barrier all day long. With SPF 50+ PA++++, it is mild yet powerful and spreads easily on the skin.

Image: Courtesy Laneige

Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Gel SPF 50+ PA++++

INR 1680

The Bioré sunscreen is a light, watery gel that spreads easily and gets absorbed instantly into the skin. It is powered by a Micro Defence Formulation that has micro-sized UV-Cut capsules that ensures a full coverage down to micro-level crevices that are invisible to the naked eye. Its formula also hydrates the skin on application, is water proof and is allergy-tested.

Image: Courtesy Bioré

La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF 50+

INR 4687

One of the best sunscreens for sensitive skin, the La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF 50+ offers high, photostable UVA and UVB protection. Its ultra-light fluid texture is non-greasy and gives a smooth finish. It further prevents the skin from sun-induced pigmentation, sunburns, cell damage and skin reactions. Tested by dermatologists, this sunscreen is free from parabens and fragrances and does not clog pores.

Image: Courtesy La Roche-Posay

Isdin Fotoprotector Fusion Water SPF 50

INR 1980

An ultra-light sunscreen for everyday use that’s perfect for outdoor activities, the Isdin Fotoprotector Fusion Water is a water-phased facial sunscreen. Featuring SPF 50, this sunscreen offers intense hydration and absorption that guarantees strong protection against UV rays. Also formulated with hyaluronic acid, it is a non-comedogenic sunscreen that’s oil-free and hypoallergenic.

Image: Courtesy Isdin

(Main and Featured Image Courtesy: Mikhail Nilov/Pexels)

Related: Pack These Winter Trek Essentials For A Smooth Trekking Experience

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: How long are sunscreens effective?

Answer: Essentially, one should reapply sunscreen every two to three hours, especially when outdoors.

Question: Are there any side effects of sunscreens?

Answer: As effective as they are, sunscreens might have a negative impact if they aren’t used according to your skin type. For instance, if a person with oily and acne-prone skin uses a cream-based, non-comedogenic sunscreen, it is bound to aggravate the acne situation. Similarly, if people with sensitive skin use a sunscreen that’s formulated with alcohol and fragrances, it might irritate the skin. Non-hypoallergenic sunscreens can further fortify allergies. Similarly, a sunscreen that’s not ophthalmologist-tested might sting the eye and cause pain and irritation.

Question: Do I need sunscreen when I’m indoors?

Answer: Yes, you need to wear sunscreen even when indoors because you are guaranteed to come in contact with UV rays through windows and open doors that let natural light in. Additionally, the blue light from screens also has damaging effects on the skin that a sunblock can protect you from.

Question: Are zinc sunscreens better?

Answer: Zinc oxide sunscreens provide you with broad-spectrum protection. The ingredient is also approved not just by dermatologists but also by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A zinc oxide-infused sunscreen also makes for a safer choice for people with sensitive skin.

Question: Are there any sunscreens that stay on after sweating?

Answer: Yes, some sunscreens resist sweat and stay in place even after partaking in outdoor physical activities.

Best Sunscreens According To Your Skin Type To Carry Along On Your Travels

With an academic background in Public Relations, Divya has a flair for writing about topics spanning genres like lifestyle, beauty, fashion, travel, FnB, tech and entertainment. She fancies everything that's a wholesome blend of contemporary finery and timelessness. Quirky earrings and tees are her weakness. When not creating content, you will find her devouring food, snuggling in with a book and a cup-a-chai, admiring skies or revisiting Hogwarts.


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