10 Best Sunscreens in India 
Have you already started planning your next summer destination? Even if you’re staying put and thinking about revisiting some of India’s most precious natural wonders, you’ll want to make sure you’re well-protected at all times.
This is why sunscreen should become an indispensable part of your daily skincare routine. Regardless of whether the forecast predicts overcast skies and gloomy weather, it’s important to keep your lotion close-by.
A good, quality sunblock can greatly help you in your fight against sun damage. While many people tend to disregard the harmful effects, professionals argue that sunscreen can protect you from sunburns, skin allergies, and in more severe cases, skin cancer.
So, without further ado, we give you the ultimate list of the best sunscreen lotions in India that’ll safeguard you from harmful UV rays and its dangerous effects.
10 Best Sunscreens in India
Protecting yourself from harmful UV radiation and sun damage has never been easier. These 10 sunscreens will effectively protect, heal, and nurture your skin.
- SPF 50+
- Non-shiny finish
- Doesn’t clog pores
- Easily absorbed
Equipped with Helioplex technology, this sunblock by Neutrogena offers lasting protection against sun damage. The active ingredients found in this sunblock lotion have anti-aging properties.
Having the highest SPF of all other sunscreens on our list (50+), this dermatologically-tested product is certainly the best sunscreen lotion currently available. The lotion effectively protects your skin from both UVA and UVB rays that are known to be the main culprits responsible for causing sunburns and skin cancer.
This particular sunscreen lotion is made using an oil-free formula, so it doesn't leave any greasy overtones and residues on your skin. Moreover, the product is considered non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog your pores in the process. We particularly love that the lotion is water and sweat-resistant, which makes it suitable for people with exceptionally oily skin.
It’s worth mentioning that the lotion contains oat kernel extract, a powerful emollient that helps alleviate various skin irritations like rashes and burns. The product does contain other chemical ingredients such as homosalate that has been known to cause itching and redness in some cases.
- SPF 40
- High UVA & UVB protection
- Suitable for all skin types
- Mattifying texture
- Tinted finish
Suitable for all skin types, this sunblock cream by Lotus Herbals protects your skin from 97.5% of harmful UV rays. The product has an SPF 40 and is labeled as P+++, meaning it offers high UVA protection.
The sunblock contains birch, hops and mallow extracts that have rejuvenating, anti-inflammatory, and astringent properties. The lightweight formulation offers fast absorption so the cream doesn’t leave any shine or grease on your skin. Its mattifying texture evens the skin tone and helps you achieve a tinted complexion.
While it does contain several natural compounds that help soothe and refine your skin, the sunblock also contains oxybenzone, an organic compound commonly found in sunscreens. Although this chemical helps absorb ultraviolet rays, a small number of studies suggest that oxybenzone can have toxic properties that may cause underlying health issues in certain cases.
- SPF 30+
- 100% natural
- Brightens skin tone
- Works well as a moisturizer
- Good for dry skin
Blended with honey, seaweed and wheat germ, the Biotique sunscreen lotion is organic, preservative-free and 100% natural. It offers an SPF 30+ that can safeguard your skin from UVA and UVB rays.
Bioteque is known for its naturally-derived ayurvedic products that combine sustainable practice with quality ingredients. This lotion is suitable for all skin types with a myriad of organic compounds that help soothe, nourish and moisturize the skin. Its effective in replenishing lost moisture and can brighten the skin complexion as to provide a fair and even tone.
The product works well both in hot and cold temperatures, as it replaces natural oils and hydrates the skin without leaving sticky residues. If you have exceptionally oily skin or combination skin type, it's best to apply a small amount to avoid a shiny complexion. We’re particularly pleased with the all-natural approach of this product, however, it’s worth mentioning that as far as sunscreens go, it does have a significantly lower SPF compared to some other product on our list.
- SPF 24
- Non-sticky & non-greasy
- Super light
- Cooling effect
- Brightens skin tone
Lightweight, non-greasy, and non-sticky, the Lakmé Sun Expert Lotion makes for perfect daily protection against harmful sun radiation. The sunscreen contains cucumber and lemongrass extracts that soothe and revitalize the skin.
Enriched with broad-spectrum protection, the lotion protects you from various types of sun damage, preventing dark spots, sunburns, and signs of premature aging. It has an SPF 24, which is admittedly much lower than other sunscreens on our list, so it should be applied more often. Of course, if you’re concerned about the lower sun protection factor, Lakmé does offer the same lotion with SPF 30 and SPF 50 that’ll give you a higher amount of protection.
The Sun Expert lotion keeps your skin smooth and radiant while combating the negative effects of sun radiation. It also has certain brightening properties, that give you a fairer complexion and an even skin tone.
- SPF 20
- Contains vitamin B5, C, and E
- Soothes acne
- Lightens scars
Made with wheat germ, avocado, aloe vera, and grapeseed oils and enriched with several vitamins, the Aroma Magic Sunscreen Gel is your all-natural protector in the fight against dangerous sun rays.
Having the lowest SPF protection of all other products on our list (SPF 20), this gel is suitable for people living in colder climates. It can also be quite effective when used daily during those chilly winter periods. The great thing about this gel is that it’s 100% natural and contains no harsh chemicals, parabens, artificial fragrances or alcohol. The product is also oxybenzone-free.
The presence of soothing aloe vera makes this gel one of the best sunscreens for oily skin. Aloe Vera offers a wide spectrum of healthy properties and can purify, replenish and hydrate your skin. It’s also quite effective against acne and pimple outbreaks. The Aroma Magic gel leaves a nice matte finish and feels very light on the skin.
The gel also contains several vitamins such as vitamin B5, C, and E, which help prevent wrinkles, fine lines, and signs of aging. This is an amazing product to use alongside a moisturizer and makeup, as it won’t overwhelm your skin and leave a greasy overtone. However, keep in mind the overall protection factor and try not to rely solely on this gel to protect you in extremely hot and sunny conditions.
- SPF 50
- Restores moisture
- Fast absorption
One of the leading skincare brands in the whole world, Nivea has been manufacturing high-end body-care products since 1882. Their Sun Moisturizing Lotion doesn’t fall short in terms of quality and expertise.
Equipped with a fast-absorption formula and a whipping SPF50, this lotion provides instant protection against both UVA and UVB rays. The non-oily, water-resistant technology allows you to go about your days without having to worry about greasy overtones, sticky residues or smudgy remnants.
Nivea’s moisturizing lotion utilizes an advanced collagen formula that prevents wrinkles and restores moisture. It’s suitable for both men and women, as it doesn’t leave you with an overly shiny or glowy complexion. On the downside, this lotion does run a bit high price-wise, but we guess the quality justifies the price tag. Some users did point out that the lotion leaves a slight white cast after being exposed to too much water.
- SPF 30
- Pollution protection
- Contains vitamin B3
- Smart quick-lock
Sun and pollution protection? Sign us up! Alongside Nivea, Vaseline is considered the number one brand when it comes to all-things skin-related. Their Skin Protective Lotion doesn’t fall much behind in terms of effective protection and potent skincare.
The protective formula of this lotion successfully shields your skin from environmental pollutants and UVA and UVB radiation. Its fast-absorption formula doesn’t leave a greasy finish, making it suitable for everyday use. The lotion has a slightly lower sun protection factor (SPF 30) so it should be used with caution.
Vaseline Sun + Pollution Body Lotion contains provitamin C and E and vitamin B3 that help revitalize the skin and give it a healthy, radiant glow. The lotion works best for normal to dry skin types, but the non-greasy formula makes it also suitable for moderate oily skin as well. Another great thing about this product is its smart pump with a quick lock that ensures no spills or mess.
This lotion is also infused with micro-droplets of petroleum jelly that are effective in healing damaged skin. Keep in mind that petroleum jelly isn’t water-soluble, which means that it can clog the pores and cause outbreaks.
- SPF 50
- Suitable for all skin types
Known for its fine collection of beauty and wellness products, VLCC has been around for more than 30 years. Their Sunscreen Gel Cream is paraben-free and offers broad-spectrum protection from UVA and UVB radiation.
The cream’s powerful formulation is endowed with carrot and cucumber extracts that soothe and cool the skin. The two extracts are also quite effective when it comes to de-tanning the skin, helping prevent dark spots and revealing a brighter complexion underneath.
It features a strong SPF50 formula that safeguards your skin from various types of sun damage. It’s suitable for all skin types and works well for both men and women. The gel creme doesn’t leave a greasy and shiny finish and doesn’t feel too heavy on the face. Users love the design and portable nature of the product, as this 100g creme fits easily in one’s pocket!
We’d prefer it if the cream had better absorption qualities, as it doesn’t really blend well into the skin. However, the VLCC Sunscreen Gel Creme is quite affordable, so even if you feel like it doesn’t resonate well with your skin, you won’t be losing too much sleep over it.
- SPF 50
- Doesn’t clog pores
- Effective against sun spots, redness, and dark circles
Looking for ultimate sun protection? Pond’s Institute has a solution. Ther Sun Protect Non-Oily Sunscreen combats all issues relating to sun damage, including redness, sunburns, dark spots, and fine lines.
The cream is dermatologically tested and offers an SPF 50, including a PA+++ (high UVA protection.) The non-oil formulation makes it suitable for extremely hot and humid areas and it won’t leave you feeling like you applied wet cement on your face. Another amazing aspect of this product is that it’s hypoallergenic, which makes it suitable even for those with exceptionally sensitive and allergy-prone skin.
Also, the product is labeled as non-comedogenic, meaning it won't clog your pores in the process. This is something we value highly, as many other products aren’t very effective when it comes to providing proper protection with an emphasis on good skincare.
A slight downside is that the creme leaves a white cast after applying which isn’t the most favorable quality. Some users did mention that despite its non-oily formulation, the creme tends to leave a modest greasy outline after a while.
- SPF 50
- Contains vitamin E
- Not suitable for sensitive skin
- Liquid crystal technology
Using liquid crystal technology. The Cipla Rivela Tint Sunscreen Lotion is your next best companion in the battle against sun damage. It has a powerful SPF50 that offers broad-spectrum protection at all times.
The sunscreen lotion is dermatologically tested and contains vitamin E, which helps support cell function and skin health. It also offers a velvety finish, that feels very smooth and flush on the skin. The lotion is highly effective for normal and combination skin, but it isn’t recommended for overly sensitive skin types as it can cause irritation, rashes, and redness.
Like a few other picks on our list, this product is also non-comedogenic and doesn't clog the pores.
How to Choose the Best Sunscreen?
Finding the right sunscreen is more than simply picking out the one with the highest protection factor. While SPF is certainly a crucial aspect, there are more factors that you need to consider before choosing the best sunscreen for yourself.
In the following few paragraphs, we’ll explain the vital difference and importance of both sun protection factor and broad-spectrum protection. We’ll also touch upon the topic of different skin types and how various ingredients can affect your overall experience when choosing the perfect lotion for yourself.
Finally, we’ll explain how common features like water-resistance, absorption time, and presence of certain vitamins can shape your overall decision.
Choosing the best sunscreen lotion begins with your skin type. Just like when choosing beauty and skincare products, you want to find a sunblock that’ll accommodate your personal needs. It would be foolish to presume that two people with opposing skin types could use the same type of moisturizer or cleanser, so why would it be any different with sunblock?
People with normal skin types don’t have to obsess too much about textures and finishes in lotions and creams nor their general qualities. However, there are certain things you should pay attention to.
For instance, sunscreen comes in different consistencies, so you might want to consider what type you prefer. Lotions are generally more liquidy, while gels and creams are slightly thicker and heavier. You should also keep in mind the ingredients. Organic is always the best way to go about this, but you’ll also want to consider certain properties of these compounds. Cucumber extract, for example, acts as a cooling agent, something you might find appealing during those scorching summer days. But, we’ll touch upon the topic of ingredients a bit later on.
Those with overly dry skin should aim at products that’ll provide more moisture. Look for sunscreen lotions with glycerin or hyaluronic acid to ensure that your skin is properly hydrated at all times. Also, it would be best to rely on creams rather than lotions or gels, as they blend nicely into the skin and help you retain moisture in the process. It would also be smart to consider sunscreens that you can combine and properly blend with your favorite moisturizing cream or lotion.
On the other hand, if you suffer from excessively oily and acne-prone skin, you’ll want to choose water-based formulas. Keep an eye out for sunscreen gels that leave a nice matte finish. Make sure that the products you choose are oil-free and preferably non-comedogenic. Oily skin is susceptible to clogged pores and non-comedogenic sunscreens can help you avoid trapping dirt and grime in your skin.
Combination skin types are more difficult to handle. You may have normal skin in certain areas and dry patches or oily spots in others. The best way to approach this problem is to use your sunscreen alongside a proper moisturizing cream or lotion. Also, it would be a good idea to search for multiple products from the same line. Combining a gel-based sunscreen with a moisturizing sunblock lotion with similar ingredients could help you combat all these problems at the same time.
Finally, if you have exceptionally sensitive or allergy-prone skin, make sure to avoid sunscreens with abrasive and inorganic compounds. Choose alcohol-free products that are based on 100% natural ingredients. Make sure that the sunscreen doesn’t contain any artificial fragrances, color or preservatives, to avoid irritation and allergic reactions. It’s always a good idea to experiment with different products until you find the one most suitable for your skin. You might even consider paying a visit to your dermatologist.
Keep in mind, before applying sunscreen on your face, put a drop or two on your hand first and wait for a couple of minutes to see if there is a negative reaction. If you experience a rash or redness, rinse it off immediately and opt for the next product in the line.
Broad Spectrum Protection
You might have noticed that some sunscreen products offer broad-spectrum protection. To fully understand what this term means, first we’ll need to delve a bit deeper into UVA and UVB radiation.
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is electromagnetic radiation present in sunlight. There are three types of UV rays:
Now, the first thing you need to understand about radiation is that they all operate differently. UVC radiation is the least powerful of the three and its rays can’t physically breach the Earth’s barrier. Instead, this type of radiation gets absorbed by the ozone layer, so us humans don’t have to worry about it causing us any harm. Phew!
However, we’re not in the clear yet. UVB radiation is more powerful and it can cause superficial damage. This is the type of radiation that causes sunburns redness, sun rashes and similar. While certainly harmful, in most cases, UVB radiation can’t inflict too much damage on its own.
The third and most powerful type of solar radiation is UVA radiation. UVA rays make up for 95% of all sun’s radiation and it’s so potent that it can penetrate glass, fog, clouds and you’ve guessed it – human skin. While these rays won’t leave you with a sunburn, they will penetrate deep into your skin and potentially damage your DNA. This is how skin cancer occurs.
So, what part does broad-spectrum protection play in this whole conundrum?
Well, if the product is labeled as broad-spectrum, it means it can protect you from both UVA and UVB rays. This means that your skin is protected from all types of sun damage, including sunburns, rashes, wrinkles, premature aging, and cell mutation that leads to skin cancer.
Sun Protection Factor (SPF)
SPF, short for sun protection factor, plays a major role in your fight against sun damage and harmful UV rays. It’s indicated as a number and depending on its amount it can offer different levels of protection:
- Low protection (SPF <15)
- Medium protection (SPF 15 – 29)
- High protection (SPF 30 – 49)
- Very high protection (SPF 50+)
Obviously, the higher the number, the more protection it offers. Depending on the weather conditions, your skin type, the amount of product you use and other factors, you may choose a different level of protection. However, dermatologists recommend not using anything below SPF 30 in overly sunny and hot conditions.
What most people don’t realize is that the SPF number shows only how much protection is offered from UVB rays. To protect yourself thoroughly from both UVA and UVB radiation, make sure to choose a product with broad-spectrum protection.
Once you figure out the intricacies concerning the protection and UV radiation, it’s time to start paying attention to the contents of your sunscreen. While plenty of sunscreen lotions, creams and gels are made with a combination of organic and inorganic compounds, it’s important to understand how those ingredients work together and to which end.
But before we go into specific ingredients and their properties, it’s vital to know the difference between physical and chemical sunscreens.
As the name suggests, chemical sunscreens use chemical bonds to absorb radiation into the skin. Once absorbed, the radiation is transformed into heat and released from the body. Some of the most common found sun-protective ingredients in chemical sunscreens are Tinosorb S and Mexoryl SX. Both of the compounds are effective in providing sun damage prevention. A lot of chemical sunscreens use avobenzone and octinoxate in a combination with other chemicals, as they act as stabilizers. Keep in mind that certain countries like Japan and Hawaii have imposed restrictions on some of these ingredients as they’re not deemed eco-friendly.
Physical sunscreen works differently. Their goal is to create a strong barrier between the skin and the harmful UV rays. When the radiation reaches the barrier, it is then reflected back to the atmosphere. These types of sunscreen are often called sunblocks. Oxybenzone is one of the most popular ingredients in physical sunscreens. While it provides excellent sun damage and burns protection, some scientists believe that oxybenzone can be harmful to those with overly sensitive skin. Another common argument against this compound is that it’s not eco-friendly and can cause damage to marine life.
However, if you’re trying to go green and want to ensure the safety of both your and Earth’s health, you may do that by opting for a sunscreen with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.
Other ingredients, such as plant extracts and herbs can provide a certain amount of sun protection when combined with other sun-protective agents. Also, a number of these natural ingredients and minerals have amazing skincare properties that can help heal, revitalize and hydrate your skin.
For instance, cucumber extract can soothe and hydrate skin, while carrots help skin recover faster from burns and superficial wounds. Aloe Vera is another common ingredient in skincare products and is often found in sunscreen as well, as it helps keep moisture locked in and also has healing and soothing properties. Honey and oat kernels act as natural cleansers and they’re effective in purifying the skin and diminishing pores. Also, seaweed and wheat germ are great options as they contain plenty of antioxidants and amino acids that promote healthier, radiant and hydrated skin.
A lot of these ingredients are packed with vitamins and minerals that can nurture and nourish your skin. Vitamin C, E, and K are especially handy when it comes to boosting collagen production, treating skin inflammations and alleviating common skin conditions like dark spots, fine lines, and wrinkles. To top it all, vitamin E also helps absorbs harmful sun rays, so when combined with other sun-protective agents it offers effective protection against UVA and UVB rays.
Water-Resistant vs Waterproof
If a sunscreen is labeled as water-resistant it means that it can retain its SPF value even after swimming or excessive sweating. This is certainly a great advantage, considering that sweat (and beach time) are indispensable parts of summer.
However, for a sunscreen to be deemed water-resident it needs to withgo a series of rigorous tests and requirements. It’s important to know that water-resistant isn’t the same as waterproof. While water-resistant sunscreens are effective in providing protection when exposed to liquids, they’re not entirely foolproof.
Waterproof sunscreens, on the other hand, are formulated to be twice as powerful compared to their water-resistant counterparts. This means that they stand up to water more effectively and can provide long-lasting sun protection.
Regardless of whether the sunscreen is labeled as waterproof water-resistant, dermatologists generally advise reapplying the lotion after swimming to ensure prolonged protection from UV radiation.
Q: How Does Sunscreen Work?
A: Sunscreen protects your skin from harmful UV rays in two ways. You’ve probably noticed that your sunscreen label lists a lot of unknown chemicals such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. These minerals act as mirrors, helping reflect the UV rays before they permeate the skin.
However, not all ingredients in your lotion are lab-made. Most sunscreens contain a plethora of organic chemicals like oxybenzone or avobenzone. These molecules have a different job than their inorganic counterparts. Instead of reflecting the rays, they absorb the radiation through their bonds. Not to worry though, once the radiation is absorbed, the chemicals work their magic to break it down into small pieces and transform them into heat which is then released from your body.
Keep in mind that not all sunscreens are created equally. While some lotions do use a combination of inorganic and organic compounds, others rely just on one protection method. This is the difference between chemical and physical sunscreens. Physical sunscreens are often called sunblocks as they filter and reflect the radiation. On the other hand, chemical sunscreens are commonly known as absorbers as they use chemical processes and compounds to absorb and release the radiation from the skin.
Q: When Should Sunscreen be Used?
A: Contrary to popular belief, sunscreen is not just to be used while sunbathing on the beach. Most dermatologists agree that sunscreen should be applied every day as a part of your regular skincare routine.
Don’t be fooled by overcast skies though. Scientists have confirmed that even in cloudy conditions up to 80% of UV rays can reach earth. It’s recommended to apply sunscreen every day before going outdoors. Dermatologists also advise applying sunblock about half an hour before leaving the house, so the lotion would be absorbed properly.
Q: How Often Should You Reapply Sunscreen?
A: How often you should reapply sunscreen depends on a few different things. Firstly, it depends on how quickly your skin absorbs the lotion. Also, it’s important to consider the protection factor of the sunblock, as well as your surroundings. If you live in extremely hot and humid areas, you’ll want to reapply your sunblock more often. If you’re spending time at the beach, you’ll want to apply the lotion regularly, especially after swimming or sunbathing.
Even if a sunscreen is labeled as water-resistant, it doesn’t mean it can protect you forever. Optimally, sunscreen should be reapplied every 2 hours so it would be effective. People who are prone to excessive sweating are advised to reapply the lotion more frequently.
Q: Are Sunscreens Safe?
A: So far, there’s no evidence to suggest that sunscreens are dangerous or harmful to humans in any way. Most sunscreens are dermatologically tested and manufactured in safe conditions using carefully chosen ingredients. The chemicals used in the production of sunscreen lotions are deemed safe for human use and are highly effective in safeguarding your health from radiation and sun damage.
However, keep in mind that different sunscreen brands use various ingredients for their lotions including organic and natural compounds like plant extracts. It’s possible that some of these ingredients can cause irritations and skin allergies to those with sensitive and allergy-prone skin.
Make sure to carefully read the labels and inform yourself properly before making a purchase. If you’re generally more sensitive or don’t respond to certain ingredients, try to apply a drop of sunscreen on your arm and wait a couple of minutes to see if there is some unwanted reaction. Once you determine that the lotion is safe to use, you can proceed to apply it to your face and the rest of your body.