It’s summer time! This is the perfect time to be flaunting your perfect bikini figure at the beach. But hold your horses babes! Don’t forget to protect your youthful skin while having your fun and games! Repeated or prolonged exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation leads to skin cancer. Your skin also starts to age prematurely if you don’t shield it from the harmful rays of the sun. You can find out more about the sun and premature aging here.
With the sun being so evil, our only protection against it is to slap on sunscreen religiously.
According to Patricia Agin, director of photobiology research at Schering-Plough Corp., the maker of Coppertone products, sunscreens work by either absorbing or reflecting and scattering UV. This means that most of the sun’s harmful rays don’t get to penetrate or damage your skin when you use a product with a minimum of SPF15. It is highly recommended to use a broad-spectrum coverage, meaning a sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB. This information can usually be found on the product label.
Sun Protection Factor, SPF
Sun Protection Factor, more commonly known as SPF, measures the extra length of time a sunscreen will protect your skin from reddening or burning. A generally the higher the SPF, the more protection you have. For example, without sunscreen, you can usually stay in the sun without reddening or burning for about 20 minutes. Theoretically, a sunscreen with SPF15 should increase your skin’s protection levels by 15 times. This means that your skin should be able to last for about 5 hours, instead of 20 minutes. However, that does that mean that if you apply a sunscreen for SPF15, you will definitely be fully protected during the 5 hours. Sunscreen will wear off after a certain time.
Common Sunscreen Myths
It is important to know that layering products with sunscreen doesn’t give you more protection against the sun. On the contrary, you are only given the protection of the highest SPF. For example, you use 3 sunscreens of SPF 15, 30 and 60 at the same time. This does not mean you have SPF105 worth of protection. You are only protected with SPF60. It is also not advisable to skimp on sunscreen when you are indoors. UV rays are still able to penetrate the windows and glass. Similarly, it is also not advisable to skimp on sunscreen on cloudy days.
1. Apply sunscreen SFP 15 or higher 20 minutes before going outside
2. Remember to re-apply sunscreen!
Set your cell phone timer to remind you to re-apply sunscreen every two hours when you are outside. Sunscreens often degrade in the sun – “all-day protection” does not exist.
3. Avoid the hottest time of the day – Between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm
4. Don’t forget your – Lips, Ears and Eyes
If you’re worried about melting sunscreen that irritates your eyes, you can try using lip balm with SPF 30+ on both your lips and your eyelids. It doesn’t bother the eyes and it stays on really well.
5. Always choose a Broad-spectrum sunscreen to block both UVA & UVB rays.
6. Use water-resistant sunscreens
This is useful whenever you go swimming or exercising as your perspiration will wear the sunscreen off. Water-resistant sunscreens are also useful for daily use in Singapore’s humid weather since we tend to perspire more.
7. Exfoliate often as it helps the skin absorb moisturizers in the sunscreen
8. Seek shade especially when you feel your skin burning
Don’t worry if you’re currently using a sunblock! Sunblock also shields the skin from the sun’s harmful rays, deferring only in mechanisms. Sunscreens usually last for about 3 years, so invest in a good one and start including sunscreens in your daily skincare routine to fight the prowess of the evil sun!(:
P.S: Porcelain’s Flawless Tinted Moisturiser not only shields the skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays with SPF 20, but is oil and Paraben free as well.