Sun Protection for your skin
Why you should wear sunscreen
According to National Cancer Centre Singapore, skin cancer ranks 6th in male cancers and 7th in female cancers in Singapore. Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common skin cancer and is most common in the sun-exposed area.
The ozone layer is depleting and your skin needs a shield from the harmful UV rays (both UVA and UVB) which contribute to skin damage and development of skin cancer. Sunblock acts as a barrier between your skin and UV rays which can trigger skin disorders. Sunscreen penetrates the skin and absorbs the UVA rays before they reach and damage your dermal layer. All sun blocks have an SPF rating. SPF (Sun Protection Factor) is the ability of a sunscreen to block UV rays which causes sunburns and weaken your skin, increasing the risk of skin cancer.
Wearing sunscreen regularly can help to prevent your skin from premature aging and facial spots. A study has shown that there was 24% less skin aging in the group of people wearing sunscreen daily, compared to the group who used sunscreen at their own discretion.
How to apply?
- Apply a generous amount of sunscreen at least 30 minutes before sun exposure. This is to allow full absorption into the skin.
- Women should apply sunscreens under their make-up.
- Unprotected sun exposure can still increase the risk of skin cancers at any age. For older people who may find it more difficult to apply sunscreens to the legs and back area, consider spray-on sunscreens.
- To keep your skin from burning, apply a daily moisturizer with at least SPF15+ included.
- Apply sunscreen to all exposed areas, including ears, lips and back of your hands.
- For outdoor activities, apply sunscreens with at least SPF30+, preferably waterproof or water-resistant sunscreens as these will not wash off easily. Sunblock does not last for more than 2 hours, especially when you are perspiring heavily or when you will be in the water, so re-apply frequently.
- Spray lotions and gels are the least oily, but wash off more easily.
- Wear protective clothing that will guard you from the sun. Do apply a generous amount of sunscreen under your clothes as well.
- Wear sunglasses that filter UV light.
- Avoid sun in the middle of the day, from about 10 am to 3 pm. UV rays which cause sunburn, are strongest during this time.