Many of us delight in heading down to the beach to get gorgeous, bronze, sun-kissed skin. We often hear reminders to put on sunblock to protect our skin but our aim of getting tan in the sun provides us with the perfect excuse not to put on the sunblock.
Unfortunately, the sun’s rays are extremely damaging and are very harmful for our bodies. Overexposure to the sun causes sunburn, premature aging of the skin, wrinkling and skin cancer. It also increases the risk of cataract and eye damage. It is very important for us to look after our skin to maintain it as smooth, beautiful and wrinkle-free! In addition, it will also prevent damage to other parts of our body.
In sunny Singapore, we are constantly exposed to the sun and are in great need of care for our skin. Here are some useful tips on how to apply sunblock!
#1 Pick a broad-spectrum sunblock with SPF 15 or more
The sun’s rays consist of different types of wavelengths. UVA and UVB are the most damaging forms of rays for us. As both types of rays are different, it is necessary to use a sunblock that can protect us from both. Using a broad-specturm sunblock covers a range of sun rays and offers maximum protection from the sun.
The SPF, Sun Protection Factor, measures the effectiveness of a sun-protecting agent on your skin. It can be measured by determining how long it takes for unprotected skin to develop a reaction while in sunlight, such as mild burning or redness. This means that, if someone is not wearing any sunblock and develops a mild sunburn within 10 minutes of sun exposure, then he or she could develop the same type of sunburn after 150 minutes of applying a sunblock with SPF 15. This is calculated simply by multiplying the amount of time taken to burn without sunblock to the SPF amount (10 minutes x 15 = 150 minutes).
Sunblocks have different SPF levels because everyone has different kinds of skin. SPF 15 works for most people and often is used the most. For those with more sensitive skin are advised to use sunblock with a higher SPF.
#2 Use a sunblock with low SPF daily
We may often believe that using sunblock which has a higher SPF is better than using sunblock with a low SPF. However this may not be the case. The daily use of a low-SPF sunblock such as SPF 15, has been shown to be more effective in preventing skin damage than the intermittent use of a higher SPF sunblock.
#3 Use a water based sunblock
Some types of sunblock can react with water and might cause it to lose it’s protective function. It is important to use a water based sunblock especially if you will be engaging in activities that have contact with water such as swimming. Sweat also disintegrates the sunblock causing people who often participate in sporty activities to have to use water based sunblocks as well. Water based sunblock is also useful for people who have oily skin or are prone to acne as it helps prevent sweat from clogging pores.
#4 Apply sunblock 30 minutes before going into the sun
For best results, you should always apply your sunblock 30 minutes before being in the sun. This is to allow the sunblock to be absorbed thoroughly by the skin and hence will be less likely to wash off if you were to perspire. This is especially important in Singapore where the weather is hot and humid.
Sunblock should also be reapplied every 2 hours to obtain maximum protection as it is likely for the sunblock to wash off. Also, depending on the SPF of your sunblock, you will be required to reapply the sunblock regularly.
#5 Remember to use sunblock everywhere, even indoors
The sun’s rays are very strong and can penetrate through many different objects. Even if it is a cloudy day with a lot of shade, the rays are still present and can still affect our skin! It is crucial to apply sunblock everyday and everywhere we go as we will still need protection from the sun. This even applies to when we are indoors. The UVA sun rays have a longer wavelength that can travel through glass. It also damages collagen which speeds up the ageing process. Hence, even though we are indoors where there seems to be no sun, we still need to protect ourselves from the UVA sun rays that can penetrate the glass.
#6 Get vitamin D from your diet
Many people believe that it is necessary to be in the sun for long periods to get sufficient vitamin D for your body. This is not true. Most people can fulfill their vitamin D requirements with normal daily outdoor activities with just 5-30 minutes every day. Long exposure is not required and does not give any extra production of necessary vitamin D. Additionally, vitamin D can be obtained from a rich diet of fish, milk, dairy, liver, eggs and vitamin D supplementation. This allows us to limit the amount of time we spend in the sun to the minimum.
Follow these tips and you will feel healthier and experience wrinkle-free skin! If you must spend time in the sun, soak up the sun in a safe and healthy way!