Excessive or unprotected exposure to the sun can lead to sunburn, wrinkles, skin degeneration and even skin cancer . especially men who loved the outdoors.
It is important that you protect your skin from sun exposure on a daily basis to prevent skin damage.
In fact, there are two major types of sunscreen: chemical and physical.
So what is the difference between chemical sunscreen and physical sunscreen (also known as sunblock)?
Although the words are often used interchangeably, a sunscreen is considered a chemical form of sun protection, while a sunblock is a physical type of sun protection. Chemical sunscreens contain ingredients that filter ultraviolet light from the sun so less of it reaches the skin. Physical sunblock contain ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which physically block UVA and UVB radiation and reflect them away from your skin.
Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are approved by the Food and Drug Administration in USA for safe use.
In short, Sunblocks and sunscreens are not interchangeable and are not created equal.
It’s important to realize that most sunscreens (especially the SPF 15 tinted moisturizers or face lotions you would wear every day) don’t contain the blocking ingredients that protect against UVA rays, the ones that cause skin cancers and premature aging. Longer UVA wavelengths penetrate to the dermis, where they trigger the melanocytes, creating a suntan (again, a sign that your body has been injured). Many sunscreens safeguard the skin only from UVB rays, which also cause skin cancers and generate sunburns on the surface of the skin: In fact, the SPF factor on a label only gauges protection from UVB rays. You should be aware that there are shorter and longer UVA rays too.
To be on the safest side every day, always wear a sunscreen with SPF above 30 in Singapore. It will have “broad spectrum” on the label, which means you’ll be getting both UVA and UVB protection.
So the next time when you are considering an outdoor sports or event, don’t forget to put in a minute of effort daily to safeguard a lifetime of good skin with no age spots or premature aging!
Illustrated & compiled by Esther Cheang and Adam Chua , Face of Man. 6 November 2013