Updated: Oct 22, 2019
As I approach my 30’s, I keep on hearing from people left and right, telling me to start using sunscreen before “it’s too late”. And it got into my head so much that I literally started browsing information on sunscreens and available products for me to choose for myself. So let me share some need-to-know stuff about sunscreens!
Why do we need it?
We hear it enough. We need to protect our skin from the sun. But what about the sun that can be so harmful to our skin, especially as we age?
Sun rays contain ultraviolet (UV) rays/radiation which can be harmful and damaging to our skin when exposed. Not only does it leave significant impact on our skin which is exposed to the rays, it can also penetrate deep into our skin; our thickest layer too. There are 3 types of UV rays, but ultimately, UVA penetrates the deepest into our skin. Over time, UV rays leave permanent damage to our skin.
In Malaysia, sun’s rays are the strongest typically between 10am to 4pm, with its peak around 11pm-3pm (yes ladies, that’s also when it’s best for drying our laundry out in the sun too right? Now we know why!). So, this is the time we should best stay indoor, and if we have to be outside, layer up our face with sunscreen (I would also put on the back of my hands, especially when driving).
Nothing looks better in your 50's than sunscreen in your 20's
What happens when we don’t use it?
So apparently, the number 1 cause for visible signs of aging is highly due to damage caused by the sun. We are referring to signs such as wrinkles, pigmentation spots and discolouration. The UV ray is also linked to being the biggest cause of skin cancer and can even cause suppression of the immune system. So using sunscreen helps to decreases your chances of these risks.
Now, we all know the ozone layer is depleting. The risk of UV ray is more worrying now that many years back. The ozone layer acts as a natural sunscreen and absorbs the harmful sunray before it reaches the ground. But since even the ozone layer is struggling to do this for us, hence the need for sunscreen on our part.
And the thing is, even on a cloudy day, even when you are indoor getting indirect sun ray, UV rays can still penetrate into your skin. And furthermore, Malaysia has plenty of sun all year round (and I mean, plenty!) so all the more reason we have to take this thing called sunscreen seriously and staple in our skincare routine.
ALSO, extra sunscreen is needed if you are near water, sand (both at beaches), and even snow (yes, even in the cold, you need sunscreen! that ski-trip!) because these surfaces actually reflect the harmful sunrays, increasing chances of damage and sunburn on your skin.
FUN-FACT (though maybe not so fun) : There is such a thing as Digital UV ray and we need to be protected from that too! They are actually ‘Blue Light’ (or high energy visible light) emitted from all digital devices (computers, phones, tablets). It’s even said that Digital UV ray can be as strong and as harmful than both UVA and UVB ray combined! Sounds worrying don't you think? See what I mean, sunscreen even when indoors?
Reality check : You've got to wear sunscreen everyday of the year; come rain or shine, inside or out!
At the risk of sounding like a sunscreen addict, we really should re-apply sunscreen every time after we wash our face (after wudhu’, or when we get out of water from swimming) and in general, after every 2-3hours. Oh and let’s not forget those sunglasses. They are actually more important than just as a fashion accessory.
Stay updated with us as we will share more information about sunscreens and even how to choose them! Meanwhile, here's a quick guide on how to use sunscreen the right way!