It may be winter outside but protecting your skin from the sun’s rays is just as important as on hot summer days.
When buying sunscreen it’s common to think you only need protection against Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, since they lead to visible signs of damage like sunburn, liver spots and premature aging. Ultraviolet A (UVA) rays, however, are the hidden danger.
UVA rays are present no matter the season, weather or temperature, they penetrate deep below your skin’s surface causing damage even on the cloudiest of days. Unlike shortwave UVB, UVA rays give no short-term indication that they’re damaging your body due to their longer wavelength.
Both UVA and UVB rays are known carcinogens and are directly linked to skin cancer.
Sun Protection Factor and UVA protection
Sun Protection Factor (SPF) refers to the level of protection against UVB radiation only. When shopping for your sunscreen creams, lotions and sprays, look beyond the SPF number on the labels to find products which also have UVA protection.
Here at Health², all of our sunscreen products have high levels of UVA protection in addition to high factor SPF. For your ultimate level of protection from both UVA and UVB rays we recommend Obagi Sun shield SPF50 and Heliocare Advanced SPF50 Spray.
When to use
Based on clinical studies, dermatologists recommend wearing sun protection every day, regardless of the weather, time of year, and no matter your age, skin colour or skin tone.
How to use
Apply generously about 20 to 30 minutes before going outside.
Reapply frequently, at least every 2 hours.
Reapply more often if you’ve been sweating a lot, regardless of any water resistance of product.
For how much to apply, Dr Noor Almaani, consultant dermatologist at King Edward VII Hospital, recommends using “about a teaspoon for the face and neck, six teaspoons for the whole body and about three to four teaspoons for a child.”
At Health², we believe sun protection should be used every day as part of everyone’s daily routine, not only to mitigate skin cancer risk but also for sunscreen’s moisturising properties. Maintaining a skincare regimen and regularly moisturising helps prevent and treat all sorts of skin conditions and, besides, it’s always nice to take some time out to look after yourself!
'Sunscreen and sun safety', NHS Choices
'The known health effects of UV', World Health Organization
'UVA & UVB', Skin Cancer Foundation
'Dark Skin Tones and Skin Cancer: What You Need to Know', Skin Cancer Foundation
Buy your sun protection from Health²
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If you have any questions about sun protection or our sunscreen products, please leave a comment below.