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Sun protection

"If you have pigmentation make sure you are wearing enough sunscreen on your face by applying two coats. -The amount of lotion for each coat should be equivalent to the length of your index finger "-Dr Fredric Brandt

Why do we need to protect our skin from the sun?

Excessive sun exposure can lead to photoaging, skin cancer and sunburn. The sun radiates different types of radiation, UVA, UVB and UVC and what affects people the most are UVA and UVB.

UVB radiation is responsible for photo-aging, reddening, sunburn, tanning, pigmentation, hyperpigmentation, skin cancer and the production of Vitamin D.

UVA penetrates deeper into the skin. It can damage the function of cells and collagen fibres. It is largely responsible for premature ageing, photo-ageing, fine lines and wrinkling due to the damage to collagen fibres. It can also contribute to the development of skin cancer.

"A common misconception is that darker skin tones do not need sun protection. This is  UNTRUE."

How to protect your skin  from sun damage.

  • Avoid sun exposure.
  • Pick clothing with thicker fabrics.
  • Wear light coloured clothes  (light colours reflect the sun rays whereas darker colours absorb sun rays.
  • Wear wide-brimmed hats.
  • Wear sunglasses with UV protection.
  • Apply broad-spectrum sunscreens (preferably with a minimum SPF 15 and above).
  • Apply water-resistant sunscreens, before and  after  swimming or after  water exposure.
  • Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before sun exposure.
  • Try and reapply sunscreen every TWO hours when under sun exposure.
  • Choose  sunscreens  that are photostable. (Photostable sunscreens ensure that the sunscreen remains effective and does not degrade due to sun exposure).

How to choose Sunscreens.

Choose broad spectrum sunscreens. These protect you from both UVA and UVB. It is recommended you go for a sunscreen with  UVA 15 and above plus UVB.

SPF (sun protection factor) measures how long it takes for UVB rays to cause reddening (erythema) of the skin. 

SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays.
SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays.
SPF 50 blocks 98 % of UVB rays.

The higher the SPF the better. Although you cannot be protected 100% from sun rays.


  1. Skotarczak, K., Osmola-Mańkowska, A., , Lodyga , M., Polańska, A., Mazur, M., & Adamski, Z. (2015). Photoprotection: facts and controversies.. European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, 19 (1), 98-112. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25635982.
  2.  Skincancer.org. (2013). UVA & UVB. . Retrieved from http://www.skincancer.org/prevention/uva-and-uvb.

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