We Ask the Doc: What is the Best Sun Protection?
“Sunblock, sunscreen, and the truth about SPF“
The sun is probably public enemy #1 for the skin. We already know that too much exposure can speed up the effects of aging and increase the risk of developing skin cancer. But with so many products for sun protection available, how do you know which one to choose? Here’s Facial Care Centre’s Dr. Lourdes Lopez to tell us all about sun protection.
The A, B, Cs of Ultraviolet Rays
First, let’s talk about the sun’s ultraviolet rays, UVA and UVB. UVA penetrates the deeper layers of the skin. “UVA causes the destruction of collagen and elastin,” Dr. Lopez says. “So skin loses elasticity, begins to sag, and wrinkles start to form. UVB penetrates the superficial layer and causes sunburns.” UVA ages. UVB burns. But both can damage the DNA of skin cells, which can lead to the formation of cancer cells. The third type, UVC, is actually the most dangerous among them but is fortunately filtered by the atmosphere and does not reach the Earth’s surface.
Sunblock or Sunscreen?
So what can we do to protect our skin? Use sunblock or sunscreen. No, they’re not the same. Dr. Lopez explains: “From the word sunblock, it blocks out UV rays. It usually has titanium oxide or zinc oxide, which physically blocks the sun. Sunscreen, on the other hand, screens out UV rays. It has chemicals that absorb UV radiation and reduce the amount that reaches the skin.” A more obvious difference is that sunblock is usually white and thick, while sunscreen tends to be transparent.
Which one is better? According to Dr. Lopez, either one is fine but she recommends choosing one that says ‘broad spectrum.’ She says, “That means it can protect you from both UVA and UVB.”
The Truth About SPF
Nowadays, we see products that go from SPF 8 all the way to SPF 100. SPF, or sun protection factor, measures how well a sunscreen can protect you from UVB rays. You might think the higher the SPF, the better the protection. But Dr. Lopez says, “Going from SPF 15 to 30 doesn’t mean the protection is doubled. SPF 15 blocks around 93% of UVB rays, SPF 30 blocks 97%. So that’s only 4% more.”
“If you’re just around the city with no direct, prolonged sun exposure, SPF 15 is enough. If you’re going to the beach or playing outdoor sports, SPF 30 to 50 is better. Apply at least 30 minutes before you go out to give your skin a chance to absorb it.”
The Doc Recommends…
Already seeing sun damage, like darkening, hyperpigmentation, or early signs of aging? Dr. Lopez recommends consulting skin experts, like those in FCC, who can perform a professional skin analysis and make recommendations for you.
For skin pigmentation issues, FCC has the B-Glow Skin Brightening Laser. It uses an advanced Q-switched laser to target and break down chromophores that cause pigmentation. Concerns like melasma, “panda eyes,” and even dark underarms, elbows, or knees are lightened and evened out, and you’re left with rejuvenated, glowing skin.
Another FCC must-have is the Kojic HydraMoisture Mask, a soothing facial that is infused with the skin whitening benefits of Kojic acid. With a 100% collagen mask, skin is also revitalized and rehydrated. Great for dark patches, uneven tone, and dull skin.
These are just two from FCC’s wide range of skin whitening and brightening treatments. Talk to one of our skin experts today to find out which treatment will best address your concern.
From soothing skin whitening facials to advanced pigment-correcting lasers, go to Facial Care Centre for the best skin solutions. Call 9892-SKIN to book an appointment today.