Dermatologist Weighs In – How Important Is Sun Protection?

Why is sun protection so important?

In Singapore’s humid and tropical climate, we are exposed to the harmful ultraviolet rays every day that could damage our skin, speeding up the aging process, causing wrinkles, age spots, and saggy skin. Without adequate protection, it could ultimately lead to more severe conditions like skin cancer.

What does SPF mean?

SPF stands for “ Sun Protection Factor”. There are meaningful differences between SPF 15, 30, and 50. Bear in mind that SPF is measured in the laboratories whereby the amounts applied at 2 grams per one centimeter square skin area and this never happens in real life. And on top of that, most of us don’t apply sunscreen properly. SPF (sun protection factor) is derived by taking the time it takes you to burn with sunscreen on and dividing it by the time is taken for you to burn without sunscreen on. SPF specifically protects against the ultraviolet B (UVB) rays that cause sunburn.

Imagine that your skin normally begins to burn after 10 minutes in full sun without any protection. An SPF 30 sunscreen would provide 30 times the protection of no sunscreen.

If you use SPF 50, due to applying too little or not reapplying every 2 hours when outdoors, the overall protection will be about an SPF 20. I would recommend a minimum of SPF 30 for an everyday sunscreen and SPF 50 when outdoors for extended periods of time. The labeling of super-high SPFs (70 and above) are controversial, as they may not offer added protection beyond SPF50.

What to look out for in a sunscreen?

For fully effective sun protection, look for the words “BROAD SPECTRUM”  which indicates protection against both UVA and UVB rays. This is effectively achieved with both chemical and physical sunscreens. Dermatologists typically recommend an SPF* rating of 30 minimum.

What’s in my sunscreen?

Introducing Dr.TWL Derma SUNPROTECTOR™, it is a medical grade sunscreen developed for skin cancer prevention as well as photoaging. Specially formulated for patients undergoing dermatologist treatment for skin conditions, which can be acne, rosacea, eczema or sun-sensitive(photosensitive) skin conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis, cutaneous lupus, actinic dermatitis and other medical conditions. It is also suited for skin that is sensitive, allergic or skin that has undergone laser treatments/chemical peels. 

 The SUNPROTECTOR™ has an SPF 50/PA+++ rating formulated for Singapore’s humid climates, it regenerates while protecting and soothing sensitive skin.

The SUNPROTECTOR™ contains the following active ingredients as a sunscreen

  1. Chemical sunscreen: Cinnamates, Salicylates
  2. Physical sunscreen: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide

As well as skin smoothening agents: glycerin, sodium chloride, sodium hyaluronate to ensure that the sunscreen is as invisible and lightweight as possible to suit Singapore’s humid climate as well as moisturising the skin and so that it is cosmetically acceptable under makeup.

In addition, for a sunscreen that goes the extra mile, we added some plant antioxidants to soothes skin sensitivity, anti-age and repair the skin with portulaca oleracea and collagen hydrolysate and oligopeptides.

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