Date
20 July 2018
Sunscreen should be chosen based on the skin type. People with oily skin should use a light formula while those with dry skin should pick a moisturizing formula. Photo: Reuters
Sunscreen should be chosen based on the skin type. People with oily skin should use a light formula while those with dry skin should pick a moisturizing formula. Photo: Reuters

Tips on choosing the right sunscreen

Scorching weather has been the most discussed subject in daily conversations and on social media platforms in recent days, with the big fat sun emerging as the most popular emoji icon.

During summer time, the ultraviolet index remains extremely high. The UVA and UVB rays can reach the ground directly through the atmosphere, and too much of them is not just a matter of getting tanned.

UVA can penetrate the bottom layer of our skin and accelerating skin ageing. Excessive sun exposure in the long run will even increase the risk of getting skin cancer.

In such weather, sunscreen naturally becomes a must-have item. Businessmen know about it, and hence offer a wide variety of merchandise and brands. But the question is, which is the right sunblock for you and what should you look for?

The latest sunscreen products include both physical and chemical formulae and are much lighter compared with previous generation ones.

Innovative ingredients such as ecamsule, octocrylene and oxybenzone are also more stable and long-lasting. Consumers should definitely check the label before purchasing.

Women in particular should not rely on skin foundation or moisturizers that claim to offer sun protection, as a thin layer would not give sufficient blockage.

Instead of smothering the face with heavy layers of beauty products, they are recommended to use a sunscreen product before applying makeup.

Here are five more tips on choosing the right sunscreen:

1. Take note of the SPF (against UVB) number and PA (against UVA) symbol. While it is best to choose a sunscreen with SPF 30 and PA ++ or above, it does not mean the higher the SPF or the more the plus the better.

If a sufficient amount is applied, a sunscreen with SPF 30 is enough to do the work. An adult of medium-built needs only six teaspoons of sunscreen product for the body and about half a teaspoon for the face.

2. Choose a reputable and laboratory-tested product.

3. Select a sunscreen according to the skin type. People with oily skin should use a light formula while those with dry skin should pick a moisturizing formula.

4. Reapply every two to three hours when staying outdoor for a long time and after sweating.

5. Stop using the product once any itchiness, discomfort or swelling occurs. Visit the doctor immediately if the skin reacts strongly to the product.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on June 6

Translation by John Chui

[Chinese version 中文版]

– Contact us at [email protected]

JC/BN/RC

Specialist in Dermatology & Venereology, FHKAM (Medicine)

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