SKIN CARE

This is why you need sunscreen now more than ever - expert

Small amounts of sun exposure adds up over time and cause skin damage

In Summary

• Weather in a car, office, in the house, on a rainy or cloudy day, UVA and UVB rays can penetrate leaving you exposed to skin damage.

• Sun damage is cumulative, small amounts of sun exposure adds up over time which is why you need to develop a habit of applying sunscreen each and every day

A man applying sunscreen
A man applying sunscreen
Image: Courtesy: Pinterest

January is here, time to welcome the dusty, dry and hot weather. 

January will be a typically dry month but few places will experience some rains, the weatherman has said. 

The weather forecast for January 2022 indicates that most parts of the country will experience dry weather conditions.

As you drink your glass or bottle of water, it is also essential not to forget your sunscreen.

It has been established that daily application of sunscreen for both males and females is an essential non-negotiable part of the daily skincare routine.

According to a Nairobi based dermatologist Leonard Kiguu, regardless of the weather outside, the season or even if you have no plans of stepping outside the house this ritual should be practiced on a daily.

“If you work indoors, you may think you are safe from the sun’s rays but you are not. The main cause of premature ageing is UVA rays,” Kiguu told Margaret of the Star on Monday.

“Just because you can’t feel the sun, doesn’t mean you are not at risk for UV exposure.”

Whether in a car, office, in the house, on a rainy or cloudy day, UVA and UVB rays can penetrate leaving you exposed to skin damage.

Kiguu said that sunscreen is the easiest way to protect your skin’s appearance and health at any age.

“Prevention is better than cure, so getting a good sunscreen of SPF 30 and above is recommended even as early as 10 years,” he said.

When used regularly, he said that sunscreen helps prevent sunburn, skin cancer and premature ageing.

Sunscreen is good even on cold weather
Sunscreen is good even on cold weather

“90 per cent of skin cancers can be attributed to skin damage, any form of sun protection reduces the risk of skin cancer,” Kiguu said.

As chemical sunscreens are designed to absorb and reflect UV light and transmit it into a very low heat energy, physical sunscreens consist of fine mineral particles (zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) to reflect and absorb the UV.

“Chemical sunscreens are usually less thick and more transparent and are best for those with oily and sensitive skin, while physical sunscreen is often heavier and thicker on the skin and may leave a white cast after application,” he said.

Go for an SPF of 30++ and above, also consider your skin type and preference
Go for an SPF of 30++ and above, also consider your skin type and preference
Image: Courtesy: Pinterest

Not only do those with fair skin tones have to apply sunscreen, even those with darker skin tones as they might not burn noticeably but they are susceptible to sun damage.

“Sun damage is cumulative, small amounts of sun exposure adds up over time, which is why you need to develop a habit of applying sunscreen each and every day,” he said.

Also before choosing a type of sunscreen, take into consideration your skin type, personal preference as well as a broad spectrum SPF of at least 30 or 50, which will protect you from both UVA and UVB rays.

“Sun protection is essential at any age, start protecting your skin from sun damage and minimize your premature ageing and skin cancer risk by using face and body sunscreens,” he advised.

Edited by D Tarus