You know the importance of UV protection, but these bad habits are making you look older than you really are. Time to nip them in the bud.
If there’s one thing all skincare experts agree on, it’s that sun exposure is the number one cause of ageing skin. Dry skin, dark spots, fine lines… sound familiar? Whether you’re jogging in the morning, walking to lunch, or trying to clock more steps in the evening, UV rays are ever-present.
The fact that Singapore is located near the equator does not help. According to the National Environment Agency, it is common for the UV index, which is an international measurement of the level of UV radiation, to reach “very high and extreme levels in the four-hour period between 11am and 3pm on a day with little cloud cover”. Also, the period from February to May has been recorded to have the highest UV index values across the year.
Here’s a sobering fact: UV damage is insidious. “You may not see the effects of sun exposure in your early twenties, but they will show up 10 to 20 years later, in the form of wrinkles, sagging skin and pigmentation. Asians, in particular, are very prone to developing dark spots as our skin has more melanin than Caucasians’,” says Dr Tan SK, founder and medical director of IDS Clinic, who specialises in pigmentary disorders.
But perhaps the hardest truth is this: UV damage is irreversible. Brightening skincare products and facial treatments can help to improve your skin tone, but those dark spots will never truly disappear. While you may be able to zap them away with clinical treatments such as chemical peels and intense pulse light, it takes a lifelong effort to prevent pigmentation from resurfacing.
Obviously, the best form of defence against sun exposure is prevention. And that’s when sun protection comes into play. At a recent UV protection masterclass, organised by students of Wee Kim Wee School of Communication & Information at Nanyang Technological University as part of their final-year project Ray to Go, Dr Tan spoke about the common sunscreen mistakes people make, and how to ace your sun protection game.
Mistake #1: Using too little sunscreen
“Most of us are under-using sunscreen,” says Dr Tan. “We need to put at least one teaspoon (5ml) of sunscreen on our face every day. And because it’s easy to miss out areas on the face, I’d recommend applying a second layer to cover all the bases.” To make sure you stick to your sunscreen routine, get a product you really like, in terms of smell, texture and consistency.
Mistake #2: Not reapplying sunscreen
Upon exposure to sun, sunscreen starts degenerating, so it’s advisable to reapply every two to three hours, especially when you’re outdoors. If you’re worried about messing up your makeup, try spray-on sunscreens that are lightweight and easily absorbable by the skin.
Mistake #3: Skipping sunscreen when you’re indoors
Just because you don’t see the rays, it doesn’t mean that they’re not there. UV rays can penetrate the windows, so be sure to apply sunscreen even if you’re cooped up in office the whole day. The same applies when it’s cloudy or raining – UV rays are still present.
Mistake #4: Neglecting your eyes
Much has been said about sun protection for the face, but sun protection for the eyes tends to get overlooked. Ever felt a burning sensation in your eyes when you’re out on a super hot day? You may also experience teariness and irritation, and find it hard to keep your eyes open. That’s a sign of inflammation in your cornea. While this discomfort is temporary, long-term exposure to the sun causes more lasting effects, such as wrinkles around the eyes, and in serious cases, cataracts, retinal damage, pterygium (visible growths on the eye) and macular degeneration, leading to vision loss. Another not-so-fun fact: When UV rays hit your eyes, a signal is sent to your brain to produce melanin pigments in your body, which results in dark spots forming on your skin. Yikes.
Protect your peepers, starting now
Just like how sunscreen is integral to maintaining youthful-looking skin, sunglasses are a must-have for healthy eyes.
These days, there’s a gamut of sunglasses in the market – with lenses that are tinted, clear, mirror or polarised, to name a few – so finding a pair (or two) to suit your lifestyle is easy peasy. We especially enjoy shopping at Zoff, as there are more than 300 cute styles to choose from.
Besides offering full UV protection, Zoff glasses come with double-sided reflection coating, to prevent reflected UV rays from entering your eyes. The lenses have a water-repellent coating, making it easy to wipe off dirt, moisture and fingerprints. All glasses come with a one-year warranty against manufacturing defects, so you can rest at ease.
Here are our top picks.
These coloured lenses look fashionable, and are perfect for your outdoor pursuits.
From Zoff’s “I’m ANDY WARHOL” collection, this pair screams edgy, fashion-forward, and fun. Great for those in creative industries.
Classic and versatile, this black, bold frame works for anyone who prefers to play it safe, yet stand out from the rest. The gold trimmings add a sense of fun and dressiness to your outfit.
Light-coloured lenses are all the rage now, and we love how these violet-tinted ones from the Trendy range exude femininity and go insanely well with any daytime outfit.
From the Zoff Smart Sunglasses range, this pair is lightweight and flexible – you’ll barely feel it on your face even when you perspire. It’s made to withstand the elements, boasting heat-resistant and chemical-resistant features.
Zoff sunglasses are priced from $58 onwards. For more information, click here.
UV clear glasses
Since UV rays can penetrate windows, consider wearing clear glasses – with 100 per cent UV protection, no less – that will let you transition seamlessly from outdoors to indoors without looking out of place. The clear lenses promise to block out UV rays of up to 420 nanometres; the longest UV rays are at 400 nanometres. Because the lenses are clear, you don’t have to worry about outfit clashes. You can also wear them on rainy days – UV rays are still around, remember? Best part: These are suitable even for those wearing contact lenses.
With a transparent frame and clear lenses, you can’t go any more minimalist than this. Marie Kondo would approve.
We can’t get over how bookish-cute these tortoiseshell glasses look. They will never go out of style, and might just score you brownie points at work.
Zoff UV Clear Sunglasses are priced from $58. For more information, click here.
Looking to customise your glasses with your preferred lenses? Colour/tinted, mirror, polarised and photochromic lenses can be purchased separately, from $38 onwards.
Check out the full range of designs at Zoff, located at Lumine in Clarke Quay Central, Ion Orchard, Orchard Central and Suntec City Mall.
From now to March 24, 2019, customers can enjoy an upgrade of their lenses to a Tinted Colour or Mirror-Coated Lenses at a top-up value of S$10 only (U.P. S$38)
Terms and Conditions:
- $10 upgrade option is applicable with purchase of Zoff’s frames only.
- Discount is not inclusive of index upgrade.
- Discount cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotions or credit card discounts etc.
- Zoff I Singapore Pte Ltd reserves the right to amend the terms and conditions without prior notice.
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