The first priority: clothing to block UV
The main priority should be to wear clothes to shield the skin from UV rays. To protect the face, ears, and neck, for example, it’s a good idea to wear a broad-brimmed hat. All clothing can basically shut out UV, but the shielding effect varies considerably with the fabric or material. The Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) is a measure of how completely an article of clothing can prevent sunburn. The UPF should ideally be at least 15, but it can go up to as high as UPF50+. People with fair or UV-sensitive skin must vigilantly protect themselves with clothing, especially when spending time by the sea or in the snow (seawater and snow reflect abundant UV radiation).
Skin protection is essential even for short-doses of outdoor light, even for a walk to the corner store. The effects UV exposure build up bit by bit. Many women in Asia protect their skin constantly by covering up with accessories such as stoles, long gloves, and parasols.
Use sunscreens diligently
Try to use sunscreen as much as possible. More and more foundations and cosmetic bases these days are formulated with sun protection factors (SPF). Using these together with sunscreen improves the anti-UV effects. The key is to apply sunscreen every day, by habit.
Many sunscreens nowadays deliver strong UV protection for the face and body without chalky whiteners. These products make it much easier to include UV protection in one’s daily skincare routine.
Here is a quick FAQ with basic questions on using sunscreens.
Q : When is the best time to use a sunscreen?
Be sure to use sunscreen year round if you live in tropical region. where UV is particularly strong. If you live in a more moderate climate (Japan, the US, Europe, etc.), start your sunscreen by no later than March. UV levels increase sharply in early spring, even when temperature may still be cool. The skin still has low levels of melanin to protect itself against UV rays naturally at this time of year.
Q : What should I consider when selecting a sunscreen?
Select a sunscreen right for the environment right for where you are and for what you will be doing. Will you be using it for everyday life, or for a holiday on the seaside? Sunscreens usually use a combination of different sunblock agents. Remember to choose sunscreens wisely and do not select a stronger or weaker protection than actually needed.
Q : What’s the best way to use sunscreen?
Avoid using too much or too little. Apply it before a cosmetic base. Cover every part of the body that will be exposed to UV rays: not just on the face, but around the neck, shoulders, and upper chest. In warmer months when you perspire more heavily, remember that sunscreen may come off with a wipe of a handkerchief or flannel. Remember to reapply sunscreen often if you are perspiring.
Q : What’s the best way to remove sunscreen from my skin?
The sunblock agents and other sunscreen ingredients should be removed by a thorough cleansing on the same day. When using makeup bases and foundation with UV protection, use Double Cleansing for effective removal.
- SPF and PA
- The SPF and PA values shown on the labels indicate the strength of the product in reducing the UV effects.
- SPF : the “Sun Protection Factor,” protects against UV-B rays. The higher the factor, the stronger the protection. If the protection is stronger than 50 the product is labeled 50+. For swimming in the sea or a pool, try to use a waterproof type that has passed waterproofing tests.
- PA : the “Protection Grade of UV-A,” indicates the strength of protection against UV-A radiation. The strength is indicated not by a number, but by the plus sign. The more plus signs there are (up to a maximum of three), the stronger the protection against UV-A.