When you live on a sunny island like Singapore, it’s impossible to escape the sun. Not that I’m complaining, because I absolutely hate dull, dreary rainy (or hazy) days. But all this sunshine only means one thing: you absolutely have to use sunscreen. All year round. Even when you’re at home. More so because we’re so close to the equator.The sun’s rays are the number one reason for skin ageing. (Followed by increasing levels of pollution). Which makes sunscreen the number one anti-ageing product.
Exposure to the sun’s UV rays causes the breakdown in collagen (the protein that keeps your skin plump and taut) and hampers the production of new collagen. A lack of this leads to your skin losing its youthfulness. Elastin fibres, that act as the connective tissue and give the skin its ability to bounce back, are also affected by the sun’s rays. Every moment you spend out in the sun – yes, even walking to lunch or grabbing a coffee – adds up. As your body ages, the production of elastin and collagen slows down naturally; exposing it to the sun speeds up this process and causes premature skin ageing. Because of this very reason, exposure to the sun also causes cellulite to look worse than it actually is.
Most women are not even aware that getting a tan is actually a sign that your skin is damaged. When your skin is exposed to the sun, it produces melanin to protect itself and this is why you tan. Extended exposure to the sun can cause pigmentation or an uneven skin tone as skin cells producing melanin can mutate and divide uncontrollably giving the skin its patchy skin tone. All of this, as well as freckles, dryness, wrinkles and rough uneven skin texture, can all be avoided if you use sunscreen regularly.
Needless to say I take sunscreen pretty seriously and so even if my makeup has SPF in it, I choose to use sunscreen as my first line of defence against the sun. So when using a sunscreen it’s really important to me that it layers well under makeup, without changing the colour of my foundation or pilling or being overly greasy. And that’s why I like the Daylong SPF30 Gelfluid. Not only does it protect me from UVA and UVB rays, but also IR ones as well. (IR or infrared reaches the dermis and leads to skin ageing via the formation of free radicals.)
I use the equivalent of the circumference if a 20cent coin – I’d always rather apply more than less, when it comes to sunscreen. It’s quite watery and the oil-free formula goes on light, doesn’t disturb my makeup and doesn’t feel like ‘sunscreen’. It’s also got Vitamin E to keep my skin nourished throughout the day. It’s a great option for everyday wear when I’m not directly exposed to the sun. I say this because the sun’s UVA rays (that cause ageing) can penetrate through glass so even when you’re in a bus, train, cab or at the office you’re not without risk. I try to give it as much time as I can between applying the sunscreen and using my foundation and I try to apply it at least 10 to 15 minutes before I leave the house.
For days when I know I’m going to be out and about I use the Daylong SPF50+ Gel for my face and body. And the Daylong After Sun, which helps the skin repair itself, has earned a permanent place in my beach bag. After all, post sun care is as important at using sunscreen.