Sunscreen, again? Yes, we are here to talk about sunscreen, again.
Sunscreen is, unfortunately, one of the most important topics in skincare that anyone should be talking about. And that’s only because there is a direct and close correlation between UV rays and skin cancer. If you’re not aware, skin cancer can quickly spread uncontrollably to other organs and can be fatal.
And you don’t have to do anything out of the ordinary to get skin cancer. According to the Worldwide Skin Cancer Research, 80 per cent of skin cancers are caused by…the sun. That’s followed by suntanning beds, and tanning lamps.
That’s a massive statistic that we can actively avoid by applying sufficient sunscreen.
Posted on Oct 15, 2022, his viral sunscreen video has since garnered 45k likes, 827 comments, 3,083 saves, and 4,324 shares.
Comments on the video were largely divided, with some viewers saying sun damage and ageing is fine, to a bunch of other users who were aware of their own skin’s sun damage and freckles. Shockingly, many users were still asking if they had to wear sunscreen if they were wearing a T-shirt, or if they had different-coloured skin tones.
Dr Sugai’s TikTok accounts shares health and skincare tips, including his dermatologist-approved and -rejected drugstore skincare product ranging from Kiehl’s best products to why you should use soft scrunchies over tight rubber hair bands that will reduce the stress put on your hair shaft.
Here are a few things to watch out for when it comes to your skin and sun.
“Your pores can get enlarged to the point that they look like a bunch of raisins got stuck in your skin,” says Dr Sugai. “And this is called Favre Rcouchot.”
First identified in 1932 by French dermatologist Maurice Favre, this skin condition was later reviewed further by him and his student Jean Racouchot in 1951.
Favre-Racouchot disease happens when your skin thickens, loses its elasticity, and open blackheads form as a result of sun damage or heavy smoking.
If you, or you know someone who has these large, open blackheads and pores, they will need to be treated by a dermatologist with retinoids (some success only).
“This is called Cutis Rhomboidalis Nuchae where the back of your neck has these polygonal shapes,” Dr Sugai continues. “These lines are permanent and they’re all from chronic sun damage.”
Similar to the above Favre Racouchot, this skin condition called Cutis Rhomboidalis Nuchae happens when the skin behind your neck thickens. When the skin’s natural collagen and elastic tissues are damaged and become disorganised, these deep creases and polygonal shapes then appear.
Again, Cutis Rhomboidalis Nuchae is directly caused by long-term sunlight exposure. People who work outdoors or spend long hours in the sun (e.g. for sports) are most likely to get this.
“So, don’t forget to wear sunscreen on the back of your neck – especially for you golfers,” Dr Sugai nags.
“These are called Solar Lentigines where you get these freckles on the sun-exposed areas,” says Dr Sugai.
He then goes on to explain that he sees this most commonly around the upper back for guys. For everyone else, he sees them mostly on the back of the hands – also how the saying “your hands show your age” came about. Well, now we know it’s true!
This condition is exaggerated if you use sun tanning beds, or if you have the skin disease psoriasis and have been going for PUVA UV phototherapy for treatment.
“And I can tell if you’ve done tanning booths, because your Solar Lentigines will be much darker – and they really stand out. And those freckles can get really dark especially if you do tanning booths, or you have psoriasis and you’ve done multiple PUVA sessions.”
“And finally, skincell carcinoma is the most common. Squamous old carcinoma, we see a lot. And then, the dreaded melanoma that we want to exercise right away.”
There are generally three types of skin cancers. They are namely:
- Basal cell carcinoma
- Squamous cell carcinoma
While 95 per cent of skin cancers are the first two, it’s melanoma that is the most fatal and can quickly spread to other organs and cause fatality.
If you’ve got weird looking, irregular moles that keep sprouting, changing colours, you must see a doctor as soon ascell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are treatable.
How much sunscreen to wear daily? A lot more than you’d imagine.
If you’re just heading to work, the shopping mall for a mostly-indoors day out, you’ll need one teaspoon of sunscreen for your face and neck. Not a green pea size, it’s a solid teaspoon or 50 cents size worth of sunscreen.
If you’re concerned about the white cast that you’ll get, use a tinted or clear transparent sunscreen to make application easier. This way, you will be able to apply more sunscreen without the cakey look or cast.
For drivers who send their children to school, then drive to and fro work, you will need to apply sunscreen on the back of your hands and all over your arms. Also, make your life easier by getting full UV tints on your windscreen and side windows.
For individuals who totally hate sunscreens for their icky and greasy texture, we’d highly recommend this Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 40 PA+++. It’s clear and transparent, glides on easily, and finishes to a powdery texture. You can get a mini 20ml travel size for $32.
Expensive? Honestly, amongst all skincare products, you should be spending most on your sunscreen.
Those who wear makeup will like that this Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen also acts as a makeup-gripping primer with SPF 40. Other benefits include:
- Broad spectrum SPF 40
- Protection from blue light from phones and computers
- Oil-free formula, shine control
However, some users have shared that this sunscreen doesn’t work very well on super oily skin. You should get a small sized sample of travel size to try before you commit. After all, it’s not the cheapest.
If you walk your children to school, back home, and often walk in the sun, you should consider getting UV-blocking accessories to make your life easier. Consider things such as:
- UV blocking Uniqlo cardigans
- UV-blocking golf umbrella
- Wide-brimmed UV sun hat
- UV blocking sunglasses
- Wear thicker fabrics such as denim and thicker cotton that are better at blocking out UV rays
This article was originally published in Singapore Women’s Weekly.