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The Unspoken Link Between Your Skincare Routine and Cancer Prevention

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When it comes to cancer prevention, the conversation often focuses on diet and lifestyle changes. But did you know that your skin care routine has an unspoken link to cancer prevention? Yes, it’s true! Especially in Singapore where we experience summer all year round, it is important to become familiar with the basics of sun protection — namely UV rays — and understanding how they affect our skin, so that we can start implementing preventative measures in our daily skincare routines.

This is especially crucial here as Singapore is a tropical country where the sun’s intensity is higher than many other countries.

Ever wonder how UV rays affect your skin?

Our skin is our armor, shielding us from all kinds of dangers

and ultraviolet (UV) rays are no exception. Singapore's tropical climate presents extra challenges when it comes to protecting ourselves from the sun's UV radiation, since we are exposed to intense sunlight almost year-round.

But first, let’s talk about the effects that exposure to UV rays has on our skin.

Short-term

exposure can cause sunburns which can in turn lead to premature aging such as wrinkles and age spots if left untreated for too long.

Long-term

exposure increases the risk of developing skin cancer, which is one of the most common forms of cancer and a leading cause of death in many countries. The best way to avoid this is by using sunscreen or wearing protective clothing whenever possible when exposed to direct sunlight.

Did you know different UV rays have different effects on your skin?

Image: Freepik.com

UV rays exist a variety of forms:

1. UVA

Cause premature aging of skin since they penetrate deep into the epidermis layer. Over time this leads to wrinkles and age spots being formed on your face.

2. UVB

Cause sunburns due to its shorter wavelength which only penetrates the top layer of your skin.

3. UVC

Most dangerous because it has the potential to penetrate deeper into our tissues than either type A or B and can cause skin cancer over time if you are continually exposed to it.

So there you have it – now that you know how UV rays can affect and harm your skin, you can take the necessary precautions to keep yourself safe from their harmful effects.

Here are some tips on how to protect your skin from the sun here:

Sun protection is essential in tropical climates, which is why it’s important to take extra measures when living in Singapore.

1. Apply Sunscreen

Sunscreen must be applied 15 - 20 minutes before sun exposure. Be sure to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher daily and reapply every two hours if you’re out in direct sunlight for more than 20 minutes – this includes days when it’s cloudy! Make sure that you apply it liberally over exposed areas of your body (face, arms, legs), ensuring that no area is left unprotected.

2. Wear Protective Clothing

In addition to using sunscreen, wear clothing that covers your arms and legs (such as long-sleeved shirts, hats, and sunglasses). Also, try to limit your time in direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV radiation is at its strongest.

3. Choose Antioxidant-Rich Foods

Finally, what you eat can also have an effect on how well your skin protects against UV rays. Studies have shown that diets high in antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, and E can help protect our skin from damage caused by the sun's rays. So try eating more of these foods for added protection!

Singapore’s sunny weather can be both a blessing and a curse – while it may bring delightfully hot days, it also carries with it the risk of UV radiation and its potentially devastating effects on our skin health. But by making small changes to our daily skincare routine we can start protecting ourselves against this harsh reality.

By following these simple steps every day, you can decrease your chances of getting sunburnt or developing skin cancer. While it may not seem like much now, your skin will thank you in the long run. So make sure to include these preventative measures in your skincare routine today!

At the end of the day, no one is immune from UV radiation but by taking the necessary steps to protect yourself, you’ll be well on your way to having healthier, happier skin for years to come.

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