Summer is officially here, which means it’s time to slap on the SPF. Here’s a quick primer on how to protect your skin from the rays.

PICK BROAD SPECTRUM

You want to pick a sunscreen that filters both UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays are what cause skin cancer and sunburn, while UVA rays are the main culprits in premature skin aging.

KNOW YOUR SPF

In Hong Kong’s hot sun, everyone should be using an SPF of 30 or higher. While no sunscreen filters sun rays completely, SPF 30 or above will provide around 97% protection. Do note however that double the SPF doesn’t mean double the protection; SPF 15 filters 93% of rays, while SPF 50 filters 98%.

SLAP, DON’T SPRAY

Sunscreens in a spray can may be convenient, but given the speed of application you might not cover yourself completely. For truly
eff ective coverage, lotion is the way to go.

GO REEF SAFE

Swimming in the sea? Chemical sunscreens can damage coral (sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate were banned in Hawaii last year) so pick a brand containing mineral sunblocks such as zinc. Try brands such as Sun Bum and Thinksport, and be sure to read the label.

DON’T SKIMP

Most people aren’t reapplying sunscreen regularly enough, and when they do, they’re not using enough lotion. Make sure to apply liberally every two hours, and more oft en if you’re swimming. Adults need around 25ml per application (a shot glass’s worth, if you happen to be on a junk) to cover their body

SLIP, SLAP SLOP – OUR FAVOURITE CREAMS

Australian Cancer Council Sunscreens
These sunscreens apply like a dream and off er excellent broad-spectrum protection with no chalky residue. Prices start at $139 for 110ml from Escapade Sports.

Elta MD
These zinc-based face sunscreens are perfect for everyday use. They’re noncomedogenic and non-greasy, and work well under makeup, too. Available in clear and lightly tinted formulations. Prices start at around $170 from strawberrynet.com.

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