Sunscreen,..which SPF suits me?

kak intan

Sunscreen is important to maintain the skin integrity and prevent further damage by ultraviolet ray.

Sunscreen is the utmost important thing for those who are involved outdoor activities. Some are not clear, sometimes confused and misunderstand about which SPF they should choose, how much they need to apply, how frequent they need to apply and the list goes on. Here are some quick info about the sunscreen before you decide what to buy for yourself.

1. What is SPF?

SPF stands for ‘sun protection factor’ or more accurately; sun burn protection factor, It shows the level of protection against UVB, not the protection against UVA.

2. What are UVA and UVB?

UV radiation from the sun is transmitted in three wavelengths – UVA, UVB and UVC.
  • UVC does not penetrate the earth’s atmosphere, so we only need to protect against UVA and UVB.
  • UV radiation in the form of UVA is associated with skin ageing. It affects the elastin in the skin and leads to wrinkles ; sun-induced skin ageing and skin cancer. UVA penetrates the skin more deeply than UVB.
  • UVB is the form of UV radiation most responsible for sunburn and has strong links to extension damage that can cause skin cancer. Most of the sunscreen products are design against UVB which is only for sunburn protection.

3. Higher SPF better for me?

It depends on the type of outdoor exposure you are expecting. For incidental sun exposure,..when you are outside only for minutes at a time, a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 is usually sufficient.

For extended and  intense exposure, you should use a broad spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Basically,..

  • SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays
  • SPF 30 filters out up to 97 percent.
  • SPF 50 filters out up to 98 percent.

SPF 30 sunscreen only gives you 4% more protection than SPF 15 sunscreen and SPF 50 only add on 1% extra protection compare to SPF 30.

Therefore, most dermatologists recommend to use SPF 15 or SPF 30 sunscreen for Asian.

4. Why not use a really high Sun Protection Factor (SPF)?

Sunscreens with really high SPFs, such as SPF 75 or SPF 100, do not offer significantly greater protection than SPF 30. It mislead people into thinking that they have more protection than they actually do.

5. How does sunscreen works? 

The ingredients of sunscreens contain organic and inorganic filters which acts as mirrors; bouncing back UV straight back off the skin.

6. How much should I apply?

When using liquid forms, the minimum you should apply is at least six full teaspoons, (approximately 36 grams) That is about 2 mg per cm²  to cover the body of an average adult. The best amount to apply are as below:

  • 2 arms = 2 teaspoons
  • Face + neck = 1 teaspoon

and just over one teaspoon to each leg, front of body and back of body.

  • 2 legs = 3 teaspoons (1 leg would need over 1 teaspoon)
  • Front of body = 2 teaspoons
  • Back of body = 2 teaspoons

Applying less will reduce the protection against UVB.  For example, only applying half the required amount can actually reduce the protection by as much as two-thirds.

7. How frequent should I apply?

It is also easy to forget to reapply sunscreen as often as necessary. Apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before going out in the sun to allow it to dry, and then again shortly after heading outdoors to cover any missed patches and to make sure you’re wearing a sufficient layer. Reapply it at least every 2 hours. And apply immediately again after swimming, perspiring and towel drying or if it has rubbed off.

Now, what about UV protection on your clothes. Perhaps in the next post, but till then, keep healthy and be inspired 😉

 

  1. Reference : http://www.skincancer.orghttp://www.bad.org.uk

 

 

Tips on What to Wear for Vacation

The world is the best classroom, says an avid traveler friend. Indeed it is. There is so much to see and learn when you travel. So do plan for a mix of different types of travel throughout the year for a colorful journey of life; city trips, art and culture, sea & sun, backpacking, nature & adventure, snow & ski, cruises and trips on train.

Whether you travel solo or with family and friends, make sure you pack for an awesome comfy experience.  We have put together some fashion suggestions for travelers who want to pack light, stylish and smart.

1. Double Purpose Outfit

If space is a concern, you would want to bring double purpose outfits that you could use for both wet and dry. If you planning for a sea & sun vacation or a even a cruise, you could choose outfits made of fabrics that are uv-protective and fast-drying. There are hijabs, tops and pants that are made of such material and designed for dual purposes. Get the ones you could get wet and dry in so that you could reduce time to change outfits in between.

If your destination is cool and cold, pack some tops than can be used independently or as jacket. The ones with a front zip like a jacket are always flattering work independently or for outer use.

Double Purpose Outfit

Double Purpose Outfit. Suggestion for Sea & Sun, Cruises & Water Adventure

Double Purpose Outfit

Outfit Suggestion for Nature & Adventure, Backpacking

2. Fabric Matters

Know the weather of your destination and bring outfits made of the suitable fabric. For hot and humid weather, light color outfits made of moisture-wicking, lightweight UV protective and fast-drying are recommended. For cool and cloudy weather you could choose fabrics made of slightly thicker and as for ski and snow travel, you would have to bring outfits made of waterproof yet breathable fabrics to keep you warm and comfy for outdoor activities. Check the weather forecast of your destination and bring raincoats and lightweight waterproof outfits if needed.

Snow & Ski

Outfit Suggestion for Snow & Ski, City Trips

 

3. Suitable Footgear

Based on the weather and type of activities, pack for suitable footgears. If you plan to get wet, bring slipper or flip flops. For sea and sun travel, it is good to bring aqua shoes to protect your feet in the water. Some footgear like training shoes and sandals can be used for city tours and backpacking. A good rule of thumb is to wear dual-purpose footgear and pack one purposeful footgear in your luggage.

City Tours, Trips on Train, Backpacking

Outfit Suggestion for City Tours, Trips on Train, Backpacking

 

4. Pockets and Pouches

A traveler can’t run away from having to carry travel documents, IDs, wallets, hotel key, tickets and passes with you. This is when you need to wear outfits with ample pockets. Travel pouches and purposeful handbags can be handy too, but make sure they are not too big, easy to clean and lightweight. They can be smart pockets like the wrist pocket below for you to keep IDs and room keys with you.

Wrist Pocket on Zip Up Azeeza

Wrist Pocket on Zip Up Azeeza

5. Practical Headgear, Roll and Wear

Reduce accessories, bring practicality. Instant shawl, sports hijab, multi-purpose inner and headgears that are easy to wear and lightweight are ideal for travel. They are good for cold weather as well, so do bring the ones made of suitable fabric. Also, make sure you pack colors that are fun and easy to match with your outfits.

razzglove

Multi-Style Raazglove

 

Bring outfits you can just roll and wear, but don’t forget to bring at least one nice evening dress just in case you have to go to a fancy restaurant for dinner!

Lastly, I would pack for outfits that are ablution-friendly. You may not find mosques, praying and ablution areas while travelling so wearing outfits with designs that are loose or stretchable around wrist, arms and ankles. They are definitely useful.

 

Happy & safe travel!

To outdoor or not ? Effects of Exercising in Poor Air Quality

Exercise for fitness, for a better health.

But when exercising is a big part of you, then, you’d exercise anyways, irregardless what form they are.
I love being outdoor, out in the nature. Exercising with the presence of nature keeps me energized.

When I travel, I look at the air quality where I am at, as I am concerned about my health. I get light headache and my eyes get itchy easily when I am exposed to air pollution. Due to recent longer period of haze in South East Asia, I am now indoor bound. Sad, but exercise must go on.

Here’s some info I collated from various sources about the effect of exercising in poor air quality.

SHORT TERM EFFECTS

  1. BMC Psychiatry
    “Exposure to high levels of haze particles may cause irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat in healthy individuals.  Such irritation resolves on its own in most cases.Haze particles can affect the heart and lungs, especially in people who already have chronic heart or lung disease e.g. asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or heart failure.”
    In another study, “A total of 298 participants returned the completed study questionnaire. The respondents reported a mean number of 4.03 physical symptoms (S.D. = 2.6). The five most common physical symptoms include mouth or throat discomfort (68.8%), nose discomfort (64.1%), eye discomfort (60.7%), headache (50.3%) and breathing difficulty (40.3%). ” The participants also experienced mild psychological stress but not to the extent of acute stress reaction syndrome.  from  

LONG TERM EFFECTS

  1. Singapore Health Promotion Board
    “Studies have shown that persons living overseas with continuous exposure over several years to high ambient pollution from fine particles (i.e. particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5); particles smaller than 2.5 micrometres), may have a higher risk of (i) cardiovascular effects, such as heart attacks, (ii) reduced lung development, as well as (iii) the development of chronic respiratory diseases, such as asthma, in children.”

  2. The Journal of Epidemeology & Community Health
    “Outdoor physical activity, however, can expose people to air pollutants (particulate matter, ozone and nitrogen oxides) that may negatively influence physical activity  and lead to adverse health problems such as cardiopulmonary or respiratory disease and other diseases, including lung cancer. For example, in a national cross-sectional study, increased air pollution is found to be associated with reduced leisure-time physical activity among American adults,14 while other studies in the USA and Europe have found that people with asthma who walked in polluted air exhibited a significant decline in their lung function, children who played multiple sports in high-ozone communities were at increased risk for asthma, and the health benefits for physically active people living in highwalkable neighbourhoods were compromised by the effects of air pollution exposure.”
  3. Public Health Watch
    “Besides the direct physical effects of breathing in harmful air — which include asthma, cardiovascular disease and even cancer — studies also show that exposure to air pollution increases the risk for a host of mental health problems ranging from suicide and schizophrenia to ADHD and autism.
    Of particular concern is fine particle air pollution, which is implicated as the causal agent in many of these adverse health conditions. Found in smoke and haze from car exhausts, burning wood and power plants, fine particle air pollution is defined as particulate matter that is 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter (PM2.5).
    This form of air pollution is a major health concern, as small particles can easily pass through the throat and nose and get deep into the lungs, causing major health problems.”

Know the risks when you exercise in poor air quality as studies show it can affect you physically and psychologically. You can resort to indoor activities like indoor swimming, zumba, aerobics and working out in the gym. It is not the same as working out outdoors, but our lung and hearts are sensitive organs that we need to care for. If only we can get readings from our lungs and hearts on state of health, perhaps we can workout more outdoors, enjoy physical activities and care for ourselves.