Many of us may be aware of the need for UV protection, but do we really know all that we need to know? Here are some myths that you should be aware of!
Singaporean families are going out more often, we are often out cycling in the parks, playing at an outdoor playground, and swimming (lazing) in the pool! As parents, we are familiar with applying sunscreen and sunblock for our kids and ourselves to avoid getting burnt under the sun, but is this enough?
Are there more to UV protection that we may not know enough of? Or are there "truths" that we believe in that may not be 100% accurate? We speak with Dr. Rachel Ho, a Singapore-based aesthetic doctor specialising in facial aesthetics and surgery, on 4 myths regarding UV protection.
*This article is done in collaboration with UNIQLO
Myth 1: Sunscreen is not needed to be applied indoors
Many of us may believe this to be true, but according to Dr. Rachel, UVA rays can penetrate glass windows to reach our skin, thus it is important to stay protected with sunscreen and UPF* outfits even when indoors! A suggestion will be to wear long-sleeved tops or jackets with UPF to keep our skin protected throughout the day.
*UPF or Ultraviolet Protection Factor, is used to measure the effectiveness of sun protective fibres and indicates how much of the sun's UV radiation is absorbed by the fabric. It blocks both UVB and UVA.
Myth 2: Sunscreen should only be applied on hot, sunny days
There's only UV rays when it is sunny right? Think again! Dr. Rachel advises UV protection even on cloudy and cool days. In Singapore, the UV index often reaches moderate to high levels, even on cloudy and cool days. This is because clouds and rain do not block out UV rays.
Myth 3: Applying sunscreen on the face is enough
While protecting your most prized asset is important, the rest of the exposed areas of the body, including your neck, arms, hands, etc are also vulnerable to damage from UV rays. Beside sunscreen, Dr. Rachel suggests using UV protection wear for consistent protection against both UVB and UVA rays.
*Sunscreens may advertise UVA protection, but the current SPF standard of measuring protection does not measure the amount of UVA protection, only UVB.
Myth 4: Sunscreen only needs to be applied once a day
Usually, we slap on sunscreen the moment we are outdoors, and leave it as such. But did you know that sunscreen efficacy wears off over time? It is recommended that you reapply every 3 to 4 hours to maintain the UV protection. Where it is inconvenient to reapply, UPF outfits are a useful alternative and are quite effortless to put on.
UNIQLO's UV Protection Wear
UNIQLO has been offering UV Protection Wear since 2004. They are designed to provide instant protection from the harmful effects of the sun with its special fabrics and comfortable designs. They include UV light reflecting fabric that either reflects UV radiation or absorbs the UV light to protect the skin.
The benefits of this technology are huge for everyone. Unlike traditional forms of sun protection, putting on a UV Protection hoodie, cardigan, jacket or hat takes a matter of seconds. When there's no effort required, it becomes that much easier to remain appropriately protected when spending time outdoors.
The Reason For AIRism - Singapore's Weather!
The UNIQLO UV Protection Wear is made out of AIRism, and that makes it a viable option for outdoor use, even in sunny Singapore. The AIRism technology has 7 comfort features
- Moisture wicking: absorbs and quickly evaporates excess moisture to keep skin comfortable
- Dries fast: helps wetness to evaporate quickly to keep you dry
- Controls odour: fabric and its special threads absorb and neutralise the source of odours, such as perspiration on the garments. The odour elimination effect stays active even after repeated washing
- Cool to the touch: one will feel cool and refreshed when you put it on
- Stretches: Fit snugly without bagginess or restricted movement
- Smooth to the touch: ultra-fine fibres feel soft and smooth on the skin
- Breathability: releases moisture from sweat in clothes
Stylish Wear With UV Protection
UNIQLO's UV Protection Wear comes in a wide range of products such as parkas, jackets, t-shirts, cardigans, hats, and more that are made from materials that help to block UV rays. The products are also available with UPF ratings from 15 through 50+, with most offering protection levels of 40 for women’s, men’s, kids’, and babies’ lines.
Other than this technology to protect you from UV rays, the pieces offer the same contemporary style and panache as the rest of your wardrobe. No exceptions or compromises were made to the way these items look as part of your favourite outfits.
Our Review: Hoodie At The Outdoor Playground
We had the opportunity to try out the KIDS AIRism UV Protection Mesh Hoodie and MEN AIRism UV Protection Full-Zip Hoodie at an outdoor playground and to share what we felt about it.
*Both products were provided by UNIQLO to facilitate this experience.
I was skeptical about wearing a jacket at an outdoor playground. Expecting to be perspiring and feeling sticky under the jacket, I am impressed that it felt dry and cool under the jacket even under the sun. If you want to be protected from the UV rays yet lazy about applying sunblock, the MEN AIRism UV Protection Full-Zip Hoodie will be a good alternative.
As it was more comfortable not wearing a jacket, it proved difficult having the kids keep the jacket on while outdoors. The better option for kids (and for parents who prefer not to wear a jacket) will probably be applying sunblock, and thus Parents will just have to be more hardworking in doing so.
While the kids were not cooperative in wearing a jacket outdoors, the KIDS AIRism UV Protection Mesh Hoodie came in handy when we moved indoors for lunch and for the rest of the day as it is light-weight and easy to bring around.