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Everybody’s free to wear sunscreen

Baz Luhrmann must have been referring to the Maltese summer when he came up with the iconic lyrics.

Sunblock: an easy and effective way to protect your skin against signs of ageing, discolouration, and inflammation… And that’s not mentioning the fact that it reduces your risk of developing skin cancer. 

The active ingredients in sunblock protect your skin from ultraviolet rays that come from the sun, including UVA, which causes burning, and UVB, which causes ageing. In fact, it’s good to point out that sunscreen tends to just keep UVB at bay, while sunblock usually has titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, which block both UVA and UVB. The benefits listed below are for sunblock.

Signs of Aging: The sun damages our skin cells, as well as proteins in our skin like collagen and elastin. Repeated exposure to the sun, especially if you spend long hours near a window, driving, working outdoors, or at the beach, can lead to what is referred to as photoaging, which, to you and me, is called premature ageing. 

Skin Discolouration: Sunspots, liver spots, or skin discolouration – it doesn’t matter what you call it, but if you don’t use sunblock, they may appear on your hands, arms, head, or face. Thankfully, these are often cosmetic but, if you’ve stayed in the sun long enough to get them, then you may be at risk of other sun-related damage.

Inflammation: People with sensitive skin or who have skin issues like rosacea can end up with red, painful, and inflamed skin after spending time in the sun. Over and above what we’ve already mentioned, wearing sunblock reduces the chances of this happening, allowing you to enjoy your time outdoors to the full.

Sunburn: While people often joke about the sun turning them into lobsters, sunburns actually make your skin thinner, more transparent, and more prone to bruises showing. More worryingly, the blisters developed from sunburn can go on to become skin cancer.

Skin Cancers: This really is a case of saving the best for last, but the most important reason why you should wear sunblock is because it reduces your chances of developing numerous types of skin cancer, including those that can be life-threatening.

As a rule of thumb, to ensure the sunblock can do its job properly, you should apply a broad-spectrum (i.e. covers UVA + UVB) sunblock with an SPF30 or higher, once every two hours both in summer and winter, regardless of the weather.

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