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7 Bad Skincare Habits Singaporeans Are Guilty Of, According To Derms and Aesthetic Doctors

How many are you guilty of?

#1: Using Too Little Sunscreen

We all know that adequate hydration is essential to healthy skin. However, did you know that applying an adequate amount of sunscreen is just as important in helping to stave off premature signs of ageing? According to Dr Toby Hui, Senior Doctor at Freia Medical, about “90 per cent of skin damage happens due to overexposure to harmful UV rays”. And in order to address this, we should all be wearing “at least a 50-cent coin sized” dollop of sunscreen. He adds that sunscreen should be reapplied every two to three hours when you’re exposed to the sun for long hours and that it is important to “go for a broad spectrum sunscreen with an oil-free formulation so it doesn’t clog up your pores.”

#2: Skipping Sunscreen

While we’re on the topic of sunscreens, there’s another commonly seen sunscreen-related skincare blunder among Singaporeans. “Some people may feel like it’s fine to skip sunscreen since they spend their entire day in the office and are away from sunlight,” warns Dr Lam Bee Lan, Medical Director of Ageless Medical and Ageless Medi-Aesthetics. The truth is, glass windows do not filter 100 per cent of harmful UV rays. “Moreover, when we’re in an office environment, we are constantly exposed to blue light radiation emitted from computer screens and mobile devices, which can also generate free radicals and have the same hazardous effects on our skin,” warns Dr Lam. To complement a topical sunscreen, she also advises getting started on oral supplements which contain antioxidants and have free radical-scavenging properties to help reduce hyperpigmentation.

#3: Lack Of Proper Knowledge When It Comes To Sunscreens

Since we’re situated near the equator, having sunshine constantly throughout the year is something we’re are all used to. And while most Singaporeans are aware of the potential damages of excessive UV exposure and do take precautions especially when they’re going to be out in the sun for long hours, many still do not have a complete grasp of the limitations of regular sunscreens, observes Dr Tan Wang Theng, Medical Director of Moyem Medical Aesthetics. “There is increasing evidence that besides UV rays, the Visible Light (VL) and Infrared (IR) spectrum of sunlight also play a role in accelerating skin degradation and hyperpigmentation disorders such as melasma. Yet, most conventional broad-spectrum sunscreens do not protect against VL and IR,” shares Dr Tan, “and look out for sunscreens with iron oxide or newer HEV (High Energy Visible Light) filters to shield your skin from VL emitted not only from the sun, but from indoor energy-saving lighting, smartphones and computer screens as well.”

For example, Form | Matter Eclipse SPF 50 Sunscreen is an oil-free, dry-touch gel that shields the skin from solar radiation and is suitable for all skin types. This new-generation sunscreen is ultra-lightweight, and is formulated with advanced filters that provide protection against UVA and UVB, as well as harmful HEV (High Energy Visible Light). It is also made with potent botanicals to neutralise oxidative damage and aid DNA repair. You should also ensure that your skincare products are packed with antioxidants to help combat free radical damage.

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