Some of us might love a healthy tan but others (like myself) prefer to shy away from the sun. Either way, sun protection is still a must. Harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun can cause skin cancer and premature aging of the skin.
To be sufficiently protected, you will need a sunscreen that can protect you from UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are the ones that cause sagging and wrinkles, and the level of protection from these rays is shown by a PA rating system, with PA+++ being the highest index.
UVB rays are the ones that cause burning and spots. The SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of a sunscreen shows how long you will be protected from UVB rays. For example, if you usually take 10 mins in the sun to get burned, a sunscreen of SPF 15 will protect you for 15 times longer (150 mins). I recommend at least SPF 30 and PA+++ for daily use and SPF 50 if you are planning to stay in the sun for hours.
Everyone needs sunscreen, not only the fair-skinned. Though darker skin provides some natural form of sun protection, it doesn’t prevent skin cancer and sunburn. Also, remember to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours or so, or more often if you sweat a lot or go swimming. This is because some of your sunscreen will come off (even if it’s waterproof), and thus offer less protection.
Lastly, don’t miss out places such as your ears, feet, nose, eyelids when applying sunscreen. I once forgot to apply sunscreen on my ears before going out for hours in the sun and I ended up with pinkish sun-burnt ears for a week! Ouch.