The Invisible Protector

What's the big deal about sunblock?


What’s the big deal about sunblock? For people who love to be outdoors, the sun is both a friend and enemy at once. While practically all sporty people love that sun-kissed glow, sunlight also carries a heavy dose of ultraviolet radiation that prematurely ages your skin and also causes other harm.

The problem here is, these take effect over many years and by the time the physical signs show, it’s too late to reverse them. In a tropical climate such as Singapore, where the sunlight varies very little through the course of the year, skin damage from UV exposure all year round is a very real risk, so sunblock should be an important component in your runner’s kit.

The ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight causes premature ageing of the skin, wrinkles, cataracts, and even skin cancer. While the amount of damage from UV exposure depends on the strength of the light and the length of exposure, sun exposure is essentially a double-edged sword because while we need UVB rays to help the body produce vitamin D, too much of it will cause burns, and while you’re getting your dose of UVB, the more harmful UVA rays are doing damage to your skin.

Now you may be thinking that sunblock is inconvenient because it gets greasy and tacky, but then there’s Banana Boat. Created by lifeguard Robert Bell in 1978, the formula was born after complaints from beachgoers about greasy suntan lotion. He decided to catch the entrepreneurial wave and make his own non-greasy sun protection. He mixed coconut, fruit, baby oil, and iodine in his garage in colourful “tube” packaging and Banana Boat as born.

Sunblock comes labelled with SPF ratings, which stands for Sun Protection Factor. This is a multiplier that tells you how much longer you can remain in the sun without a burn when wearing sunscreen.

For instance, if you can usually tolerate the sun for 10 minutes without a burn, an SPF 15 will provide you with 15 times that, or 150 minutes of protection without burning. Regardless of the SPF level you use, you should reapply sunscreen every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating to help keep your skin protected.

SPF ratings are determined in a laboratory setting. SPF 50 products are estimated to allow 1/50 of the sun’s burning rays to get through to the skin (protects against approximately 98% of the sun’s burning rays).

SPF 100 products are estimated to allow 1/100 of the sun’s burning rays to get through to the skin (protects against approximately 99% of the sun’s burning rays). Actual protection may vary and will depend on the user applying adequate amounts.

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RUN Singapore aims to be a complete resource for Singaporean runners and marathoners of all ages and abilities. With its continuing efforts, the website seeks to uncover the latest news, information and expert advice to motivate runners to run efficiently, train intelligently and lead a balance life. If you have enjoyed a good read with RUN Singapore magazine, be enticed further as we unleash more running content to feed your running needs.



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RUN Singapore is the first flagship title created by Bold Ink Magazines in 2012. Positioned as the only running magazine in Singapore, the publication has since built its strong reputation within the running/sports industry. With almost 80% of all leading sports brands advertising with the magazine and a fast growing subscriber base, the publication is set to be the leading running magazine in the region.


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