“UV protection” and “whitening care” are essential for women to keep a beautiful skin in Singapore, the country of the everlasting summer.
Especially among people who have come to Singapore from abroad, many have probably been surprised at the intensity of the ultraviolet rays.
This time, we have asked about “UV protection” and “whitening care” in Japan and Singapore to “Dr. Ci:Labo,” a Japanese leading company in medical cosmetics that has stores in Singapore too.
About “UV protection” and “whitening care”… by “Dr. Ci:Labo,”
– What kind of bad influence can being exposed to a lot of ultraviolet rays have on our skin?
When the skin becomes inflamed from being exposed to ultraviolet rays, it tries to protect the cells from the damage received by activating “melanocytes,” a type of cells that are in the lowest part of the epidermis (basal layer) and are in charge of producing melanin pigment.
The activated melanocytes produce melanin and send it to the surrounding keratinocytes.
Melanin then is metabolized and though it flakes with the turnover of the skin, when the amount of melanin produced is bigger than that of the one that metabolizes, flakes off and disappears, it becomes the origin of stains and dullness. Whitening cosmetics focus mainly on this cycle, and combine components that prevent stains and freckles.
Also, among the different types of ultraviolet rays, UVA rays (ultraviolet A, long-wave rays) especially destroy the collagen and elastin in the dermis (inner skin), making it lose elasticity. Ultraviolet rays are also said to be the cause of wrinkles – also called photoaging – and flabbiness.
– Mainly at what age do women in Japan and Singapore become more aware of the need for UV protection and whitening care?
In Japan, sunbathing was thought to be good for health in the past. However, nowadays knowledge regarding ultraviolet rays has spread, and we believe increasingly more people are using sunscreen on more occasions at a relatively young age (starting in their teens.) We have also many customers who buy sunscreen for their small children.
We believe that this is a country where awareness regarding UV protection is relatively high, given that Singapore is on the equator and is, after Kenya, the country that receives the most ultraviolet rays in the world.
In Singapore, the recent tendency is for parents to transmit their knowledge about skincare, starting with UV protection, to their children once they become around 15 years old. Especially sunscreen is used as a must have item.
– Is there any difference between the skin care items for UV protection and whitening care that women choose in Japan and Singapore?
For UV protection, there is a tendency to choose not only the general cream type, but to choose a type according to the situation in which it will be used, like for example powder or spray types, which are easy to reapply. Among Singaporeans, sunscreens with a high SPF are more popular than milder types. Powder type sunscreen, which can be easily reapplied even on make-up, also sells well. Among BB cream, the one with brightening components enjoys the greatest support.
There may be people who think that “applying a lot of sunscreen is bad for the skin,” but Dr. Ci:Labo sunscreen does not put a strain on the skin, and it includes many beauty ingredients. We have available various types of sunscreen to match different situations and preferences.
Japanese whitening care items comprehend an ample line-up from not only Dr.Ci:Labo but from every Japanese brand that includes lotions, essences, creams and masks that combine whitening components. Recently, highly functional products that include not only whitening but also anti-aging and moisturizing components such as beauty gels, creams and foundations are increasing in number.
In Singapore, products such as “VC100 Pore White Lotion”, with 100 times the permeation of Vitamin C, and “Super White 377 Ultra”, with highly concentrated whitening components, are often chosen. A tendency can be seen of people in their twenties and early thirties to consciously use these products.
– What are other things we can do to protect ourselves from UV and for whitening care, besides using cosmetics?
The general impression in Singapore is that only a small amount of people use parasols or hats. However, just applying sunscreen is not enough, and to reduce the amount of ultraviolet rays one is exposed to, it is recommended to use a parasol or a hat.
Actually, information from ultraviolet rays is said to come in also from the “eyes”, so having our eyes continuously exposed to ultraviolet rays may lead to melanism. Because of this, we should use sunglasses when outside.
It is important not only to use UV protection goods on our bodies, but also to consume nutrients that will protect us from ultraviolet rays from the inside.
We should especially try to take “Vitamin C”, which is effective inhibiting the production of the melanin pigment. There are many ways to introduce Vitamin C in our daily lives, such as eating fruits every day or making up for it with supplements.
By the way, it is said that taking “collagen” at the same time with Vitamin C can improve its effect in creating and maintaining a beautiful skin. Dr.Ci:Labo beauty drink, “Collagen 5000 5-beautyEX”, combines many beauty ingredients including Vitamin C. Also, since it is low in calories, it is ideal to drink at night after a long day exposed to the Singaporean sunshine.
It is important to apply a correct UV protection and whitening care before our skin is ruined from being exposed to ultraviolet rays too much. Let’s keep a beautiful skin, even in Singapore’s perpetual summer!