Home > MEDICATION & YOU > Cosmetics > Sunscreen and sun blocks

Sunscreen and sun blocks

What are sunscreens and sun blocks?

  • Sunscreens and sun blocks are lotions containing one or more protective chemicals that absorb, reflect or scatter ultraviolet rays
  • Sun Protection Factor (SPF) indicates the specific amount of protection that is provided by a particular sunscreen product. An SPF of 15 indicates that it will protect you 15 times longer than when you stay in the sun without the sunscreen
  • Sunscreens are recommended for most outdoor activities. They are available in many forms such as lotions, gels or sprays and lip balms with a variety of SPF

Tips on purchasing sunscreen

  • Look for a preparation with broad spectrum Ultraviolet A and B protection. Preparations that contain reflective substances such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide provide the most effective protection
  • A”sun protection factor” (SPF) of 15 or more. The higher the number, the better protection.
  • Choose a product that is water resistant if you are going for water sports, swimming or if you sweat a lot. “Water resistant” does not mean”waterproof”. Water-resistant sunscreens need to be reapplied as instructed on the label.

When and how to use sunscreen?

  • Shake the lotions well before applying.
  • Apply the recommended amount evenly to all uncovered skin, especially your lips, nose, ears, neck hand, and feet.
  • Apply to clean dry skin 20 minutes to 1 hour before sun exposure.
  • Wait for the sunscreen to dry before putting on your clothes.
  • Reapply sunscreen every 2 to 3 hours when outdoors, especially if you are swimming or sweating. Read the label to see how often.
  • Do not stay in the sun longer than the sunscreen SPF allows.
  • Be generous, about 30 grams or one handful of sunscreen should be used to cover your exposed skin.
  • Use sunscreen even on cloudy days.


Use sunscreen even on cloudy days.


Guide to purchasing sun protection preparations

Types of Skin
SPF Yang di Cadangkan
Routine Day/SPF
Outdoor Activity/SPF
  • Always burns easily, very fair
15 or greater
25 – 30
  • Burns easily, fair complexion
12 – 15
25 – 30
  • Sometimes burns, light to medium complexion
8 – 10
  • Burns minimally, medium complexion
6 – 8
  • Burns rarely, dark brown or black complexion
6 – 8


Semakan akhir : 3 Jun 2014
Penulis : Dr. Nour Hanah bt. Othman
Penyemak : Datin Dr. Zil Falillah bte. Mohd Said