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Understanding Sun Exposure: Protect Your Skin from Harmful Rays

From the Experts | May 29, 2024
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While we may appreciate the sun for its tanning effect, it's mood-boosting qualities and its beneficial role in the production of Vitamin D, overexposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays causes premature aging and health issues. Discover our expert advice to enjoy the sun more safely, whether on a city stroll or swimming at the beach.

The Risks of Sun Exposure

Sunbathing by the pool can be blissful and harmful at the same time: 90%* of the visible signs of skin aging is said to be caused by sun exposure. To be precise, the sun emits various types of rays, including ultraviolet (UV), visible light and infrared light. However, UV rays (UVA and UVB) are the main cause of skin damage and photoaging. UV rays can cause short and long-term damage and at different skin levels. UVA rays can reach the dermal layer of your skin and are largely responsible for the premature aging of your skin by causing oxidative stress. UVB penetrates the epidermis and can cause dark spots, freckles and dryness. UVB are so strong that they can lead to sunburn and UVA can sometimes induce prickly heat rash. On a more serious note, unprotected exposure to UVA and UVB rays can also contribute to various forms of skin cancer. For this reason, and as it is recommended by dermatologists and World Health Organization, everyone should be cautious. Long-term exposure, as well as short, intense exposure, can have harmful effects.

To prevent UV rays from damaging your skin and accelerating the appearance of the signs of aging, the only solution is to limit the exposure and protect yourself from them with clothes and/or sunscreen products. This applies to everyone - no matter your age, your skin type or skin tone.

And don't let cloudy days fool you. UV rays are present year-round, whatever the weather, and UVA can even pass through car, aeroplane and office windows!

All You Need to Know About Sunscreen

How Do Sun Filters Work Exactly?

Modern sunscreen was invented almost a century ago. While there was only one type at the beginning, how sunscreen protects your skin from UV rays now depends on two types of filters: mineral and chemical (also called organic).

The mineral filter acts like a mirror and reflects UV rays, while the chemical is more like a sponge that absorbs UV rays and converts their energy into heat or vibrations, dispersing it away from the skin. By absorbing or reflecting UV rays, these molecules form a barrier that prevents different skin layers from being affected. Combining both types of filters has a number of advantages, including providing wider spectrum protection and better photostability.

The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of each sunscreen indicates the level of protection against UVB rays: SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays, with SPF 30 blocking 97%, and SPF 15 blocking 93% comparatively.

How Long Does Sunscreen Last and When Should You Reapply?

The efficacy of sunscreen hinges on multiple factors, including the level of protection, the homogeneity of the layer of product applied, the intensity of UV rays and the type of sun filters.

In theory, if your skin is prone to sunburn after 10 minutes, SPF 50 will delay its appearance for around 500 minutes. However, it is recommended to reapply sunscreen at least every 2 hours to stay well protected as the UV protection veil can be easily altered by movement, friction, sweat and swimming.



Shiseido's Advanced Suncare Solutions

Top Sunscreen Products for Optimal Protection in all circumstances

Shiseido has designed a range of suncare products to meet every need. For year-round protection, formulations such as Urban Environment Age Defense Oil-Free SPF 30 provide daily feather-light protection, as do our range of day creams with added SPF30. For sunny days on the go, Clear Suncare Stick SPF50+ is the perfect non-sticky, invisible protection for the most vulnerable parts of the body such as the eye contour, lip contour or on scars and recent tattoos. For beach time, Expert Sun Protector Face and Body Lotion SPF50+ is ultra-lightweight and non-greasy but, most of all, its UV protective veil is boosted by water and heat, and even automatically repaired if thinned or damaged. Meanwhile, UV Protective Compact Foundation SPF30 combines a long-lasting, natural-looking finish with anti-aging benefits. It is formulated with Profense CEL™, a complex of ingredients that reduces enzyme activity, cell damage and DNA damage* linked to the formation of wrinkles and dark spots. No matter your age, gender, lifestyle and skin type, we have sunscreen options for the face and even the body.

Why Choose Shiseido for Sun Protection?

With more than 100 years of experience and research into UV protection, Shiseido is a true sun care pioneer, constantly renewing itself, year after year, injecting all its skincare expertise to offer even more effective formulas with proven benefits for the skin.

Our latest innovation, SynchroShield Repair technology, combines patented WetForce Technology and HeatForce Technology to form an invisible, lightweight veil of protection that is strengthened by heat and water*. In other words, Shiseido sunscreen performs even better when you're swimming or sweating! It also automatically repairs itself from micro-level scratches.

In addition to providing a seamless UV protection effect, Shiseido suncare products are formulated with high percentages of skincare ingredients to preserve skin's youthful aspect while you enjoy the benefits of summer. Our sun lotions and creams are also designed to reduce their impact on the aquatic environment. This means that the formulas are highly water-resistant to limit elution into seawater when swimming. Packaging is made from plant-derived materials and exists in refillable format for some of them**.

*in-vitro test

** need to precise product names.

Customer Testimonials and Product Efficacy

December 2023  
Sunscreen F50 


"I'm obsessed with this brand sunscreen. It smells amazing and feels like silk on your skin. It doesn't irritate your eyes. I wish they did the skincare range with the same fragrance."

Charlotte H 
November 2023
Dreamy smell, perfect coverage 

Expert Sun Protector Face and Body Lotion SPF50+

"As someone who runs, I need to wear a daily high SPF on my face even on wintery days. This is just perfect! The smell is divine, it makes me happy everytime I open it. This just absorbs instantly too so when I sweat , no issue- I'm still protected!

November 2023
My favorite makeup!  

Sports BB Cream SPF 50+ Sunscreen

"This is my favorite makeup with sunscreen. I love how lightweight it is, but it has great coverage. I'm so glad it wasn't discontinued. I can wear it all day even before workouts and it still looks fresh."


Practical Sun Protection Tips

During the sunny months, we recommend using suncare products enriched with antioxidants and skincare ingredients to prevent the appearance of ageing signs including wrinkles, loss of firmness and dark spots. To guarantee maximum efficacy and the expected level of UV protection, we advise using recently purchased products rather than last year’s sun cream. Before going to bed, be sure to remove makeup and cleanse skin to eliminate any trace of sunscreen. Then, comfort your skin with moisturising and repairing skincare products. Don’t forget the neckline, décolleté and hands, often neglected areas that visibly reveal signs of photo-aging.

Understanding UV Index and Its Importance

While it’s important to protect ourselves from the sun on a daily basis, we can adapt our protection according to the sun’s intensity. The UV Index provides a numerical scale from 1 to 11, indicating the strength of UV radiation from the sun at a particular location and time. For example, the UV index is at its height during the summer solstice. We suggest checking the UV index forecast each evening for the following day and, then adjusting your activities, clothing and sunscreen accordingly. Remember that from 6 or 7, you should reduce sun exposure between 11am and 5pm and apply sunscreen with an SPF between 30 to 50+.

Enjoy the Sun with Shiseido Suncare

Sun cream is a remarkable beauty essential, not only significantly lowering the risk of skin cancer but also reducing sun-induced damage leading to visible signs, including fine lines, wrinkles, heat rash and dark spots. Remember, sunscreen should be worn every day, whatever the weather, and reapplied at least every two hours during intensive sun exposure.

Shiseido suncare is available to protect you through all of life’s sunny – and cloudy – moments.

Sun safety tips :

  • Apply liberally and evenly before sun exposure.
  • Re-apply frequently, especially after perspiring, swimming or towel-drying skin to maintain the sun protection.
  • Reducing the quantity of application will lower the level of protection significantly.
  • Do not stay too long in the sun even while using a sunscreen product.
  • Do not stay too long in the sun even while using a sunscreen product.


The information in this post is for educational purposes only, and does not substitute for professional medical advice. Readers are advised to consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment.