Most of us are aware of the importance of wearing sunscreen in the summer months to avoid painful, damaging sunburnt skin and lips, but it really should be a year-round preventative habit. You should always wear sunscreen, no matter your age, skin color, or skin tone. Though you can purchase sunscreen in many different forms (creams, lotions, gels, sprays), sunscreen can also be found in anti-aging and make-up products like serums, foundations, and primers. No matter the form, you should always look for and use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and reapply every 1-2 hours on skin that is exposed to the sun or right after swimming or sweating. And remember, there is no “best” sunscreen…the BEST sunscreen is the one you love so that you’ll USE it and REAPPLY it often.
In this blog, we’re going to discuss the importance of sunscreen and why it isn’t just for sunny days at the beach.
So, Why Should You Wear Sunscreen?
1. Sunscreen Helps Prevent Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, and certain forms can be deadly. As specified by researchers, it was predicted that more than 100,000 people would be diagnosed with melanoma in 2020, and approximately 7,000 people would die from such cases. The top three most common types of skin cancer are basal cell skin cancer, squamous cell skin cancer, and melanoma. The top risk factor causing these skin cancers is exposure to UV radiation.
By applying sunscreen every day, you cut your risk of contracting skin cancers in half! And by going to tanning salons/booths, you INCREASE your risk of skin cancer, including life-threatening melanoma by 50%. AVOID TANNING BOOTHS! A spray tan can be a beautiful alternative AND is healthy without increasing your risk of skin cancer.
2. Sunscreen Prevents Uneven Skin Tone & Sunspots
Hyperpigmentation (brown spots in sun-exposed areas) is a common skin condition caused by excessive melanin production––caused by too much sun exposure. Typically, hyperpigmentation shows up as darkened patches on the skin. In addition, sunscreen protects against sunspots, which are a culprit in increasing the look of aging. Sunspots typically are flat areas of discolored skin that can be different shades of brown.
People with darker skin tones are more susceptible to hyperpigmentation, but any skin tone/color can get these.
The sun rays that DO penetrate through window glass (UVA rays) can cause this hyperpigmentation and brown spots, so therefore it’s important to wear sunscreen on exposed skin EVEN WHILE IN THE CAR OR SITTING NEAR WINDOWS.
3. Sunscreen Prevents Premature Aging
Your skin is made up of three layers: the epidermis, the dermis, and the subcutis. Within the dermis, you’ll find collagen, elastin, and other fibers that work to support your skin’s structure. This combination of elements is what gives skin its youthful, smooth appearance. When multiple levels of the epidermis are damaged, premature aging occurs.
Have you ever noticed that frequent tanners show aging a lot more than those who stay out of the sun? Spending too much time in the sun unprotected can lead to premature aging due to two kinds of UV light: UVA and UVB light. Sunscreen’s role in all of this is to block and absorb UV rays through a combination of chemical and physical properties.
Those who spend time in the sun without sunscreen put their skin at risk at a molecular level, leading to looking older faster…nobody wants that!
4. Sunscreen Protects Sun-Sensitive Skin
Sunscreen is especially helpful in preventing skin irritation and inflammation in people with sun-sensitive conditions, like lupus, polymorphous light eruption (PMLE), and rosacea. Since the immune system plays a vital role in our overall health, it’s important to protect our skin.
We’ll Help You Take Care of Your Skin
We want your skin to look its best. If you have any skincare concerns, or would like to learn more about skincare––contact us!