Summer is here, school is out, and the barbecues are heating up. This is the season where you're spending most of your time under the sun, and it is not the time to get lazy about wearing sunscreen! (think about the painful sunburns)
Undoubtedly you've heard that sunscreen is important. In fact, it is the most fundamental product in our skincare routine that must be worn daily regardless of weather and season. You've heard it right! — sunscreen is equally important during winter, on a rainy day, or even when you're indoors. I know that sometimes wearing sun protection can be such a hassle but as someone who struggled with acne, it has been made clear by my dermatologist that even if you're going to be spending a minutia in the sun, sunblock is a must.
Sunlight is essential for bodily functions such as the production of vitamin D yet too much sun exposure does more harm than good. The ultraviolet (UV) radiation we get from the sun might cause skin damage. Studies have shown that 95% of the UV radiation reaching our skin is Ultraviolet A (UVA), which is responsible for chronic effects such as wrinkles, photoaging, and age spots. The smaller percentage, Ultraviolet B (UVB), which can be more harmful, is the main cause of sunburns. There is also Ultraviolet C (UVC), which, luckily is completely absorbed by the atmosphere and won't reach our skin nor cause any damage.
Here are the top reasons why applying sunscreen must become a daily habit:
1. Protects your skin from UV rays
With the depletion of the earth's ozone layer, the risk of skin damage from UV radiation, especially UVB, has drastically increased. UV rays are said to cause 90% of premature skin aging. In addition, exposure to UV rays can damage the DNA in skin cells, leading to skin cancer. Therefore, it is important to wear proper sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more to shield your skin from serious damage.
2. It lowers the risk of skin cancer
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Approximately one out of five people may develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Both UVA and UVB can cause skin cancer. However, applying sunscreen every day decreases the risk of contracting skin cancer in half.
3. Avoid premature aging signs
Premature aging of skins has been linked to extended exposure to UV rays. Sun damage can cause discoloration, sagging of skin, and wrinkles. Studies have shown that people below the age of 50, who apply sunscreen regularly, are less susceptible to develop these signs of aging.
4. Maintain an even skin tone
Applying sunscreen regularly helps prevent any kind of skin discoloration, pigmentation, and dark spots from harmful UV rays; thus helps in maintaining an even skin tone.
5. Prevent the risk of severe sunburn
Excessive sun exposure can cause severe sunburns. A blistering sunburn can double the risk of skin cancer later on in life. By wearing an appropriate sunscreen and re-applying regularly after sun exposure, you are minimizing the risk of getting sunburnt.
6. Healthy skin!
In a world where everyone is obsessed with skincare, I'm sure the goal is to have healthy skin. Dermatologists have stressed that the skin is simply healthier when using sunscreen regularly. Vital proteins in the skin such as keratin are protected when you wear sunscreen.
How to choose the perfect sunscreen?
Choosing the best sunscreen can be really hard since nowadays, as we have a variety of sunscreens on the market. It is recommended to use a sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher, which blocks 97% of UV. Also, look for a sunscreen labeled “broad spectrum” to protect from both UVA and UVB.
Recently, Japan established the PA grading system to inform consumers of the level of UVA protection. When shopping for sun protection products or cosmetics, it is suggested to look for PA+++ (the more “+” signs the better) Besides, it is recommended to use sunscreen lotion or stick for more protection instead of sunscreen spray.
If you have oily skin like me and hate the feeling of having a thick layer of sunscreen on your skin, this sunscreen might work for you.
How to apply sunscreen properly?
It is recommended to wear sunscreen 10 to 30 minutes before sun exposure and re-apply every 2 to 3 hours. You should apply enough sunscreen to fill a shot glass, which is approximately 1oz or a simpler method is to apply a generous amount of 3 fingers of sunscreen (Apply the sunscreen along 3 fingers then transfer to the face, neck, or any other body parts)
Slather up !
For more protection, use an SPF-infused lip balm for the lips, and wear sunglasses.