You may know that sunscreen is a good idea, especially if you spend plenty of time in the sun, but do you know why? If you haven’t yet gotten in the habit of wearing sunscreen daily, take a look at these top tips for making it part of your routine.
1. Sunscreen protects every skin type
If you have a darker complexion, the melanin in your skin confers some natural protection from sunburns, but you still need protection from harmful ultraviolet rays. While people with fair skin are more likely to develop skin cancer due to sun exposure, people with dark skin tones are at risk of more serious kinds of cancer when they get it. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that EVERYONE wear sunscreen daily for the safety of their skin.
2. Most of what you call aging is really years of sun damage.
Dermatologists with the Skin Cancer Foundation (2) estimate that 90 percent of visible aging comes not from the number of candles on your birthday cake but the hours you’ve spent in the sun. Wearing sunscreen daily saves your skin from years of visible damage later.
3. You have more choices and better application methods than ever.
Still have images in your head of that stripe of pasty zinc oxide on your nose? Forget them. Modern zinc- and aluminum-based sunscreens use micronized particles for invisible sun protection. You can also opt for chemical sunscreens that interact with your skin’s upper layers to provide hours of sun protection. These days you can spray it on, rub it in or smooth it over your skin with a rolling applicator.
4. The sun is strong even when it’s not sunny out!
Many people think they don’t need sunscreen on overcast days or for brief stints in the sun, but for the ultraviolet rays that damage your skin, a little cloud cover means nothing. UV light penetrates clouds with ease, so you need protection even on cloudy days.
5. Sun damage is cumulative.
Don’t be fooled into thinking you can build up a safe tan; there’s no such thing. Every exposure contributes to possible damage at the cellular level. Spare your skin tomorrow and wear your sunscreen today.