Why is sunscreen important, you ask? We have the answer. The benefits of sunscreen go beyond protecting your skin from the sun. Summer means it is time to run to the store to purchase sunscreen lotion. However, the truth is, we should apply sunscreen every day of the year. It does not matter whether it is summer or winter; you must protect your skin from sun exposure. SPF helps do this. Dr. Nadir Qazi, a board-certified physician, says, “Sunscreen is the most important skin care product to maintain long-term skin health. It is vital in preventing signs of aging from appearing on the skin. Fine lines, wrinkles, and sunspots are all symptoms that can arise due to a lack of proper sunscreen application.” The effects of sunscreen may not be noticeable at first, but it will pay off long-term. This article discusses the sunscreen benefits, how to use them for maximum benefits, and how often you should apply. Take a look.
Why You Should Wear Sunscreen
Let us have a look at the top 11 interesting reasons why you should wear sunscreen throughout the year:
1. Shields From Harmful UV Rays
The continuously depleting ozone layer has put us at a higher risk of getting affected by the harmful rays of the sun. While you do need the sun for your daily dose of Vitamin D, it does not imply that you should put your health at risk! This radiation may lead to sunburn and skin damage. Sunscreens are critical products that protect you from the harmful UV rays (1).
2. Prevents Premature Aging
All of us love to have younger-looking, radiant, and healthy skin. This is one of the most convincing reasons to start using sunscreen. Indulging in outdoor activities without proper sun protection may accelerate signs of aging. Prevention is key and is possible with the help of sunscreen application. It shields your skin from developing signs of aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines, sunspots, hyperpigmentationi , photodamagei , (sun damage), and dry skin. Studies reveal that people below the age of 55 who used sunscreen had 24% lesser chances of developing these aging signs than non-sunscreen and occasional sunscreen users.
3. Lowers Skin Cancer Risk
While people started using sunscreen mainly for beauty reasons, this health benefit comes as an advantage. Wear your sunscreen daily and over the days and months to shield your skin from the risk of various types of skin cancer (3). This is the worst type of skin cancer, which can be life-threatening for women as their age increases.
4. Lowers Blotchiness On The Face
Apply sunscreen liberally on your face to prevent the onset of that irritating blotchiness and eruptions of red veins. This can also prevent the onset of acne and other sun rays-induced damages caused by sun overexposure.
5. Prevents Sunburns
Sunburns can thin the skin, making it more transparent, and bruises become more visible. Your skin may experience repeated attacks of peeling, swelling, redness, hives, and itching. This is due to UVB rays, responsible for sunburns. The blisters can escalate the risk of skin cancer. A study published in ‘Annals of Epidemiology’ in August 2008 suggested that recurring occurrences of sunburns could actually put you at a higher risk of lethal melanomai (4).
Moreover, a survey conducted on 4,088 adults in the US found that 79.6% of the participants reported using some form of sun protection the last time they experienced sunburn. Sunscreen was found to be the most common form of sun protection used, with 38.8% of the participants using it on the face, neck, and chest. 19.9% reported using sunscreen on the body, and 8.9% reported using makeup containing sunscreen.
6. Prevents Tanning
Tan is healthy. However, what you should be aware of is that while you are sunbathing to tan, you are at the risk of being harmed by the harsh UVB rays. Choose a sunscreen that has a minimum sun protection factor 30 to prevent tanning induced by UVB. Make sure you reapply sunscreen every two hours, especially if you have sensitive skin. Or apply it just after your exercise, as sweat could wash away the protective coating.
7. Enhances Health Of The Skin
The essential skin proteins, such as collagen, keratin, and elastin, are protected by sunscreen. These proteins are required for keeping the skin smooth and healthy. Make sure your sunblock has titanium dioxide in it to help reflect UV rays away from the skin and protect the activity of these proteins (5).
8. A Good Cosmetic Option
Nowadays, you get sunscreens that also double up as creams. Just apply it and leave it on. If you have dry skin or sensitive skin, make sure you reapply it every now and then for better safety of your skin.
9. A Wide Assortment To Choose
There are countless variants of sunscreens available in the market today. Plus, they come at affordable rates. You also can get sunscreen recipes online that you can prepare at home, making them even more cost effective.
10. You May Not Have To Reapply After A Swim
Most of the sunscreens or sunblocks available these days are waterproof. This enables you to enjoy yourself in the water, without burning yourself
11. Sunscreen Offers Better Protection Than A Full-Sleeved Dress
You cannot safeguard yourself from the sun by wearing a full-sleeved dress. Did you know that a cotton dress, particularly when damp, offers zero protection from the harmful rays of the sun? Just apply a generous amount of sunscreen under the dress as well.
How To Use Sunscreen
How to use sunscreen every day? If you are wondering about it, here are a few factors and sun safety tips that you need to keep in mind while picking up the sunscreen:
1. Always read the ingredient list and make sure your sunscreen contains the following:
- Titanium dioxide
- Octyl methoxycinnamatei (OMC)
- Avobenzonei (also parsol)
- Zinc oxide
2. Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen lotion or gel that is non-comedogenic and hypoallergenici . Such sunscreens will shield you from ultraviolet rays, both A and B, while safeguarding you from rashes, clogged pores, acne, and sunburns.
3. Choose a sunscreen that is waterproof and comes with a minimum SPF of 30.
4. Always apply sunscreen half an hour before you come into contact with the sun.
How Often To Use Sunscreens
Sunscreens act as a shield against the harmful UV rays which penetrate the skin’s barrier every time your skin is exposed to the sun. It is, therefore, advisable to use sunscreen every day. You may not notice the benefits now, but the advantage of using sunscreen is felt in the long run. If you are out in the sun for a long time either working or enjoying a sunbath on the beach or at the poolside, it is better to reapply sunscreen after every two hours to protect your skin from sunburns. Consult a dermatologist to learn more about sunscreen reapplication intervals best suited for your skin type.
Infographic: Benefits Of Applying Sunscreen Lotion
Sunscreen is highly beneficial for several reasons. Knowing the key reasons you should apply sunscreen throughout the year is important for protecting the skin from UV damage. Check out the infographic below to learn how sunscreen protects the skin from the harmful effects of UV exposure.
Applying sunscreen regularly across seasons comes with a host of benefits. These include protection from harmful UV rays, reducing signs of premature aging, preventing sunburns and tanning, and lowering the risk of developing skin cancer. Before you use sunscreens, always select broad-spectrum lotions that are waterproof and contain ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. To enjoy the long-term benefits of sunscreen, apply sunscreen regularly half an hour before going out and every 2 hours to avoid sunburns and enjoy smooth, healthy, and glowing skin.