Why sunscreen? Ask anyone and the majority of individuals will reply that sunscreen is important to prevent sunburns. So they will happily apply it if they are going to be outside under the hot sun for a prolonged period of time. Sunscreen can help to prevent sunburns and there’s no denying that avoiding sunburns is important. Not only for the discomfort that one brings, but also for the longer term health implications of skin cancer and melanoma. Studies have shown that blistering sunburns experienced when you are younger can significantly increase the risk for basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the skin, along with melanoma.
The sun, however, is responsible for much more than sunburn. The sun releases two types of harmful UV rays – UVA rays and UVB rays. UVA rays are longer ones associated with skin aging including wrinkles, age spots and saggy skin (photo ageing). They are prevalent year round, even on cloudy days and can penetrate through windows. UVB rays are shorter and the ones responsible for sunburns. So the answer to why sunscreen, is two-fold. First, to avoid the red, blistering and peeling skin associated with sunburns. And second, to help skin looking youthful and healthy.
Studies have shown that the sun’s UV rays are responsible for more than 80% of skin aging so it’s important to make its application a regular part of your skincare routine. If you want to avoid the damaging effects caused by sun exposure, you’ll need to apply sunscreen daily, year round. Yup. Every. Single. Day.
How To Choose A Sunscreen
When it comes to choosing a formulation, look for products that are labelled broad spectrum and with a minimum SPF 30 rating. Broad spectrum sunscreens protect against both UVA and UVB rays while an SPF 30 rating means it will guard against 97 percent of UVB rays. Our sister store, Phamix.com stocks a wide range of Anthelios sunscreens and Ombrelle sunscreens, which contain safe and effective sun filters and a favourite amongst customers and health care professionals alike.
And don’t rely on sunscreen alone. Practice ‘sun smart’ habits, which include:
- Seeking Shade. Especially during the sun’s peak hours between 10 am and 4 pm
- Wearing Sun Protective Clothing. Long sleeves, hats and sunglasses
- Reapplying Sunscreen. Especially if you are sweating or have been swimming.
There are many important topics to tackle when it comes to skincare, but Why Sunscreen is an extremely relevant one. Not because sunscreen is so important to youthful looking skin, but also because it’s essential to healthy skin. I’ll be revisiting this topic in future posts so don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any specific questions you’d like me to tackle in the comments below.