“I don’t burn.”
“I’m already tan”
“I was only outside for a minute.”
“There’s no sun. “
We’ve all heard the excuses about why someone doesn’t “need” sunscreen, but whether your skin is fair or dark, whether or not you burn, wearing sunscreen is a good investment for your health and beauty. Did you know you can use natural products as sunscreen? Read 6 Natural Ways to Protect Your Skin in the Summer to learn more.
Growing up in a home with two working parents, I didn’t have a close relationship with my mom the way some of my girlfriends did. You know that kind I’m talking about, the after-school-special-best-friends-with-my-mom-whom-I-can-tell-anything-to type of relationship.
Even when the adolescent years rolled around and acne found me, vulnerable and insecure with every new pimple, my mom didn’t really know what to do – she always had beautiful skin and never had to deal with those issues, despite her efforts to find a remedy in the skincare aisle.
Still, the one thing that my mom made sure each of us kids knew was that we NEED to wear sunscreen.
At 15 years old, I went to school with my face smelling like Coppertone Water Babies SPF 45.
“You smell like summer!” friends would say. I didn’t mind; I liked summer and I liked the smell (even though that sunscreen was clearly not meant for your face).
Since then, my my skincare routine has drastically changed and developed as I learned on my own what products suit my skin type.
Nonetheless, the one thing that has remained constant is the use of sunscreen.
While makeup is awesome to enhance your features and cover up imperfections, ultimately, good skincare goes a lot farther than any makeup. We all have our own routines and preferred products for cleansing, toning and moisturizing based on our skin conditions, but one thing’s for sure – sunscreen is indispensable!
Besides helping protect you from sunburn and skin cancer, my mom stressed the importance of wearing sunscreen to prevent wrinkles. Her flawless skin spoke volumes louder than her voice in my head before I headed out the door: “Did you put on your sunscreen?” (Yes!)
If you’re new to using sunscreen on a daily basis, it may seem excessive to you to adopt it as a daily habit, but in the end, it will be worth the extra minute you take. Here are a few facts about sunscreen that may convince you.
Who needs sunscreen?
EVERYONE should wear sunscreen. It doesn’t matter whether your skin is light or dark, sensitive or resilient, skin cancer can happen to anyone, regardless of age, race or sex. Check out How to Age Beautifully At Any Age to find out more on how sunscreen can help you fight wrinkles and skin spots.
What sunscreen should I use?
Pick a sunscreen with broad spectrum protection, which means that it protects against both UVA and UVB rays (also known as ultraviolet radiation). UVA rays are always there, regardless of the season or weather and are so strong that they penetrate deep into your skin and damage the cells underneath. UVA rays cause sunspots, wrinkles, and leathery texture. Opt for a natural sunscreen if you can, especially if you have oily or acne-prone skin.
UVB rays, on the other hand, change depending on the weather; they are stronger in summertime or on sunny days. They can also reflect off of water and snow, which is how you can get a sunburn even when it’s winter. UVB rays are the ones that cause most cases of skin cancer and sunburns.
What SPF should I choose?
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. Choose a sunblock with a minimum of SPF 30, which blocks at least 97% of the sun’s harmful rays. Sunscreens with higher SPFs can help (e.g. SPF 50 protects against 98% of the sun’s harmful rays and SPF 100 protects against 99%), but not by much.
You may notice that prices go up as the SPF increases, but it’s been mentioned that this might just be a marketing tactic, making people think a higher number is better. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, The truth is, putting on SPF 100 won’t help that much more than SPF 50. In other words, it’s like wearing a windbreaker over a fur coat – technically it helps, but it’s not necessary, nor practical.
When do I apply it?
Apply sunscreen every day, 30 minutes before you step outside and reapply after swimming, sweating, or every 2 hours. Cover any part of your body that catches rays, including the backs of your hands, the tops of your ears and even your eyelids!
How and how often do I apply it?
Apply sunscreen generously. Using a lesser amount of a higher SPF may be less effective than applying a generous amount of a lesser SPF. If you’re going for a swim or sweating up a storm on those extremely hot days, be sure to reapply – why take a chance? Even if the sunscreen says it’s sweatproof, it doesn’t mean that it will last the whole day, especially if you’re wiping the sweat (and sunblock) off.
Why should I wear sunscreen?
In short, it protects you from ultraviolet radiation (UVA and UVB rays), sunburn, cancer, and helps prevent sun spots, uneven pigmentation, wrinkles, sagging, and that “leathery” look.
It’s better to prevent a problem than to have to fix one. After all, given the choice, I think we’d all like to avoid the painful, peeling skin of a sunburn.
Next time you head out, take a minute to generously spray or slather on the sunblock. You may not notice the difference now, but years down the line, you will and you’ll be glad you did!
What skin tips do you use to take care of your skin in the summer? Comment below!
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