We always hear that it’s important to wear sunscreen when we spend time in the sun, but many fail to realize how important sunscreen is to our overall skin health. Whenever you go outside, you want to make sure sunscreen is a part of your daily routine. Learn about the importance of sunscreen and why you should wear it on more than just sunny days.
What it Does
Sunscreen has two major functions: to decrease an individual’s risk of skin cancer and to help them prevent premature skin aging. Since sun rays have the potential to cause both, it’s crucial that you create a protective layer to decrease your exposure. It’s recommended that you use a product that has an SPF, or sun protection factor, of 30 or higher and is waterproof. This will ensure the sunscreen remains effective for about two hours, even if you sweat or swim. Remember to reapply every two hours to keep yourself protected throughout the day.
Reasons to Use it
Though our bodies need a daily dose of vitamin D to keep us healthy, exposure to the sun’s rays for too long can damage your skin’s overall structure. As you burn, your skin dries out and begins to crack, peel, and sting—symptoms we know come from a sunburn. Along with its designated purposes, sunscreen can also help you keep your skin hydrated, reduce your risk of heatstroke on hot days, and keep your skin from burning.
Misconceptions about Sunscreen
One of the most common misconceptions surrounding sunscreen products is that individuals don’t need to use them on overcast or non-sunny days. While it might be a chore to put on sunscreen every day, it’s important to remember that your skin is always exposed to the sun’s rays. This is especially the case if your job requires you to be outdoors for extended periods. If you’re one of these professionals, it’s crucial that you start to use utility sunscreen year-round to protect yourself.
Another misconception is that those with darker skin tones, or those with a base tan, don’t need to use sunscreen. This is because many falsely believe the sun doesn’t affect them as much. Though the increased amount of melanin in darker skin can diffuse harmful UVB rays and potentially protect some from sunburn, the skin is still damaged over time. It’s best to develop a sunscreen routine to ensure your safety, no matter your skin tone.
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