As summer encroaches upon us, sunscreens flood the store shelves. Many people know that you need sunscreen if you’re going to be spending a day at the beach or hiking in broad daylight, but many people don’t realize that you need to wear sunscreen every day. There are all sorts of myths about sunscreen that cause people to think they don’t need to wear it on the daily, such as if you have darker skin, you don’t need it, or if it’s cloudy or you’re going to spend the day inside, you don’t need it either.
However, everyone, regardless of skin tone, needs to wear sunscreen every day. Yes, this is true even if it’s cloudy or you’re not going outside. Sun exposure can cause all sorts of problems from premature aging to sunburns to skin cancer. Sunscreen protects your skin and helps keep you healthy. Here are some of the key reasons why you need to wear sunscreen every day.
#1. It Reduces Your Risk Of Developing Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, affecting approximately 1 in 5 people. If you wear sunscreen everyday, you can decrease your risk of developing skin cancer, since ultraviolet rays can cause skin cancer. While you can’t avoid UV rays, sunscreen offers protection that can block them.
While skin cancer is more common in people with light skin, people who have darker skin tend to get more serious types of skin cancer. This is especially true since skin cancer tends to go undetected in people with darker skin tones until it is further along, and thus, harder to treat. Ergo, regardless of your skin tone, you should be wearing sunscreen every day in order to protect your skin from harmful UV rays and reduce your risk of developing skin cancer. Sunscreen can help to reduce your risk of melanoma by 50%.
Since skin cancer is so common, it’s recommended that you get familiar with your skin so that you can detect any suspicious-looking moles or skin abnormalities early on. You can conduct a self-examination every month, and then if you do spot something suspicious, your dermatologist will be able to screen you and conduct a thorough examination.
#2. It Helps To Prevent Premature Aging
There are countless different skin care products on the market that claim to help with aging skin, and yet, one of the best things you can do in order to prevent premature aging is to wear sunscreen every day. This is because sun exposure can result in damaged skin and break down the collagen and elastin in your skin which help your skin maintain its elasticity and lift.
Sunscreen helps to protect your skin’s collagen and elastin levels, which helps you avoid over 80% of the signs of aging such as:
- Fine lines
- Skin discoloration (such as sunspots, hyper pigmentation, and the like)
This is why you should wear sunscreen every day, even if it’s overcast or you’re going to be spending the day inside. UV rays can still penetrate through clouds and windows, which means that even if it’s cloudy and you’re in your room, you can still get sun damaged skin. Even if you don’t get sunburnt, your skin can still be damaged by the sun, so you should wear sunscreen every day.
#3. It Prevents Sunburn
Even on a cloudy day, you can still get sunburnt. If you’re going to be spending a lot of time out in the sun, your risk of getting a sunburn goes up even higher. Sunburns can be incredibly painful and result in lasting skin damage, such as premature aging, melanoma, discoloration, and more. Through ensuring that you wear sunscreen every day, you can protect yourself from getting sunburnt.
It’s recommended that you apply sunscreen 30 minutes prior to sun exposure and that you reapply it every 2 hours, especially if you’re going to be out in the sun all day. If you’re spending time in the water, you want to reapply your sunscreen after getting out. While some sunscreens are water resistant for a certain amount of time, usually 40-80 minutes, a waterproof sunscreen has yet to be invented. Thus, in order to keep your skin protected, you need to reapply your sunscreen accordingly.
#4. It Decreases Inflammation
Sun exposure doesn’t just put you at risk of sunburn, it can also cause inflammation, which can be especially challenging for people with skin conditions such as rosacea or psoriasis. If you wear sunscreen every day, you can decrease your risk of skin inflammation, especially if you use a sunscreen with gentle ingredients, such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. If you struggle to find a sunscreen that works with your skin, your dermatologist can help you.
Keep Your Skin Healthy
Allen-Taintor Dermatology wants to help you ensure that your skin stays healthy. We can help with skin cancer screenings, as well as provide advice on the types of sunscreens you should use in order to keep your skin healthy and protected. To learn more about how sunscreen can help protect your skin or to schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!