When most people think about applying sunscreen it’s for long days spent in the sun and sand in two piece swimsuits. You know you need to lather on the SPF or else you’ll have an awful sunburn.
During summer months we know that simply adding a surf shirt over our two piece swimsuits for additional protection isn’t enough. You know you have to add sunscreen to protect all the skin you’re showing off from the harmful UV rays.
Sunscreen isn’t just for the beach. It’s critical to use sunscreen to protect our skin all year long.
What is the Difference between UVA and UVB Rays?
We know sunscreen protects us from UV rays. We’ve all had a painful sunburn at one point which taught us to wear sunscreen to avoid red, itchy, peeling skin. Did you know that sunburns are actually caused by UVB rays?
UVB rays are subject to the strength of the sun and the time of year. This is why you are more likely to get a bad sunburn in the summer. Of course this can also occur in winter months. If you partake in winter sports you know it’s essential to wear sunscreen when hitting the slopes. This is because the UVB rays can reflect off the snow, doubling your exposure to the harmful rays.
UVA rays are more subtle. We cannot see the immediate damage; but, these are the pesky rays which are responsible for sun spots and premature aging. They penetrate the deepest layers of our skin and are 500x more common in sunlight than UVB rays.
So even if you aren’t on the beach in a two piece swimsuit adding sunscreen to your daily routine can help protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays. Make sure you look for broad spectrum sunscreens which will protect you from both types of UV rays.
Why Should I Add Sunscreen to my Daily Routine?
Even on cloudy days 80% of UVA rays can still affect your skin. If you work in an office with large windows UVA light is still penetrating the glass.
Even on days you aren’t sunbathing in a two piece swimsuit these harmful rays could be causing harm to your skin. In fact skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. By wearing a broad spectrum SPF daily you can decrease your risk of melanoma.
No one wants to find that they have sagging skin, wrinkles, or age spots prematurely. Sun damage can cause a breakdown of collagen resulting in these negative and unattractive results. Adding a sunscreen to your daily routine can reduce risks of premature aging by 24%.
Sunscreen isn’t just for those of us who have a fair complexion and burn easily. If you have dark skin you may be immune to the harmful effects of UVB rays and never get a sunburn; but, you could still see negative effects of UVA rays. While skin cancer is less common in individuals with a darker complexion it’s not impossible. Play it safe and use a broad spectrum SPF daily.
What Strength Should I Use?
Different levels of SPF are available. SPF stands for the sun protection factor of the sunscreen.
- SPF 15 is 93% effective
- SPF 30 is 97% effective
- SPF 50 is 98% effective
For long days playing in the ocean in a two piece swimsuit make sure to choose a higher level SPF that is also water resistant. Remember that when splashing around reflections off the water can increase your potential to burn! So reapply when you come out of the water and maybe have an umbrella handy to rest in the shade for a bit after your swim.
If you are choosing a sunscreen for daily wear you can choose a lower SPF. But remember you may want to reapply before heading to lunch on the patio or if you sit near a large window. Most dermatologists recommend reapplying every 2 hours for maximum efficiency.
How can I Easily Add SPF to my Daily Routine?
The skin on our face is the most susceptible to sun damage and the place we least want to see the effects of premature aging. Choose a daily moisturizer that has an SPF of 30 or higher. There are also many CC creams available which offer broad spectrum sun protection with the added benefit of a tint giving skin a healthy glow. Since these are formulated for the face they won’t be overly greasy or cause breakouts.
For your body look for a moisturizing lotion with SPF 15 or higher. This will give you an extra boost of broad spectrum sun protection all day long. Keep some in a drawer at your office so you can reapply regularly and keep your skin looking youthful and healthy for years to come.