Summer is finally here and it’s time to break out the sunscreen! Whether you’re lounging on the beach, cruising on a boat, or simply enjoying your backyard, sunscreen is a must-have in your summer wardrobe. Not only does it protect your skin from harmful UV rays, but it also helps prevent sunburns and long-term skin damage. So, before you head out to soak up some sun, make sure you’re properly protected with a good sunscreen. Trust us, your skin will thank you!
Let’s dive in and explore the top 7 reasons why sunscreen matters:
As the new year begins and beach plans are made, don’t forget the importance of sunscreen. It may sound surprising, but some sun worshippers forget to reapply or even apply it at all. This can lead to painful sunburns or even skin cancer. Protecting your skin with sunscreen has never been easier, with options for every skin type and lifestyle. Don’t let a simple step be overlooked and make this summer the best and safest yet.
1. Prevent First and Second-Degree Burns with Sunscreen
Sunscreen acts as a physical barrier that prevents UV rays from penetrating your skin. It works by absorbing or scattering the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which helps to block it from damaging your skin. But for sunscreen to be effective, it’s important to apply it to all exposed areas of skin and reapply it every two hours.
UV light can cause different types of burns on your skin. First-degree burns, where only the top layer of skin is damaged and you may feel pain but don’t see redness or swelling. Second-degree burns are more severe, causing blistering and pain.
2. Keep skin cancer at bay with regular sunscreen use
Sunscreen is vital for any skincare regimen, but it’s essential to understand that it’s not a guarantee against skin cancer. Sunscreen helps prevent sunburn, which is the primary cause of skin cancer. However, once you’ve had a sunburn, it may not provide enough protection against melanoma and other types of skin cancer. Keep in mind that sunscreen is just one part of a comprehensive sun protection plan that includes seeking shade, wearing protective clothing, and avoiding the sun during peak hours to keep your skin healthy.
If you detect any variations on your skin that cause you concern, like moles that are darker or bigger than before, it’s advisable to see a dermatologist for examination and early identification of any issues.
3. Don’t let the sun age your skin prematurely – use sunscreen
Sunscreen helps to slow down the aging process, preventing wrinkles, fine lines around your eyes and mouth, and making you look younger. UV rays cause damage when you’re out in the sun unprotected. To prevent this, apply sunscreen regularly on face, neck, chest, and hands when spending extended time outdoors.
Here are a few ways sunscreen can help keep your skin looking youthful:
- Shields your skin from discoloration, like brown spots and freckles, which can lead to further discoloration.
- Minimizes redness after basking in the sun’s rays.
4. Seeing Clearly: The Role of Sunscreen in Eye Health
By using sunscreen, you can help protect your eyes from the damaging effects of UV rays.
These rays can cause a number of eye conditions such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and pterygium.
Cataracts, which occur when protein deposits form on the lens of the eye, are a leading cause of blindness in people over 50.
Macular degeneration, an age-related disease that affects central vision, can lead to blurred or distorted vision and make it difficult to see fine details. Fortunately, both cataracts and macular degeneration can be treated with laser surgery, but it’s best to take preventative measures by using sunscreen to protect your eyes.
5. Medications and sun exposure: a dangerous combination
Medications can make you more susceptible to the sun’s UV rays. Some drugs, such as antibiotics, blood thinners, and certain birth control pills, can heighten your risk of sunburn or skin cancer by elevating your sensitivity to UV light. But you can safeguard yourself while taking these medications by regularly wearing sunscreen daily and reapplying it every two hours when spending extended time in the sun, or more frequently when swimming or sweating.
6. Keep your skin safe and looking great with sunscreens that double as moisturizers and makeup enhancers.
When searching for sunscreen, aim for a product with an SPF of 30 or higher. It can be beneficial to look for a sunscreen that also has added moisturizing or makeup-boosting properties. Additionally, check the ingredients list to ensure it is free of parabens. If you’re interested in a tinted sunscreen, opt for one that has a minimum of SPF 30, and include ingredients like green tea extract.
7. Keep Your Lips Soft and Kissable: Use Sunscreen
The skin on our lips is delicate and sensitive, and it is also highly susceptible to sun damage, which can lead to premature aging, wrinkles and sagging. Sunscreen is one of the best ways to protect your lips from UV rays. It can be used on top of lip balm for extra protection.
It is important to remember that sunscreen should be applied year-round, even when it’s cloudy or when you’re not spending time in direct sunlight. The sun’s rays can still reach you when it’s cloudy or when they are reflected off surfaces such as water or concrete.
Additionally, a tan is not a sign of healthy skin, it is actually a sign that your body is trying to repair the damage caused by UV radiation. Your body sends out signals to repair damaged cells, making them appear darker, but this doesn’t protect against future damage. In fact, exposing yourself to UV radiation again before your skin has had a chance to recover can cause more harm than good.
The Price of Neglecting Sunscreen Use
It’s important to be aware that sun exposure can have a number of negative effects on your body. In addition to the well-known risks of skin cancer, wrinkles, and age spots, there are other less obvious consequences of too much sun exposure that many people may not be aware of. For example, UV rays can cause damage to the eyes, leading to conditions such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and pterygium.
Sun exposure can also cause discoloration, redness, and dryness to the skin. To protect yourself from these and other negative effects of the sun, it’s essential to regularly use sunscreen, wear protective clothing, and limit your time in the sun, especially during peak hours when the sun’s rays are strongest.
Next to the danger of cancer, the sun can have more less drastic effects on your skin, such as:
- Sunburn – Too much sun exposure can cause damage to your skin cells and DNA, leading to sunburn. Without proper treatment, sunburn can lead to discoloration and hyperpigmentation.
- Wrinkles – UV rays can cause collagen breakdown, resulting in wrinkles. Sunscreen can help reduce the risk of premature wrinkling.
- Freckles – Melanin, the pigment that gives skin color, also protects the skin from UV rays. Sun exposure can cause the body to produce more melanin, leading to freckles, especially in those with lighter skin.
- Moles – Sun damage can lead to the formation of moles, which are skin growths that can be cancerous.
Expired sunscreen loses effectiveness and should be discarded.
Expired sunscreen loses its effectiveness, even if it still appears and smells fine. The expiration date on the bottle indicates when the product’s active ingredients will degrade and become less effective at protecting against sun damage. It’s best to discard sunscreen after three months and use a new bottle to ensure maximum protection. Lab testing is the only way to confirm the efficacy of expired sunscreen.
Sunscreen expiration dates vary by brand; some degrade faster due to less preservatives that maintain active ingredient stability over time.
I hope this article has helped you understand the importance of using sunscreen when spending time outdoors. It’s crucial to use a sunscreen with a high SPF to protect your skin from harmful UV rays, which can cause skin damage and increase the risk of skin cancer. Additionally, it’s important to remember to reapply sunscreen every few hours if you will be in the sun for an extended period of time. It’s easy to forget to reapply, but it’s a crucial step in protecting your skin from damage. Don’t neglect your skin’s health and always remember to protect it with sunscreen.