At this point in your sunscreen journey, we hope you understand the importance of sunscreen and its role in the health and safety of your skin. Wearing sunscreen during the warmer months to avoid the suffering caused by sunburn is obvious, but sunscreen should be worn daily.
Yes, every single day. In fact, it should be thought of as an extension of your skincare routine. No matter your skin tone, color, or what the weather calls for that particular day, sunscreen is imperative to keeping your skin and the appearance of your skin healthy.
In this blog, we are going to highlight six reasons why you would wear sunscreen. Starting with a reason that should be high on everyone’s radar, cancer prevention.
- Cancer Prevention: Believe it or not, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Currently, one in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer and this number will continue to grow due to the frequent use of tanning beds and sun exposure without sun protection. The most common types of skin cancer? Melanoma, squamous cell skin cancer, and basal cell skin cancer. The top risk factor causing these types of skin cancers? UV radiation. Daily application and reapplication are vital to protect your skin from dangerous and harmful UV rays.
- Premature aging prevention: Besides genetics, ultraviolet sun exposure is the number one cause of premature aging in the face. UV exposure may account for up to 80% of visible signs of aging. Sunscreen application slows down the development of fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration, the breakdown of collagen, and the undesirable leathery skin look. Regular and consistent use of sunscreen makes for smooth, youthful, even-toned skin. To back up this idea, a study done on 903 adults under the age of 55 found that after four and a half years, those assigned to slather on sunscreen at least once a day saw 24% less skin aging compared to those who do not. So, be sure to lather up!
- Hyperpigmentation protection: While people with darker skin tones are more susceptible to hyperpigmentation, especially with excess sun exposure, everyone is potentially at risk. To clarify what hyperpigmentation is, hyperpigmentation is when your skin is darkened in “patches” due to the overproduction of melanin, which forms the dark spot on the skin. Consistent application and reapplication of sunscreen will help to prevent hyperpigmentation, discoloration, and dark spots from sun damage, which will assist in smoother and a hyperpigmentation-free skin tone.
- Ultra Violet Protection: As much as we wish it was not, the ozone layer is depleting. The ozone essentially acts as an extra layer of protection from UV rays by absorbing the harmful UV rays before they reach us. The depletion of the ozone layer means we are at an increased risk of suffering from sunburns or other lasting sun damage due to harmful UV rays. This is why sunscreen is so important. The sun rays we experience are harsher and more dangerous than what our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents experienced. Sunscreen effectively blocks these harmful UV rays from damaging our skin.
- Sunscreen prevents inflammation of the skin: UV radiation damages the DNA of immune-protecting cells, leading to inflammation and free radical damage to the skin and within the body. Immune suppression decreases our body’s ability for these cells to protect us from skin cancers and other illnesses. The immune system plays a vital role in maintaining the health of all the tissues of the body, so healthy skin is vital to overall health!
- Sunscreen prevents inflammation and sun sensitivity: If you suffer from lupus, rosacea, or any other condition that makes you sun-sensitive, sunscreen is incredibly helpful in preventing further irritation or discomfort. Exposing yourself to harmful UV rays can lead to increased sensitivity, redness, and burning. On the other hand, direct UV radiation causes damage to the core of immune-protecting cells. The immune system is crucial in sustaining the strength of the tissues throughout the body, meaning healthy skin is vital (we can not stress this enough!) to health. With UV rays damaging our immune-protecting cells, it negatively impacts our body’s capacity to protect us.
Now that you have the information, you need to find the right sunscreen! Read on for our three sunscreen suggestions from three of our favorite brands.
SkinCeuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50
Skinceuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense is a light feeling sunscreen with a sheer finish, so you don’t have to fret about the dreaded gray cast other sunscreens leave you with. It contains a blend of, “titanium dioxide and zinc oxide (Z-Cote®*) enhanced with artemia salina (a plankton extract).”
It protects your skin against harmful UV rays and heat stress. To use, apply to the skin 15 minutes before sun exposure and be sure to reapply every two hours, but every 40 minutes after swimming, sweating, and/or towel-drying.
Purchase your SkinCeuticals sunscreen here.
SkinMedica’s Total Defense + Repair SPF 34 (Tinted)
SkinMedica’s Total Defense + Repair is your skin’s line of defense against harmful sun exposure while simultaneously helping to rejuvenate photodamaged skin. It is the only sunscreen with patented SOL-IR technology against infrared rays, which dives deeper into the skin while helping to reduce and correct signs of aging. With consistent use, you will see this sunscreen improves the appearance of wrinkles and photodamaged skin. Let’s recap the benefits:
- Tinted formula with easy absorption and silky smooth application – no white residue!
- Protection from skin-damaging effects of UVA + UVB + Infrared-A.
- Helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles, photodamaged skin, while improving skin elasticity
- Contains a potent blend of antioxidants to brighten, improve skin texture and skin tone evenness.
Place your order for Total Defense here.
Obagi’s Sun Shield Matte Broad Spectrum SPF 50
Our final sunscreen suggestion is Obagi’s Sun Shield Matte Broad Spectrum SPF 50. It is Obagi’s strongest sunscreen lotion that provides protection against harmful UVA/UVB sun rays which will lead to issues such as skin cancer, sun spots, premature aging, fine lines, and wrinkles.
This product is good for all skin types and skin tones, and as an extra bonus, when applied it is sheer, matte finish so there is no need to worry about extra shine or oil. When used with other products in the Obagi Nu-Derm System, the Sun Shield can actually assist in reducing the appearance of dark spots, age spots, and uneven skin tone.
Place your order for Obagi’s Sun Shield here.
Final Sunscreen Recommendations
We generally recommend a broadband sunscreen with an SPF no less than 30. Our baseline recommendation is that sunscreen should be reapplied at a minimum every two hours, but this depends on your sunscreen. Every sunscreen will have specific time guidelines for you to follow.
It is also important to note that sunscreen should be applied and reapplied regardless of whether you are indoors or out! Summer is here. Enjoy your time in the sun, while protecting yourself!