You know it’s amazing how many people (read: friends and family) I have spoken to who ask me the same question: Why wear sunscreen in winter or when we are at home? Well, the short answer is because YOU NEED TO. But that doesn’t answer the ‘why.’ So I thought, I’ll summarize the need to wear sunscreen in this blog post and put this debate to rest once and for all.
The basic reason for using sunscreen is to avoid sunburn but it’s not just that. There are some health benefits of applying sunscreen daily too. Ultraviolet rays or the harmful cancer-causing rays from the sun can reach the earth’s surface even on days when you don’t actually see the sun or are planning to stay indoors. A good sunscreen will provide you protection from these rays.
Before we dive into the important reasons to use sunscreen, let me tell you what sunscreen is. The role of sunscreen is to basically protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays by blocking the UV-A and UV-B rays through a combination of physical and chemical particles. These rays can reach you through glass windows even when you are indoors or in your car.
Here are 5 reasons why you should wear sunscreen every day –
Protects skin against skin cancer
Sun’s UV radiations are responsible for causing skin cancers like basal cell, squamous, and melanoma. Sunscreens provide protection against these rays by making them bounce off your skin.
Prevent premature aging
DYK sun’s rays can cause premature aging? UV rays can lead to the breakdown of collagen and make your skin lose its elasticity. This results in premature fine lines, wrinkles, and loose skin. Using sunscreen regularly can help you combat these issues.
No one likes the painful, peeling skin or redness that comes from prolonged sun exposure. Sunscreen protects your skin from sunburn. In fact, people with sensitive skin can avoid issues like rosacea, lupus, etc. with regular use of sunscreen.
Get rid of hyperpigmentation
Hyperpigmentation is again a skin condition that’s caused due to prolonged sun exposure (amongst other reasons.) Hyperpigmentation occurs when your skin gets dark in patches due to excess production of melanin caused by sun exposure. Sunscreen prevents your skin from being directly exposed to the sun and hence, regulates the production of melanin.
Sometimes certain medications or other products can cause your skin to become sensitive to the sun. It’s times like these when sunscreen can be a real savior, preventing your skin from sun damage as well as keeping skin-related issues at bay.
Here are some of my favorite sunscreens you could try:
Now, let’s understand how to choose the right sunscreen:
- Check for a broad-spectrum sunscreen. This simply means that the sunscreen should provide protection from both UV-B as well as UV-A rays
- SPF or sun protection factor of minimum level 30 is recommended for everyday use. SPF 30 allows 3% UVB rays to reach your skin, SPF 50 allows only 2%. There are still concerns about using a higher SPF sunscreen but SPF 30 and SPF 50 are considered to be good
- Sunscreens need to be applied every 2 hours when you are exposing your skin to the sun so make sure you buy a sunscreen that you are comfortable wearing
- Wear sunscreen that’s water-resistant
Some common questions about wearing sunscreen:
- Who can wear sunscreen? Everyone. Whether you are a man or a woman, you must use sunscreen to protect your skin from sun damage. There are sunscreens that are specially formulated for kids as well.
- Where can I wear sunscreen? Apply sunscreen to your whole body in the morning every day. You should reapply the sunscreen to all your body parts that are exposed to the sun.
- How much sunscreen should you use? Apply 1/2 teaspoon of sunscreen to your face and neck. 1 teaspoon to each arm and leg.
Hope this post helps you understand the importance of wearing sunscreen every day. Make sunscreen a part of your daily skincare routine and you’ll notice a visible difference in how your skin feels.
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