Despite the increasing acknowledgment of the necessity of sunscreens, you would be surprised to find that many people still regard sunscreen as an optional product in their daily routine. This is especially true for males, who mostly assumed that they do not need to use sunscreen as they cannot care less about becoming tan.
This misconception needs to go because sunscreens are not only meant to prevent sunburn or sun tan! They are essential protection for our skin’s health. Read on to find out the 5 main reasons why you really need to make it a habit to use a sunscreen, even on cloudy days and during winter seasons.
1. Skin cancer
While not a full-fledged prevention for skin cancer, some sunscreens help to reduce the risks of various types of skin cancers as they protect your skin from damages such as sunburn. Most importantly, check and make sure your sunscreen is capable of both UVA and UVB protection.
UVA rays account for a majority of earth’s UV radiation, which means that these are the rays we are most exposed to. The bad news is that UVA penetrates our skin even more deeply than UVB, causing premature aging of our skin as well as photoaging. It also causes tanning, which increases your risk of skin cancer. UVB is the main culprit behind skin cancer, and also contributes to tanning and photoaging. It damages your skin, causing your skin to redden when exposed to the sun.
2. Premature Aging
If you noticed your skin wrinkling and sagging earlier than expected, it may be because you’ve been skipping your sunscreen. The harmful sun rays cause photoaging, wrinkles and fine lines on our skin, and the religious use of sunscreen can actually prevent these from happening.
3. Uneven Skin Tone
Noticing freckles and sunspots appearing on your skin? Sunscreen can help to prevent them from appearing, and also reduce the chances of existing spots from darkening. In addition, if applied evenly and thoroughly, sunscreen can help you avoid the uneven skin tones.
4. Depleting Ozone Layers
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The ozone layer exists as a shield to prevent the harmful UVB rays from reaching the ground. However, in recent years, the ozone layer has been constantly depleting due to man’s activities. Without the protection of the ozone layer, the only way we can prevent and reduce the negative effects of UVB is through the usage of sunscreens.
5. Nasty Sunburns
Depending on your skin type, some people experience sunburn faster than others. The prolonged exposure to UV rays can result in sunburns that permanently damage the skin, increases the risk of skin cancer. Sunscreen is one of the most convenient ways to prevent this from happening!
Now that you understand the essentiality of sunscreens in our daily lives, it’s time to make a wise choice with regards to the sunscreen you’re going to use.
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, which measures the ability for a sunscreen to protect your skin against UVB. However, it is important ot note that no sunscreen is 100% effective at blocking out UV rays. To understand the effectiveness of sunscreen, you can think of SPF like a countdown timer because the protection provided by a sunscreen diminishes as time passes. There are two ways to access this.
Firstly, you need to know how long it takes for your skin to turn red under the sun. For example, if it takes your unprotected skin 20 minutes to turn red, a sunscreen with a SPF 15 will prevent the reddening of the skin 15 times longer. That means your skin will be under protection for up to 5 hours.
Another method is to view the effectiveness of sunscreens by percentage. SPF 15 filters out about 93% of harmful UVB rays, while SPF 30 filters about 97% and a high SPF 50 filters about 98%. These percentages make a huge difference if are light-sensitive.
Sunscreen requires reapplication
As you can see from the information above, one application of sunscreen is not possible to provide a full day’s worth of protection. Depending on the value of SPF you use, your reapplication time and frequency will differ. However, it is always advisable to reapply your sunscreen every two to three hours so that you can be assured that your skin is always under effective protection.
At least SPF 15
Your daily sunscreen should have at least an SPF 15 for effective protection against UVB. However, it is advisable to opt for a sunscreen that contains as much SPF as possible.
You need to remove sunscreen
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Even though the effectiveness of sunscreen diminishes according to its wear time, this does not mean that the sunscreen itself has disappeared on your skin. Sunscreen needs to be properly removed like you would with makeup. This is especially so if you diligently reapply sunscreen throughout the day. The residue of sunscreens can clog pores and possibly cause a break out if not removed appropriately. Wipe your skin with a toner or cleansing water, before proceeding to wash your face with a cleanser. If you use waterproof sunscreen, you’ll need to employ the help of an oil-based makeup remover.
With proper protection and care for our skin, we can prevent premature aging and other complicated skin problems. Many sunscreens now come in spray bottles or sticks for convenient applications (and reapplications), so you don’t have a reason to skip this essential step!
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