We all know to apply sunscreen when we are at the beach or when we will be in direct sunlight for an extended period of time, but should we use it everyday? Could we apply it only in the summer months, or is it necessary all year round? Do people who produce more melanin really need to wear it?
Sunscreen can help protect our skin from the sun's harmful rays. Often, the immediate danger of the sun is shown by means of tanning and sunburn. But that is not the only danger.
The most harmful damage can take time to show up on the skin. Skin cells can be damaged over an extended period of time causing hyperpigmentation (over production of pigment), hypopigmentation (lack of pigment), fine lines, wrinkles and skin cancer.
We may kid ourselves into thinking we are not out in the sun much on a daily basis. But even when driving in a car, we are exposed to dangerous Ultraviolet A (UVA) and Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays through the windshield. In fact, UVA rays can come through clouds and windows and are even stronger through glass. A simple way to protect your skin from these harmful rays is by applying sunscreen daily.
The season does not determine if UV rays will affect the skin. Whether the temperature is hot or cold, UV rays are still harmful. Also, UVB exposure is doubled when reflected by snow or ice.
The serious risks associated with UV rays are also not dependent on color. More melanin does help protect skin. However, it does not make a person immune to sunburn, premature aging and skin cancer. Therefore, everyone, regardless of ethnicity and melanin production, should wear sunscreen.
Do we need to be paranoid about the sun? No. The sun has its benefits and is helpful in moderation. However, that does not mean that we should be negligent either. Sunscreen is an easy precaution to take to protect our skin from avoidable damage. Why not add it to you skin care routine today?
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Make sure your sun protection is Broad Spectrum - protecting you from both UVA and UVB rays.
A minimum of SPF 30 is recommended for your face and body and each product label has reapplication recommendations.
Be cautious with getting your SPF from makeup. Manufacturers vary on the amount of product that is needed to receive the SPF amount featured on the bottle. Check to make sure the amount needed is the amount you regularly apply to the skin.