People assume, wrongly of course that sunscreen should only be applied on a sunny day. In fact if you only apply it during that time and not all year round then you are doing serious damage to your skin. With other skin care regimes you may be forgiven for skipping or even neglecting. However when it comes to sunscreen, it is not an option, it is a must. Below we look at its importance and the consequences of its neglect.
Skin cancer and premature ageing
The number one cause of skin cancer and premature aging of the skin is the sun. The harmful UVA and UVB rays of the sun penetrate deep into the skin and damage connective tissues and cells. This creates wrinkles, causes the skin to sag and makes the skin appear leathery. Therefore, in order to avoid these you must at all times wear sunscreen.
How long or how often should I wear sunscreen?
It is recommended that you wear sunscreen daily – even on cloudy days. However if you are out in the sun a lot then it is important to apply a generous amount every 2 hours. Furthermore, if you are on a beach then make sure to get one that is water resistant. In terms of the SPF (sun protection factor); the higher the number the more protection it will give. If you easily get sunburn then it is recommended that you go for a higher SPF factor.
Does my sunscreen have a best before date?
Most dermatologists agree on the notion that a sunscreen will retain its original strength for at least a year. Anything longer than that must not be worn and should be thrown away.
Ways to help yourself
Go for products that have sunscreen protection when purchasing say moisturisers or eye creams. However, make sure you avoid sunscreens with toxic ingredients. They will do more damage than help to the skin. On sunny days, make sure you wear a hat and sunglasses. Avoid tanning beds. Trust me you don’t want to exchange an orange skin tone for wrinkles, or even worse skin cancer. But mostly obviously don’t over expose yourself to the sun.
As much as it is important to wear sunscreen you also need vitamin D. This can be provided by being out in the sun. So how do you balance this? Well, you don’t need to be out in the sun for hours on end to get your vitamin D. 15 to 20 minutes is more than enough. If on the other hand you are concerned about your vitamin D intake, then there’s always an option where you can take vitamin D supplements. Furthermore, make sure you drink natural orange juice and eat lots of dairy products.