Come summer and we all rush to the nearest cosmetic or medical store to grab that bottle of sunscreen lotion, don’t we? However, applying sunscreen should never be restricted to summer alone. Summer or winter, monsoon or spring, the need for shielding your skin from the harsh rays of the sun is essential. And, sunscreen does that job for you.
Why You Should Wear Sunscreen?
Let us have a look at the top 11 interesting reasons on why you should wear sunscreen throughout the year:
1. Shields From Harmful UV Rays:
The continuously depleting ozone layer has put us at a higher risk of getting affected from the harmful rays of the sun. While you do need the sun for your daily dose of Vitamin D, it does not imply that you should put your health at risk! Applying sunscreen actually blocks these harmful rays from penetrating the skin and triggering skin disorders.
2. Prevents Premature Aging:
All of us love to have younger looking, radiant, and healthy skin. And, this is one of the most convincing reasons to start using sunscreen. It shields your skin from developing signs of aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines. Studies reveal that people below the age of 55 who used sunscreen had 24% lesser chances of developing these aging signs than non-sunscreen and occasional sunscreen users.
3. Lowers Skin Cancer Risks:
While I started using sunscreen mainly for beauty reasons, this health benefit came as an advantage. Wear your sunscreen daily and over the days and months to shield your skin from the risk of various types of skin cancer, especially, melanoma. This is the worst type of skin cancers, which can be life threatening for women, particularly those who are in their 20s.
4. Lowers Blotchiness on Face:
Apply sunscreen liberally on your face to prevent the onset of that irritating blotchiness and eruptions of red veins. This is also essential to prevent the onset of acne and other sun rays- induced damages.
5. Prevents Sunburns:
Sunburns weaken your skin, subjecting it more to bruises. Your skin may suffer repeated attacks of peeling, swelling, redness, hives, and itching. And, this comes from the influence of UVB rays. The blisters can escalate the risk of skin cancer. A study published in ‘Annals of Epidemiology’ in August 2008 suggested that recurring occurrences of sunburns could actually put you at a higher risk of lethal melanoma. So, apply sunscreen and stay safe.
6. Prevents Tanning:
Tan is healthy – this concept still persists. However, what you should be aware is that while you are sunbathing to tan, you are at the risk of being harmed by the harsh ultraviolet B rays. Choose a sunscreen that has a minimum of sun protection factor 30 to prevent tanning induced by UVB. And, make sure you reapply sunscreen every two hours, especially if you have a sensitive skin. Or, just after your exercise, as sweat could wash away the protective coating.
7. Enhances Health of the Skin:
The essential skin proteins, such as collagen, keratin, and elastin are protected by sunscreen. These proteins are required for keeping the skin smooth and healthy. Make sure your sun block has titanium oxide in it for endowing these benefits to the skin.
[ Read: Sunscreens For Dry Skin ]
8. A Good Cosmetic Option:
Now-a- days, you get sunscreens that also doubles up as a cream. Just apply it and leave on. I use a Lakme 9 to 5 sunscreen and nothing else when I go out in the sun. I look fresh and my skin rocks.
If you have a dry skin or sensitive skin, make sure you reapply a coating every now and then for better safety of your skin.
9. A Wide Assortment to Choose From at Inexpensive Rates:
There are countless variants of sunscreens available in the market today. Plus, they come at an affordable rate. There are countless sunscreen recipes online that you could prepare at home too, making them even more cost effective.
10. You May Not Have to Reapply After a Swim:
Most of the sunscreens or sun blocks available these days are waterproof. This enables you to enjoy yourself in the water, without burning yourself
11. Sunscreen Offers Better Protection Than a Full Sleeve Dress:
You cannot safeguard yourself from the sun by wearing a full-sleeve dress! Do you know that a cotton dress, particularly when damp, offers zero protection from the harmful rays of the sun? Just apply a generous amount of sunscreen under the dress as well.
How to Use Sunscreen?
How to use sunscreen everyday? There are a few factors that you need to keep in mind while picking up the sunscreen and using it everyday:
1. Always read the ingredient list and make sure your sunscreen contain the following:
- Titanium dioxide
- Octyl methoxycinnimate (OMC)
- Avobenzone (also parsol)
- Zinc oxide
2. Opt for a broad spectrum sunscreen lotion or gel that is non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic. Such sun creams will shield you from ultraviolet rays, both A and B, while safeguarding you from rashes, clogged pores, acne, and sun burns.
3. Choose a sunscreen that is waterproof and comes with a minimum SPF of 30.
4. Always apply sunscreen half an hour before you come into contact with the sun.
How Often to Use Sunscreens?
Sunscreens act as a shield against the harmful UV rays which penetrates every time your skin is exposed to the sun. It is therefore advisable to use sunscreen every day. You may not notice the benefits now, but the advantage of using sunscreen is felt in the long run. If you are out in the sun for a long time either working or enjoying a sunbath in the beach, it is better to reapply sunscreen after every two hours to protect your skin from sunburns.
There is no specific time to start using sunscreen. It is always better to be late than never. Enjoy the sun 365 days with a liberal dab of sunscreen.
Do you use sunscreen? Or what is the reason behind you not using sunscreen? If you are using, what prompted you to use sunscreen? Share with us in the comments section below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can we apply sunscreen after moisturizer?
Its always good to apply sunscreen after you are done with your skin care regime as using serums or moisturizers over your sunscreen will affect the amount of protection it provides.
Can I use sunscreen while pregnant?
It is important to wear sunscreen while you are pregnant. Use one with at least an SPF of 30. Also, not all sunscreens are safe. There are many chemical sunscreens whose constituents can enter your bloodstream and can affect your fetus. It can also cause skin irritations and allergic reactions. Instead, use a natural sunscreen.
How long does sunscreen last once applied?
It usually lasts up to two to three hours, depending on the SPF. Ideally, the sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before the skin is exposed to the skin. This allows the ingredients to bind to the skin properly. So, reapplying the sunscreen is as important as putting it on. Reapply it every two hours.
Does sunscreen over 30 SPF work?
Yes, sunscreens between SPF 30 and 50 work. However, there is only a tiny difference, SPF 30 protects against approximately 96% of UV rays whereas SPF 50 gives 98% protection from the sun. Therefore, a higher SPF does not necessarily mean greater protection.
What does the SPF number of sunscreen lotions mean?
The SPF refers to the ability of a sunscreen to block UVB rays that can cause sunburns, as well as UVA rays, that can cause deeper skin damage. The higher the SPF number, the higher the protection. But none provides 100% protection. The number shows the length of time your skin will be protected from burning, depending on your skin type. Check for the first sign of reddening in the sun without any protection (for eg., 3mins). Multiply that number by the SPF, that is, 50 * 3 (if the SPF is 50) = 150 minutes of sun protection.
Does expired sunscreen work?
All sunscreens have an expiration date mentioned on the bottle. The usual shelf life of a sunscreen is up to two to three years. However, you can still use it slightly over three years.
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