Most people find themselves questioning if sunscreen is necessary for the colder months. If you’re anything like I used to be, you wrongfully question if it’s even that necessary in the summer!
The answer — yes and yes.
Sunscreen is an essential part of your daily routine. However, people often think it’s only important in the summer. In the summer, the sun shines and we want to protect ourselves from harmful UVB and UVA rays that can damage our skin. Nevertheless, the sun still shines in the winter months — this is something we tend to forget!
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, you must wear sunscreen “every day if you will be outside. The sun emits harmful UV rays year-round. Even on cloudy days, up to 80 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays can penetrate your skin.”
But why is sunscreen so important?
It Protects From Harmful UV Rays
“Ultraviolet rays that are the cause of sun damage and skin cancer are always present,” explains Dr. Shilesh Iyer, a dermatologist from the New York Dermatology Group. “They are independent of cold or hot weather and are not blocked by clouds. On overcast days, only visible rays (but not UVB rays) from the sun are blocked. The best way to protect the skin is with sun protection.”
Prevents Premature Aging
Who doesn’t want young-looking skin forever? Or at least as long as possible. While sunscreen is not a loophole for aging skin, it does prevent early onset signs of aging. It was revealed, in an ACP study, that daily SPF use significantly slows skin aging, even in middle-aged adults.
Lowers Skin Cancer Risks
The most important reason of all, sunscreen use can lower skin cancer risks. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “regular daily use of SPF 15 sunscreen can reduce your risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) by about 40 percent, and lower your melanoma risk by 50 percent.” Sunscreen can help us protect our skin and our lives.
Not only are sunburns extremely painful, but they’re also severely damaging to your skin. Sunburns increase the risk of skin cancer, damage skin cells, affect your immune system and can cause dehydration, heatstroke and possible infection, according to the World Health Organization. How to avoid a sunburn is simple — sunscreen!
Keeps Your Skin Looking Healthy
Studies led by dermatologists Steven Wang and James Leyden revealed that through daily application of SPF, participants saw improvements in sunspots, skin texture and skin clarity. Most of us crave smooth, clear and radiant skin, sunscreen might be our answer.
Above is just a glimpse into all the reasons sunscreen is so important. As you read, sunscreen must be incorporated into your daily routine. If you’re finally convinced and ready to start taking care of your skin, here are a few resources to get you started!
Dive further into why sunscreen is so important, here is a Ted-Ed lesson by pediatric radiologist Kevin P. Boyd.
If you want to learn about the different types of sunscreens, here is a video by famous Youtuber Dr. Mona Vand.
And if you absolutely hate wearing sunscreen, here are some recommendations from viral skincare guru Hyram.