Yes, yes – summer is now coming to a close, however this doesn’t mean that you should put away the sunscreen just yet! Even if the days get slightly less hot and sunny, sun protection should be a must all year round.
The Importance of Sunscreen
Wearing sunscreen is one of the best ways to protect our skin’s appearance and against ultraviolet (UV) light. If used regularly, sunscreen can protect us from skin cancer and premature aging. Do you want to keep your skin looking young and wrinkle-free? This article is for you! Here’s how sunscreen works.
SPF? UVA? UVB?
SPF stands for sun protection factor, representing the ability to protect against a specific amount of UV light known as UVB. UVB rays are responsible for causing sunburns and skin cancer. There are also UVA and UVC rays. UVC rays don’t make it past the earth’s atmosphere, but UVA rays are also responsible for skin cancer and skin aging. A broad-spectrum SPF sunscreen will protect against both rays. The general rule of thumb: 30 SPF and higher will do the job!
It’s also important to mention that there is no safe way to tan. Unfortunately, every time you tan, you are damaging your skin. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, consistently tanning speeds up the aging process of the skin and increases your risk for all types of skin cancer.
Sunscreen and sunblock
Minerals in some sunblocks (such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide) do exactly that- reflect or “block” the harmful rays from penetrating our skin barrier. Whereas chemical sunscreen absorbs into the skin, catalyzing into a chemical reaction that converts the rays into heat or non-damaging wavelengths of light.
Who should wear sunscreen?
Everyone!! We all should protect our skin from overexposure to harmful rays to prevent cancer. Anyone at any age can get skin cancer, in fact, it is estimated that 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. It’s never too late to start wearing it!
Bottom line– wearing sunscreen is something everyone should get into the habit of doing. Especially during the hot summer days when the sun is vicious. However, year-round the harmful rays can cause damage to our skin. Your skin’s health and appearance will thank you for making it a habit!
Written by GUADs summer intern Carla with contribution from Pubmed.