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Why Should We Use Sunscreen Everyday?

By Haya Harris


Sunscreen, also known as sun cream, sunblock, or suntan lotion, is a topical product that absorbs or reflects some of the sun's ultraviolet radiation and thus helps protect against sunburns. Diligent use of sunscreen can also help slow or temporarily prevent the development of wrinkles, dark spots, and sagging skin. Almost all know the importance of wearing sunscreen in the summer months to avoid sunburn and skin damage, but it should be a year-round preventive health measure. People should always wear sunscreen, no matter their skin color or tone. Sunscreen dates back to ancient Egypt where rice bran extract and jasmine were used to help shield one’s skin from the sun. Chemists invented the first commercial sunscreen in 1936, and it has been improved upon ever since. Modern sunscreens are water-resistant and are included in many cosmetics and beauty products, such as primers, foundations, serums, and creams.


Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is a number that represents how long the sun’s UVB rays would take to redden one’s skin if the sunscreen is applied exactly as directed compared with the amount of time without sunscreen. For example, if one uses an SPF 30 product properly, it would take 30 times longer to burn than if no sunscreen was used [2].


ADVANTAGES OF USING SUNSCREEN EVERYDAY

  1. It protects skin from UV rays: The depletion of the ozone layer has increased risks of sun damage to skin due to harmful UV rays. Sunscreen blocks these rays, greatly reducing the likelihood of sunburn. Look for products from Goddess Garden with an SPF of at least 15 (some doctors recommend nothing below 30), and use them every day. For full-body coverage, a person should apply about an ounce [4].

  2. It lowers skin cancer risk: Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 71,943 people were diagnosed with melanomas of the skin in 2013, and 9,394 of these cases were fatal. By applying sunscreen each day, one can cut the risk of contracting skin cancers in half.

  3. It prevents premature aging of the skin: Sun damage from UV rays causes photoaging of the skin, which is characterized by a thick, leathery look; discoloration and a breakdown of collagen, which contributes to lines, sagging, and wrinkles. Studies show that those below age 55 who apply sunscreen regularly have a 24 percent less chance of developing these signs of aging than those who don’t apply sunscreen regularly [3].

  4. It helps maintain an even skin tone: Sunscreen helps prevent discoloration and dark spots from sun damage, helping one maintain a smoother and more even skin tone [1].


It is all about finding the right sunscreen products for your skin and routine.

Applying sunscreen daily may seem like an unnecessary step to add to your skincare regimen; however, it is crucial that you maintain the health of your skin for greater health benefits.


References

  1. Preventing Melanoma: Can Melanoma Be Prevented? American Cancer Society. (n.d.). https://www.cancer.org/cancer/melanoma-skin-cancer/causes-risks-prevention/prevention.html.

  2. Skin Protection from Sun Damage. Cleveland Clinic. (n.d.). https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/5240-sun-damage-protecting-yourself.

  3. Sun Protection. The Skin Cancer Foundation. (2020, June 19). https://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-prevention/sun-protection/.

  4. Sunburn. The Skin Cancer Foundation. (2020, August 12). https://www.skincancer.org/risk-factors/sunburn/.

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