According to studies by the University of Michigan and Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, daily sun exposure is not only limited to sunburn, but brings much more damage to the skin. Sunscreen is the best mode of protection against ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun. As per U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), sunscreen is considered an over-the-counter drug. Sun emits the harmful UVA and UVB rays which have the tendency to cause potential damage to the skin. This whole article summarizes the reasons why you should use a sunscreen?
Top 7 reasons why you should always wear a sunscreen
1. Prevents skin ageing
Sunscreens act as the strongest barrier for our face which helps to slow down the signs of ageing. Unprotected sun exposure is a significant cause of premature ageing of the face. A research study conducted in 2013 has also supported that use of sunscreen is beneficial to prevent skin ageing.
2. Reduces blotchiness on face
Exposure to sunlight accelerates the production of skin cells called melanocytes. These melanocyte cells generate melanin that is responsible for skin tanning. In some cases, sun rays cause an abnormal increase of melanocytes which results in darker patches on the skin and makes it appear blotchy. That’s why you should use sunscreen in order to prevent blotchiness and dark patches on the skin.
3. Prevents skin tanning
Using a sunscreen that has at least SPF (sun protection factor) 30 protects the skin against harmful ultraviolet rays. After knowing the benefits of wearing sunscreen, one should make it a daily habit.
4. Evens out complexion
Sunscreen shields you from UVA and UVB rays which ultimately results in uneven skin tone. It also prevents the red veins from coming on the surface of the skin.
5. Good for skin health
The application of sunscreen prevents the destruction of important skin proteins such as collagen, keratin, and elastin. All these proteins are important for maintaining skin integrity and elasticity. For instance, sunblock containing Aqua, Homosalate, Octocrylene, Octyl Salicylate, Avobenzone, and Potassium Cetyl Phosphate offers great benefits to the skin.
6. Protects from sunburn
A study published in ‘Annals of Epidemiology’ in August 2008 concluded that persistent episodes of sunburns may put you at a higher risk of lethal melanoma. Therefore, it is necessary to put sunscreen in order to keep yourself protected.
Who should you use sunscreen?
Sensitivity to the sun varies from person to person. For instance, people with fairer complexion get sun tanned and sunburn more quickly in comparison to those who have a dark complexion. Sun damage to the skin is primarily caused by accelerated activity and number of melanocytes cells, which make the pigment melanin. Melanin provides protection against skin damage by blocking the UV rays. This is the reason; people with darker skin are less likely to face sunburns. However, there is no case that people are completely safe from the sun; UV exposure can raise the risk of developing melanoma (the most prevalent form of skin cancer) without causing cancer. Hence to stay protected, one should use a sunscreen.
- Men, women, and children
- People with both fair and dark complexion
- People who live at higher altitude
- People who tan easily
- People who stay outdoor
- People who already have tans
- Sunbathers, gardeners, and skiers
Therefore, it is important for everyone to wear sunscreen to protect the skin from the harmful effects of UV rays.
Why do darker skin people need to wear sunscreen?
The benefits of wearing sunscreen for dark people have always been under doubt. No matter your skin type, UV rays damage the skin cells DNA after penetrating into the skin. This skin damage may lead to certain types of skin cancers. There is a misconception that people with darker complexion don’t require sunscreen. Surprisingly, dark-skinned people are more prone to hyperpigmentation; hence to prevent this skin condition it is important to wear sunscreen.
Why should you use sunscreen on a cloudy day?
Clouds are only able to refine sunlight but not UV rays. The Skin Cancer Foundation states that only blocks 20% of UV rays, so there are 80% chances to get affected by the adverse effects of UV rays. So, it is vital to be stay protected at all the time. This is the reason; you need to wear sunscreen even on a cloudy day. For adults, approximately one ounce of sunscreen is recommended to protect the exposed areas including face, ears, arms, and hands.
Common myths about sunscreen
1. Wearing sunscreen will prevent the body from absorbing vitamin D
There is no strong evidence that the application of sunscreen can cause Vitamin D deficiency. Our body makes vitamin D through exposure to UV rays, however, many skin experts and dermatologists believe that everyday five to thirty minutes sun exposure is sufficient to get vitamin D levels in the body. Moreover, even wearing sunscreen, small amounts of UV rays penetrate into your skin which are enough for the body. But to protect collagen and elastic degradation, you should use a sunscreen.
2. On a cloudy day, you don’t need to apply sunscreen
According to The Skin Cancer Foundation reports, approximately 80 percent of UV rays are able to penetrate clouds. Hence, it is crucial to wear sunscreen on a cloudy day. However, on cloudy days, sun rays don’t feel that intense which creates the misconception but in actual it leads to serious skin damage.
3. Applying sunscreen once a day is not a good idea
No sunscreen provides full-day protection and for the complete protection, it is important to reapply it. Reapplication of sun block prevents skin damage from UV rays. Therefore, you can’t ignore the benefits of wearing sunscreen after every two hours.
4. Black people don’t need sunscreen
Ultra Violet rays can damage the skin of all types. It is a false fact that darker people including African- Asians, Hispanics, Americans, Native Americans, and Pacific Islanders don’t get skin cancer. Usually, dark-skinned people are diagnosed with cancer of a more advanced stage which is more difficult to treat.
5. You don’t need sunscreen if you are staying indoor
It is the biggest myth that if you stay indoors, you don’t need to apply a sunscreen. American Cancer Society and the Skin Care Foundation have made shocking revelations that window glass of houses, car, and co-corporate buildings only prevent the penetration of UVB rays but are permeable to UVA rays which result in wrinkles, sun spots or any other damage to the skin. In addition, fluorescent lighting also emits small amounts of UV rays which can damage your skin. Therefore, whether you stay outdoor or indoor, slathering sunscreen is crucial in both cases.
The bottom line is regardless of your skin color or texture or how long you stay outdoor, sunscreen should be an important step in an everyday skincare routine. It is needed to prevent your skin from potential damage from sun rays. Before buying a sunscreen, read the list of ingredients to ensure that it offers protection from both UVA and UVB rays. It is highly recommended to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that meets the highest standard for safety and effectiveness.