Sunscreen is one of those vital elements of skincare that need to be dealt with to ensure that needs all the attention that it can get. Tanning and other habits have gotten people to shun this element of skincare more than they should and that does no one any favors in the long run. We all need to be using sunscreen regardless of age or any other bit of demographic information. The sun hurts our skin no matter its tone and age. How it does this is a combination of both direct and indirect actions that work to undermine your skin’s health. A good sunscreen helps to minimize this problem. The compounds in them either absorb or reflect the the sun ray’s as appropriate to help reduce their impact. Telling you that the sun will do poorly by your skin doesn’t really tell you exactly why you should be wearing sunscreen and instead just tells you that you should. Let’s go into a little more detail so that you have a slightly greater appreciation for sunscreen in the future.
The Sun’s Pains
When you’re exposed to sunlight, you’re being constantly bombarded by UV rays. This is the actual problem compared to the light itself. UVA and UVB rays ride along with the rest of the light and end up hitting your skin. There are the culprits actually responsible for the problems overexposure causes for our skin. UVB is the one that most of us are familiar with from days on the beach. It is primarily associated with skin reddening and causing sunburn. It tends to be comparatively superficial it how it affects the skin overall. UVA rays are the ones that end up causing truly lasting problems. They penetrate deep into the skin and release free radical into the body at the same time that they can lead to localized damage of cells. This damage likely plays a direct role in the long term development of skin cancers. The free radicals released into the skin in turn contribute to premature aging and other cosmetic issues by reducing the effectiveness of your skin’s healing and damage cells as well.
Picking The Right Sunscreen
Now that you know why it is so important to remember your sunscreen, we need to discuss how to properly pick one. The first part of this involves making sure you find a sunscreen with broad spectrum protection. This was a lot harder for a long time before a regulation made sunscreen companies honestly label their products with their actual abilities to protect the skin. Broad spectrum sunscreens will target UVA, UVB, and sometimes a little more for blocking from reaching the skin. The next step is figuring out the exact rating of SPF that you’ll want. You should generally be using SPF 30 when you’re younger with some allowances made for people who are particularly pale. They might wish to go up to as much as SPF 50. You’ll want to slowly escalate every decade or so to keep up with thinning skin and other factors though. Most of the sunscreens you’ll be dealing with are chemical blockers that absorb the UV rays rather than reflect them. These are fine, but the best results will come from finding a product with a physical blocker such as zinc oxide that actually reflects the UV rays away from the skin.
When To Use Sunscreen
You need to be using sunscreen all the time. There’s no way around this and it isn’t negotiable based on skin tone or anything else. Yes, some skin tones are slightly more resistant to the effects of UV rays, but at the same time they’re not immune to the more lasting damage that exposure can cause of time. Sunscreen is required to properly protect your skin at every age, in every season, and everywhere. It is that important to helping to preserve your skin’s health. We tend to slip up because there is no immediate payoff to this kind of dedication. That’s because the real results only start to show up in our late 30s and onward when our skin begins to show signs of wear from our life. Protecting it with sunscreen properly delays and minimizes these signs in such a way that we can age gracefully when we might not have otherwise. Stick with your sunscreen. You need it if you’re going to be outside all day or near a window with a clear view of the open sky. Remembering to protect your skin will pay off in the long run, but you have to protect it over the intervening years to actually see results.
Sunscreen is a vital component of skincare that people often neglect. No, tanning is not good for you. Yes, a little exposure to generate vitamin D can be good, but you want to use sunscreen to minimize any harm done. Sunscreen is your best long term anti-aging tool and deserves to be respected as such. It is never too late to start working against further sun damage. Remember this if you ever feel like your skin is too far gone to care.