Sunscreen, sunblock, suntan lotion, sun cream — all words used for the same product. A product that you should be using all day, every day.
Sunscreen is the key to preventing premature aging, it also helps with the prevention of skin cancer. So whether you want to look younger or you don’t want to develop skin cancer or both – sunscreen is the answer.
Even if you are a skin cancer denier “oh that can never happen to me”. Or you say to yourself (or out loud) these common phrases:
- “I want to look young.”
- “I don’t want to look old.”
- “I want perfectly even skin.”
- “I don’t want any lines.”
- “I hate my freckles.”
Sunscreen can prevent that from happening!
Here's what I want you to know about sunscreen
There are 2 kinds of sun rays – UVA and UVB. The “A” and “B” are lightwave measurements, the UV stands for UltraViolet and for ease of understanding let’s pretend A stands for “Aging” and B stands for “Burning”.
Does not necessarily cause redness or pain but does cause DNA damage and increases the risk of skin cancer. These rays are the ones that get ya even through glass windows.
Causes the skin to tan and burn which creates wrinkles, moles and sagging skin and also contributes to skin cancer.
It’s important to always wear a broad spectrum sunscreen to protect yourself from both. It’s kinda like using deodorant versus antiperspirant. One stops the sweat, the other stops you from being smelly.
Sunscreen is also something that you need to reapply. To get real and continuous protection you must reapply because sunscreen only works for about 2 hours. I feel this rule is very important IF you are going to be outside for an extended period of time, like camping, a run longer than a 5K, swimming, skiing, being at the beach, an all-day hike, if you are on the water, etc.
You need to reapply since sunscreen is only guaranteed to work for a limited amount of time and then you will be susceptible to the damage caused by the suns rays.
We didn’t know a lot about this stuff pre-80s/90s. Most of our parents and grandparents used Baby Oil and a silver reflector to get a “healthy” tan. And when the sunspots started showing up on their faces, hands, arms, and chest, they called them liver spots assuming they were having an issue with their liver. WRONG. It was from all the sun exposure without protection.
Now if you are just walking from house to car to work and only seeing the sun from a window, you still need sunscreen you just don’t need to be crazy about it. But you still need to wear it. Even if it is gray and raining out. Even if it’s snowing, the daylight bouncing off that whiteness can definitely still cause sun damage.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget the tops of your ears and the backs of your hands.
In future classes about Sunscreen, I will go further in depth with the ingredients, some of the myths associated with the using or not using SPF as well as the proper application of sunscreen.
In the meantime, apply SPF 15 for daily use, and for longer exposure SPF 30 is perfect. Be sure to reapply every 2 hours for maximum protection.
As an added bonus, here is an NPR story by Leo Duran. It is a perfectly crafted overview of the importance of sunscreen.
I love it so much, I actually emailed Leo and asked him to create a link for me so I can share it with all of you! The story starts at minute 35:34 (It’s only about 4 ½ minutes long.)
Leave a comment below or email me with your questions.
Be kind to your skin (by applying sunscreen!).