While a little sun may not be harmful from time to time, excessive sun exposure can be dangerous, but do you know why? Take a look at these top seven reasons to make a habit of including sunscreen in your everyday routine.
1. Lowers skin cancer risks:
According to the FCPP, skin cancer is one of the top cancers in the United States, divided into two categories – melanoma and non-melanoma. While most skin cancers are curable, melanoma is the worst and can be life threatening.
2. Sun damage is cumulative:
You cannot build up a safe tan, and every exposure can contribute to possible damage. It is estimated that only 23 percent of sun damage occurs by the age of 18, and 47 percent occurs between 19-40. It is also important to remember that the sun’s rays are still strong even when it isn’t sunny. While we covet a beautiful bronzy glow, this can be achieved through other options such as a spray tan, self-tanner, and tinted lotions. Nowadays there are many options, where you can achieve an instant tan, or build up a tan over time.
3. Most visible signs of aging come from years of sun damage:
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, it is estimated that 90 percent (**) of skin aging comes from sun exposure. Wearing sunscreen daily can save your skin from years of aging down the line, especially on areas consistently exposed such as the face, neck, chest, and hands.
4. Prevents uneven skin tone, skin irritations, and blotchiness:
Applying sunscreen on your face helps to prevent melasma, hyperpigmentation, redness, and even acne. However, it is important to choose the right kind of sunscreen that won’t further irritate these conditions. Studies have shown that mineral sunscreens (aka “physical sunscreens”) have the best success in prevention, especially if the top ingredient is zinc oxide. Sunscreens higher in synthetic ingredients can cause melasma and other spots to become darker. Zinc offers the best protections as it sits on the surface of the skin and reflects light, as opposed to synthetic ingredients, which absorb the UV rays within the skin and temporarily trap heat. Heat within the skin can cause inflammation. It is important to check the ingredients on the sunscreen you buy even if it says ‘mineral’ or ‘natural’, because the ingredients can still allow synthetic blockers. Applying topical antioxidants along with physical sunscreens can also help repair pigmentation disorders.
5. Damage can occur with certain medications
There are many medications that cause serious sun sensitivity. These can include Acne medications (retin-a, salicylic acid, and benzoyl peroxide) and antibiotics (tetracyclines and fluoriqinolones). Some are surprised to learn that allergy medications can also cause photosensitivity (look for the ingredient diphenydramine found in Benadryl), as well as overheating. Additional medications to be aware of are antidepressants, NSAIDs, topical medications, and certain vitamins and herbs, such as St. John’s Wort and Niacin (Vitamin B3). Be sure to check all medications with your pharmacist.
6. Enhances skin health and appearance longterm:
Sunscreen has the ability to protect the essential skin proteins, collagen, elastin, and keratin, which are affected by elements and time, and responsible for keeping the skin youthful. When exposed to sun and other elements, the skin suffers and photoaging occurs. Early signs include taut lips that lose fullness, definition and color, pigmentation (freckles and age spots), deeper wrinkles around the eyes and mouth, and a rough and/or leathery texture.
In a study published by Dermatologic Surgery, 100 percent of the 32 participants using sunscreen daily over 52 weeks showed significant improvement in the skin’s overall appearance. Once protected from sun damage, the skin was able to regenerate itself by producing new collagen. Collagen promotes skin elasticity, can reverse signs of skin aging, and has other significant health benefits.
7. Can easily fit in your daily routine.
Long gone are the days where sunscreen turned you instantly into a greasy ghost with streaks on your face. Sunscreen can be found in everyday products such as moisturizer, foundation, and pressed and loose powder. With advanced technology, certain sunscreens have hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, which hold up to 1000 times its weight in water, and is excellent for arid climates and dry skin conditions. There are many ways to include sunscreen in your daily routine, and many options that reach a multitude of budgets and skincare concerns. However, if you prefer to use sunscreen separately, you can add a layer after moisturizer and before makeup, or after using primer and before makeup. To ensure your makeup goes on smoothly, it is best to use a sunscreen designed for the face.
Contact me at 720.236.7541 to stock up on sunscreen, and/or to ask any questions you may have. I offer treatments to help reverse sun damage and pigmentation issues such as melasma, and would love to get you on my books!