Adulting 101: Wear Sunscreen
When we were kids, at the whim of our parents’ better judgement, we were told to wear sunscreen every day. It was part of the routine. As we grew up, however, many of us left behind the advice of our elders and stopped protecting our skin on the regular. Big mistake.
You really should wear sunscreen.
It should come as no surprise that applying sunscreen drastically reduces the risk of sun damage and skin cancer. It’s easy to remember when you’re at the beach and looking to catch some rays, to slather up your exposed areas and ready yourself for a day in the sun. But the truth is you’re exposed to the sun’s harmful rays all day long, rain or shine, beach or elsewhere.
What’s up with these harmful UV rays? The sunlight that reaches us is comprised of two types of harmful rays: long wave ultraviolet A (UVA) and short wave ultraviolet B (UVB). UVB rays are the main cause of sunburn, while UVA rays penetrate deep into the dermis (the skin’s thickest layer).
What about SPF? Sun protection factor (SPF) is the level of protection the sunscreen provides against UVB rays. A higher SPF number means more UVB protection (although it says nothing about UVA protection). Look for sunscreens with broad spectrum protection (against both UVA and UVB rays) and with SPF values of 30 or higher.
Those with a robust skincare regiment wear sunscreen every day as it’s incorporated into many face moisturizers. According to a new study, “The face is the most common place on the body for skin cancers to form—but people tend to miss spots on their face when they apply sunscreen.” Specifically, the area on or around the eyelids. So apply wisely.
But just when you thought bathing in sunscreen was the answer, many skincare pros now say you should perhaps limit your use of sunscreen. Overusing sunscreen can clog your pores and also restrict your intake of Vitamin D. And we need Vitamin D. Like obviously do it when you’re in direct sunlight during peak hours, but if you’re spending your day at the office, outside for 5 minutes of your lunch break, maybe you want to soak up some sun when you can.
That’s confusing. So what do I do? Sharing their tips with The Coveteur, a handful of skincare experts “recommend a mix of sunscreen, antioxidants and minerals to allow for Vitamin D absorption—and therefore great skin.”