Sunscreen is More Essential Than You Might Think

Sunscreen is More Essential Than You Might Think


Dermatologists and scientists say to reapply sunscreen every two hours everyday. Here, we explain why sunscreen is the best method to future-proofing your skin

At this point, most people should be aware that sunscreen should be a daily staple in our lives. Besides all the dermatologists, scientists, and influencers that endorse sunscreen products online, a song from the 90s famously advised people to wear sunscreen as well. But while most can say that sunscreen is important, fewer people can say exactly how it protects our skin, why it’s needed, and what it can do for us long-term.

To save you the trouble of researching this topic yourself, we’ve compiled a quick and simple rundown of everything you need to know about sunscreen, as well as what products would work best.

Sunscreen of Lancaster Beauty
Photo Credit: @lancaster_beauty (via Instagram)

The first thing you should know is that SPF is short for “sun protection factor,” and what this protects us from is ultraviolet radiation. In particular, what we need protection from are UVA and UVB rays. Both can cause skin cancer after long periods of exposure, but UVB rays are more carcinogenic than UVA ones. To further differentiate between the two, remember that UVB rays cause your skin to burn, while UVA rays cause your skin to prematurely age in the long term.

But what do the numbers beside SPF mean? One study shows that SPF 15 correlates with 93.3% of UVB absorption, whereas SPF 30 correlates with 96.7%, SPF 45 correlates with 97.8%, and SPF 50 correlates with 98%. So, a higher SPF means a higher capacity to absorb UVB rays, and more UVB rays absorbed into the sunscreen means more UVB rays are blocked from burning your skin.

RELATED: 3 Summer Skincare Tips For Dry and Damaged Skin 

Don’t just stop at SPF 50 either because studies have proven that SPF 100 and SPF 85 are significantly more protective. That being said, the active ingredients on any sunscreen can only protect your skin for up to two hours, that’s why reapplication is vital for day-long protection. This timeline also shortens when water and sweat factor in. It’s important to remember that no sunscreen can completely prevent skin damage from the sun, and that your lips need adequate sun protection, too.

Sunscreen of ANESSA
Photo Credit: @anessa_official_philippines (via Instagram)

Noticeably, standard sunscreens target UVB rays more, so it’s important to look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen that is made to absorb UVA rays as well. SPF products that protect your skin from UVA rays are the truest form of “future-proofing” since these rays can visibly age you. Some broad-spectrum products to look into include ones from La Roche-Posay, Lancaster Beauty, ANESSA, and Sun Bum. Keep an eye out for ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide as these help to target UVA rays.

All in all, remember to apply SPF all over your face, body, and lips everyday to significantly reduce your risk of skin cancer and visible signs of aging. Even if you’re not opposed to the wrinkles and hyperpigmentation that UVA rays cause down the line, these rays are still carcinogenic, make up 90% to 95% of ambient sunlight, and are unhampered by windows, unlike UVB rays. So, if you haven’t started yet, add broad-spectrum high-SPF products to your daily routines soon.

Featured Image from LANCASTER BEAUTY (via Instagram)

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