The Importance of Sunscreen in our Skincare Routine
The skin uses sunlight to produce vitamin D for the normal formation of bones in the body. However, there is a negative side to this. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer that is caused by overexposure to sunlight. The sun emits three ultraviolet radiations, UVA, UVB, UVC. The sunlight that reaches the earth consists of two types of rays: UVA and UVB. UVB rays are also known as the short wave and are responsible for causing skin concerns such as sunburn (B for Burn). UVA rays are known as long waves and are responsible for causing aging signs (A for aging) such as wrinkles in the skin. However, UVC is the most dangerous but the shortest UV ray. It is absorbed by the ozone layer and does not reach the surface of the earth.
What exactly is Sunscreen (SPF)
Sunscreens protect the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays. It is an effective product backed by science and research to protect the skin from UV rays.
The are two main types of Sunscreens: physical and chemical sunscreen. The distinguishing difference between these two is the active ingredients. Mineral sunscreens are also characterized by the presence of white cast on application. On the other hand, chemical sunscreens absorbs into the skin and then absorbs UV rays, converts the rays into heat, and releases them from the body. It really boils down to a matter of preference as both help to prevent damages that may be caused by the sun.
However, not many people realize the importance of using sunscreen. Regardless of age and gender, applying sunscreen should be a crucial part of everyone’s daily life. Sunscreen should also be used every day and not only at the beach or in summer.
Benefits of using sunscreen
- Lowers risk of cancer - Research has shown that sunscreens reduce the risks of skin cancer. They act like a shield that sits on the skin and bounces off harmful UV rays that may damage the skin cells. Using sunscreen with a minimum of SPF30 every day reduces the risk of developing melanoma. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer that forms from the melanocyte cells in the skin.
- Prevents premature aging - Ultraviolet rays from the sun age the skin prematurely by developing wrinkles, fine lines, and other aging signs. Sunscreen slows down the effect of these ultraviolet rays on the skin. It prevents the skin from developing wrinkles, fine lines, or losing its elasticity and youthful look.
- Prevents sunburn - Sunburn is caused by over-exposure to sunlight or other artificial sources such as tanning beds or sun lamps. Sunburn is described by reddening, inflammation, and in severe cases blistering/peeling of the skin. It is a painful and inconvenient skin condition that can be prevented by using sunscreen. Sunscreens reduce the risks of getting burned by ultraviolet rays.
- Maintains even skin complexion - Apart from aging the skin prematurely, discoloration or uneven skin tone is one of the damages caused by harmful UV rays. Uneven skin tone makes the skin look dull and tired. A good quality sunscreen with the right SPF helps to maintain an even skin complexion. It prevents discoloration, sunburn, dark spots, or hyperpigmentation in general.
- Promotes healthy skin barrier - Sunscreen is extremely beneficial to maintain the skin’s overall health. It prevents the skin from developing wrinkles, fine lines, sunburn, dark spots, or hyperpigmentation. Sunscreen helps the skin preserve its most essential proteins (keratin and collagen) for smooth, fresh, and young looking skin. The absence of keratin or collagen in the skin makes the skin lose its elasticity and begin to age prematurely.
Please remember your SPF, especially if acids and retinoids are part of your routine :)