Have you been applying sunscreen to your skin before stepping out to play an outdoor game? You should apply sunscreen to your body whether there is a hot, scorching sun outside or not. It should be used during all seasons and not just the summer.
But, why is using sunscreen so important? These reasons will answer the question for you.
Reasons Why You Need To Use Sunscreen
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1. Protects Skin From Harmful UV Radiation
The sun is one of the main sources of vitamin D for your body. However, with the increase in global warming, the protective ozone layer is continuously being depleted and your body is exposed to the harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
Studies have shown that applying sunscreen to your skin regularly can protect the skin from the harmful effects of these UV rays.1
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2. Prevents Skin Cancer Risk
There are two kinds of ultraviolet rays: UVA and UVB rays. Your skin is exposed to both rays when you step out. UVA rays account for 95 percent of the UV radiation reaching the earth’s surface. These rays penetrate into the skin more deeply than UVB rays. UVA rays cause significant damage to the epidermis (outermost layer) of the skin where most skin cancers occur. UVB rays are the main cause of skin reddening and sunburns.2
Using sunscreen regularly can protect the skin from these harmful rays, thereby preventing the risk of skin cancers. Studies have demonstrated that using sunscreen from childhood can reduce the incidence of skin cancers by 78%.3
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3. Reduces Photoaging
What is photoaging? Photoaging is not the same as chronological aging.
Photoaging is premature aging of skin caused due to the repeated exposure to the harmful UV radiation of the sun. Photoaging appears on those parts of the body that are easily exposed to the sun, including the face, neck, and back of the hands.
Some signs of photoaging are as follows:4
- The appearance of fine wrinkles around the mouth and eyes and frown line on the forehead
- Spider veins on the nose, cheeks, and neck
- A general loss of skin tone in sun exposed areas
- Various pigmented spots, such as freckles, solar lentigines (known as age or liver spots, although they are unrelated to the liver), and an uneven skin color.
There is evidence that applying sunscreen to your skin can prevent or reduce photoaging.5
How To Choose Your Sunscreen
A sunscreen’s efficacy has been measured by its sun protection factor or SPF. SPF indicates how much time it will take to redden the skin when using the sunscreen compared with the time it would have taken for the reddening without the product.
For instance, if a person is using a sunscreen with SPF 15, it means that it will take 15 times more time for the skin to redden than it would without the sunscreen.6
The Skin Cancer Foundation maintains that SPFs of 15 or more is necessary to protect your skin from the sun. In addition, always check the label of your sunscreen and see how often you need to reapply it to your skin. Sunscreens cannot work on the skin for more than two hours.
Next time you are stepping out, don’t forget your sunscreen. Don’t let the sun get under your skin!
|↑1||Phillips, Tania J., Jag Bhawan, Mina Yaar, Ysabel Bello, Danielle LoPiccolo, and J. Frank Nash. “Effect of daily versus intermittent sunscreen application on solar simulated UV radiation–induced skin response in humans.” Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 43, no. 4 (2000): 610-618.|
|↑2, ↑6||UVA and UVB. Skin Cancer Foundation.|
|↑3||Stern, Robert S., Milton C. Weinstein, and Stuart G. Baker. “Risk reduction for nonmelanoma skin cancer with childhood sunscreen use.” Archives of dermatology 122, no. 5 (1986): 537-545.|
|↑4||What is Photoaging?. Canadian Dermatology Association.|
|↑5||Tsukahara, Kazue, Shigeru Moriwaki, Mitsuyuki Hotta, Tsutomu Fujimura, Yoriko Sugiyama-Nakagiri, Satoshi Sugawara, Takashi Kitahara, and Yoshinori Takema. “The effect of sunscreen on skin elastase activity induced by ultraviolet-A irradiation.” Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin 28, no. 12 (2005): 2302-2307.|