Why is it important to wear sunscreen every day?

Why is it important to wear sunscreen every day?

Lady smiling in the sunshine with great skin, as she wears sunscreen every day.

We know that we are advised to wear sun cream every day throughout the year. But why is it so important to wear sunscreen every day?Even on the dreariest days of winter, it’s really important to apply sunscreen because UV rays can still penetrate the clouds and get to our skin.

As the weather begins to change, it’s time to increase the level of our UV protection. Even though we’ll all be glad to see some sunshine, our chances of burning will increase as the sun gets warmer and stronger.

What is SPF?

SPF stands for ‘Sun Protection Factor’ and the 50 in SPF50 refers to the amount of protection the sunscreen offers compared to unprotected skin.

For example, if you went out in the sun without any sunscreen whatsoever, and you burn in 10 minutes, that is your base level. If you applied an SPF 15, it would mean that you could stay outside in the sun 15 times longer than you could without sunscreen. So, in this example, the SPF 15 would protect you for 150 minutes, or 2.5 hours.

In the winter, you’d probably find that you’d be able to stay out a lot longer without burning (even though that would have a detrimental effect on your skin). So, you could get away with your SPF 15. But as the sun gets warmer and stronger, then you will need to increase the amount of SPF that you’re applying. I wear an SPF 50 every day (in my makeup) because I’ve got very light skin and I burn incredibly easily. Plus, I don’t want to have any sort of damaging effects from the sun. This is why it is so important to wear sunscreen.

What is UVA?

UVA is associated with skin ageing. So even on a cloudy day, when you can’t see the sun and it’s cold, that ageing process is still taking place with the UVA filtering through the clouds onto your skin. This is the one thing that ages the skin the fastest, even more so than smoking, a bad diet etc. UVA is the thing that will really accelerate your ageing, so it’s so important to protect your skin with sunscreen.

What is UVB?

UVB is associated with skin burning. This is what causes redness and inflammation in unprotected skin, and it can also cause DNA damage. That damage can present itself with loss of pigmentation, higher pigmentation, uneven skin tone, and in really severe cases DNA damage can cause skin cancer.

Vitamin D

Doctors are saying that we don’t get enough vitamin D through sunlight or dietary sources. I would recommend a supplement because we just don’t get enough sunlight in our day to warrant the damage that you could be done by not protecting your skin when going outside.

Sunscreen options

There are two different types of sunscreen you can wear – chemical and physical.

Chemical sunscreen is the most common form of sunscreen, but some people can find that it irritates the skin. It can trap the heat in between the sunscreen and the skin, and if you have sensitive skin, this can cause prickly heat or a rash.

Physical sunscreen works by creating a physical barrier on the skin that shields it from the sun’s rays. These sunscreens deliver broad-spectrum protection by reflecting UV radiation away from your skin. So, if your skin is a little bit sensitive or inflamed, look out for physical sunscreen, sometimes known as mineral sunscreen. It can be a little trickier to find.

If you’d like any more help, you’d like to talk to me about the best sunscreen for your skin, or you’re having problems with your skin, please do call me and we can have a skin chat or a consultation.

If you have unfortunately got some nasty sunburn please check out the NHS sunburn page. This will help with treatment advice and give you some dos and don’ts!