Why Sunscreen Is So Important

sun-screenFinally it looks like summer is here with warm temperatures and a hint of sunshine lighting up the sky. Before you don that bikini and head to the beach however, you need to make sure you’re properly prepared and that means applying sunscreen. But why is sunscreen so important?

How Sunshine Affects the Skin
The reason that sunscreen is so important is that the sun can have a negative impact on the skin, especially when the skin is subjected to prolonged exposure. One of the main side effects on the skin of exposure to sunlight is wrinkles. This is because UV rays from the sun penetrate the skin and break down collagen, resulting in the formation of wrinkles. The bad news is that this collagen cannot be rebuilt once damaged.

UV rays can also cause sun spots to appear on the skin which are dark brown marks similar to freckles. Sun exposure can also cause sunburn which not only causes short term discomfort but also permanent damage which can develop into skin cancer.

How Sunscreen Works
Now you know about the potential damage exposure to the skin can cause, it’s important to understand how sunscreen can help protect you. Some of the key ingredients in sunscreens are oxybenzone, zinc oxide and titanium oxide. These offer protection from UVA or UVB rays, both of which can damage the skin. A broad spectrum sunscreen helps to shield the skin from the ultraviolet rays produced by the sun, effectively protecting the layers of skin underneath from sun spots, wrinkles and cancer as well as sun burn. Sunscreens are measured in sun-protection factors (SPF) and you should use the highest factor available to ensure your skin is protected whilst it is exposed to the sun.

When Should it be Applied
Ideally sunscreen should be applied prior to exposure to the skin. Typically sunscreen should be applied to your whole body at least thirty minutes before you step foot outside of the house, giving you complete protection. Sunscreen should then be reapplied regularly throughout the day and especially after swimming or other water exposure.

So now you know why sunscreen is so important, how it works and how to apply it, you really don’t have any excuses not to wear it this summer.