Importance Of Sunscreen | Skin Solution 1O1

What is The Importance Of Sunscreen

Sun protection is a very important part of maintaining skin health and preventing various types of skin damage. Remember, sunscreen isn’t something that you’ll wear occasionally. Instead, make it a habit of applying sunscreen daily basis, no matter whether you’re going outside or staying inside, even on a cloudy day, always wear sunscreen in the morning as the last step of your morning skincare routine, each and every day. Sunscreen is a topical product used to protect the skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays that are emitted by the sun. Sunscreen works by absorbing, reflecting, or scattering the sun’s harmful UV radiation before it can penetrate the skin. Sunscreen is essential for maintaining healthy skin, and its use has been shown to help prevent skin cancer, premature ageing, and other skin damage caused by UV rays. In this note, we will discuss the importance of sunscreen, how it works, and how to use it effectively. 

Why is Sunscreen Important?

The sun emits two types of UV rays that are harmful to our skin: UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin and are responsible for premature ageing, wrinkles, and sunspots. UVB rays cause sunburn and can also lead to skin cancer or melanoma. Sunscreen works by reflecting or absorbing these UV rays, preventing them from penetrating the skin and causing damage.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, and overexposure to the sun is the leading cause of skin cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer at some point in their lifetime. However, regular use of sunscreen can significantly reduce the risk of developing skin cancer. Studies have shown that people who use sunscreen regularly have a lower risk of developing skin cancer or melanoma than those who do not.

Another key benefit of sunscreen is that it helps prevent premature ageing. Exposure to the sun’s UV radiation can cause the skin to age prematurely, resulting in wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots. Sunscreen helps prevent this by blocking UV radiation from penetrating the skin, thus reducing the risk of skin damage and premature ageing.

Some people may experience opposite reactions to sunlight, such as photoallergic or phototoxic reactions. These reactions can cause rashes, itching, and skin inflammation. Sun protection measures help reduce the risk of these reactions by minimizing UV exposure.

While sunscreen is an essential component of skin care and can indirectly contribute to the healing of certain skin issues like hyperpigmentation, sunburn, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, also repair the damaged skin barrier.

How Does Sunscreen Work?

Sunscreen contains a combination of active ingredients that work together to protect your skin from UV rays. These active ingredients can be classified into two categories: physical blockers and chemical absorbers.

Physical blockers, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, create a physical barrier on the skin, reflecting UV rays away from the skin’s surface. These types of sunscreens are often referred to as “mineral” sunscreens.

Chemical absorbers, such as avobenzone and oxybenzone, absorb UV rays before they can penetrate the skin. These types of sunscreens are often referred to as “chemical” sunscreens.

Most sunscreens on the market today contain a combination of physical blockers and chemical absorbers to provide broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. However, I always suggest using physical sunscreen.

How to Use Sunscreen Effectively?

To get the most benefit from sunscreen, it is important to use it correctly. Here are some tips for using sunscreen effectively:

  • Choose a sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 50 or higher. 
  • Apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before going outside to give it time to absorb into the skin.
  • Reapply sunscreen within every two hours, especially after swimming or sweating.
  • Use enough sunscreen to cover all exposed skin. You will need at least 1 teaspoon to build up a shield. 
  • Always use broad-spectrum certified, mineral sunscreen, water or sweat-resistant formulated.

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