Are You Wearing Sunscreen?
Are you wearing sunscreen? Well listen, the ideal answer would be “I always wear it – even in the winter!” and for that, you would get all the browny points. But if you’re living in the UK it’s more than likely you’re guilty of ‘just putting it on when it’s necessary. (If you’re not leaving the home and you’re staying indoors all day, then it’s understandable to go without).
The truth is the Ultraviolet radiation that causes damage to the skin are present all year, whether it’s full overcast or you can feel a direct sunbeam on your face. And it’s probably only around about now that many people start to even consider applying protective products – but here’s where you should reconsider your habit, should you fall into that category.
The two types of UV’s that reach our skin cause different damage. UVB can cause sunburn and skin cancer, and UVA infiltrates the deeper layers of the skin, causing premature ageing.
For obvious reasons, it’s in our best interest to protect our skin. It’s the largest organ of the body and we only get one to call our own. No matter what your skin tone or colour, it’s essential to use preventative measures and the key is to do this all year round on whatever part of the body is exposed to light.
If it’s colder weather, this still includes applying to the back of the neck (especially if you have short hair), the back of the ears, the head (if bald), the hands, and the neck and chest (if exposed).
So why wear sunscreen?
👉 To protect against skin cancers
The most obvious and the most important of the reasons to apply sunscreen. Wearing a protective lotion can lower the risk of developing skin cancers by 50 per cent.
👉 To prevent premature ageing
In other words, fine lines and wrinkles. There’s not a huge amount we can do naturally for loss of collagen OR intrinsic ageing but what we can do is protect from the UVA rays that penetrate the skin and cause those deeper creases. As much as 80 per cent of the sun’s rays are able to pass through the clouds – it’s worth remembering that.
👉 To keep skin tone even
In other words, preventing sunspots and discolouration. This is sometimes a gradual process and something easily dismissed initially, especially as they can fade somewhat in colder months. But once they are established on the surface of the skin, it can take expensive products or even laser treatment to deal with this damage.
We want to be wearing at least an SPF 30 for outdoor activities (that also means when you’re out shopping down the high street!) but an SPF 50 is that fraction better. There are also plenty of beauty products such as moisturisers, primers and makeup foundations that now contain an SPF. And there are thicker, moisturising sunscreens as well as lighter, serum-based formulas out there too, so applying something on a daily basis shouldn’t be too tricky once you find the right solution for your skin type.