Applying sunscreen daily should no longer be optional for men and women, but instead it should be mandatory. Exposure to the sun, even outside of short-term bouts, can wreak havoc on a person’s skin.
While most of you might already have an established skincare routine—to keep moisturized, glowing and radiant throughout the day, it’s time to consider adding sunscreen into the mix.
Men and women both need to consider applying sunscreen every day before setting out into the world. Women may have it a bit easier as nowadays many make-up products have SPF protection right in the product. But is this enough? Exactly how much SPF should you be using in order to keep your skin healthy? And what can men do to keep their skin protected from harsh sun rays and damage?
How Much SPF Do I Need?
First things first, begin by determining the SPF levels that you will need to properly protect your skin. It would be a waste of daily application if you aren’t even using the right level of protection. For those who need a quick refresher, SPF stands for “sun protection factor” and is the measure of how long a sunscreen can protect you from the harsh ultraviolet (UV) B rays which can cause sunburn, reddening and much worse, skin cancer. Applying an appropriate SPF-sunscreen daily can help to prevent issues like this, even when applying indoors.
So how much SPF is enough? It is always important to find an SPF sunscreen that has a high SPF rating over a low rating. For instance, a sunscreen with an SPF 30 rating will allow around 3 percent of UVB rays to come in contact with your skin. However, an SPF 50 rating will only allow around 2 percent of those rays. In theory, this might not seem like much of a difference. However, when you break it down the SPF 30 is allowing 50 percent more UV radiation to come in contact with your skin, which over time can cause some serious damage.
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Why Is Daily Application Important?
Applying sunscreen daily is not just necessary if you’re spending time outdoors, but also if you’re indoors, too. Additionally, sunscreen is not just intended to protect during strong sun days in summer, but all year round. A few reasons why wearing sunscreen every day is important includes:
- To protect yourself from aging — Believe it or not, what you might think is just natural aging is actually damage from the sun. Professional dermatologists from the Skin Cancer Foundation have estimated that physical aging is not from your actual age, but instead from all the hours you have spent in the sun.
- The sun can be strong even without shining — It is a common misconception that when the sun is not shining there is no risk for UVB rays. However, on overcast days ultraviolet rays are still out there in full force. Even with a bit of cloud cover, UV lights penetrate the clouds, so protection is necessary even on the cloudiest days.
- Damage from the sun is cumulative — Every single time you expose yourself to damage in the sun, especially at a cellular level, it will become a cumulative issue. There is no such thing as a safe tan, even if you build it up slowly over time. Each time you’re out in the sun exposed without sunscreen, it can be severely damaging.
- Clothing just doesn’t cut it — Even if you’re wearing clothing, you might not be protected from the sun. Clothing should not be used in place of of sunscreen because it will not have adequate SPF, despite how many layers you have.
- Don’t just leave it up to the makeup —Sure, makeup lately has a certain SPF printed on the package, but that doesn’t mean that it’s enough. While it is great that makeup has SPF, it will not be enough to protect you long term.
A Few Tips For Daily Application
Men and women both should be applying sunscreen every single day, incorporating it into a normal skincare regime. But it isn’t just as simple as finding any other tube of sunscreen and slathering it on every day. A few tips that can help with daily sunscreen application include:
- Reapply every 90 to 120 minutes, especially when in the sun
- Avoid direct exposure to the sun.
- Apply generously.
- Find sunscreens with physical blocks like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.
- Apply sunscreen before moisturizers and makeup.
- Every inch of skin should be covered up.
What To Look For In A Daily Sunscreen
Choosing the right sunscreen is more than just finding the right SPF number and applying. There are other factors to consider when finding a daily sunscreen. To start, find a sunscreen that is broad spectrum. Broad spectrum sunscreen means that the sunscreen will be a protectant against both UVA and UVB rays, not just solely one or the other. Additionally, the sunscreen that you choose should be water resistant as well. The problem with sunscreens that are not water resistant is that the minute you step into the pool or the ocean, the protection is gone. Make sure the sunscreen is water resistant to protect you no matter the environment.
It is also important to consider finding sunscreens that have the right ingredients. Much like food products, most sunscreens have a list of ingredients that make up what it is. Some sunscreens may contain harsh chemicals, which will eventually be just as damaging to your skin as sun exposure. Read the list of ingredients on a sunscreen bottle and make sure that it does not include the following:
- Retinal palmitate
- Synthetic estrogen
Chemical compounds located in certain sunscreens have been known to cause cancer, so it is integral to find sunscreens that help rather than cause even more damage.
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