Show of hands: how many of you know that your skin is the largest organ in your body? Now, did you also know that the sun’s powerful rays can cause irreparable damage to your skin, sometimes resulting in skin cancer? Yikes. I’m all for soaking up some vitamin D, but for the sake of your own skin, make sure you do it wisely! A general rule of thumb is that you should apply sunscreen if you’ll be out in the sun for more than 20 minutes, and that it should have an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of at least 15. Here are five super-important reasons to reach for the sun cream on a daily basis:
1. It’s one of the best ways to prevent skin aging. According to skincancer.org, “Sunscreen is one of the keys to radiant, youthful-looking skin…an estimated 90% of skin aging is caused by the sun.” 90%?! That fact alone should be enough to make us want to apply sunscreen every day! If you have sensitive skin or wear makeup on a daily basis, try to find a daily moisturizer or foundation with built-in SPF. That way, you’ll get sun protection without the shine or residue that can come from heavy sun creams. Bonus points if your sunscreen is all-natural (find some here)!
2. It can greatly reduce your risk of getting skin cancer. You already know this, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to reiterate this important fact. Keep in mind that skin cancer is one of the most common yet one of the most preventable types of cancer. It’s caused by overexposure of the skin to UV radiation; applying sunscreen helps build a barrier between your skin and the sun’s harmful rays.
3. It can and should be worn 7 days per week, 365 days per year. When you think about it, isn’t it shocking that some of us only wear sunscreen in the summer months? The sun comes out every day, and we’re exposed to UV radiation every time we’re outside! So, even if isn’t a sunny day, you won’t do yourself any harm by throwing on your favourite SPF and giving it 15 minutes to soak in before heading out.
4. It can be tailored to your lifestyle. If you’re very active, you can find water-resistant sunscreen. If you live a green lifestyle, there are a ton of all-natural sunscreens available. You can find sunscreen for dry skin, oily skin, aging skin, sensitive skin…the list goes on. As I mentioned above, many face moisturizers, body lotions and daily makeup products actually come with SPF, which is useful because you won’t have to remember to put on sunscreen in addition to your lotion or face makeup.
5. Sunscreen has proven very effective and should be used in conjunction with other sun-protecting factors. Sun cream will protect you to some extent, but don’t forget to wear a hat and sunglasses, cover exposed skin, limit your daytime sun exposure and try to stay in the shade. Now go enjoy the great outdoors!