Many people think that applying sunscreen is only important when headed to the beach or spending time in the sun. News flash -- UBV and UVA rays are present all year round and can have harmful effects on your skin even on the gloomiest of days. The American Academy of Dermatology states that “even on a cloudy day, up to 80 percent of the sun’s damaging UV rays can reach your skin,” which is why using sunscreen is the most crucial part of your daily skin care routine.
You might already know that sunscreen can prevent sunburns and skin cancer, but did you know that it also protects the skin from early skin aging, developing age spots, fine lines and wrinkles? According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the sun’s UV rays are responsible for about 90 percent of skin’s aging. Ditch the anti-aging creams and take preventative measures by incorporating a high-quality sunscreen into your daily skin care routine.
There will never be a one size fits all skin care routine or product, but no matter how many steps are in your routine, SPF is one that should never be skipped. Consider the following tips when choosing and applying sunscreen.
What number SPF should be used? Dermatologists advise using an SPF of at least 30.
When should sunscreen be applied? Be sure to give sunscreen time to absorb by applying it 15 to 30 minutes before stepping out the door. Make sure to re-apply every two hours and after swimming or sweating.
During which step of your skin care routine should you apply sunscreen? The answer depends on whether you are using a chemical sunscreen or a mineral sunscreen.
Chemical sunscreens contain common active ingredients such as avobenzone, octinoxate and oxybenzone. These work by absorbing into the skin and either deflecting or deactivating the sun’s harmful UV rays. As such, chemical sunscreens should be applied as the first layer of your skin care routine.
Mineral sunscreens contain titanium dioxide and zinc oxide and work by reflecting UV rays. They create a physical barrier between the sun and your skin. Mineral sunscreens should be applied as the last layer of your skin care routine but before applying make up.
What about moisturizers with SPF? If you do not feel like adding an additional step to your skin care routine, no problem. Take a skin care shortcut and choose a moisturizer that also contains SPF. Just make sure that your moisturizer contains an SPF of at least 30.
It’s never too late to incorporate sunscreen into your daily skin care routine. Make sure you protect your skin by following these tips – applying and re-applying your sunscreen. Your skin will thank you.
Written by: Laurie Scoppetto, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern. Learn more about Wellness Workdays and our wellness program offerings by downloading our brochure.
1. American Academy of Dermatology
2. NY Times
3. Allure Magazine
4. Skin Cancer Foundation