Using Sunscreen Outside of Summer

Using Sunscreen Outside of Summer

Harmful Effects of the Sun

Laying out on the beach may be (for many people) one of the best and most relaxing experiences. Something about the sun shining down on you, bronzing your skin, and the sound of the waves crashing a few feet away just lifts your spirits like no other. Sure, you probably apply some sunscreen here and there, but are you fully aware of what could be happening to your skin and body?

The sun emits two different types of rays: UVB and UVA. UVB rays, also known as burning rays, can result in the painful sunburn we have all experienced before. UVA rays, on the other hand, contribute more to the premature aging of your skin. Burning rays are usually blocked by most window glass, whereas aging rays are not. So, even if you are sitting in your car during rush hour traffic on a sunny day, you can still be harming your skin. Although this may be just one small example, if you are only reaching for the sunscreen when you are relaxing on the beach, you are causing more damage to your skin than you may be aware of. When UV rays hit your body, they penetrate deep your skin layers and begin to damage collagen fibers When UV rays hit your body, they penetrate deep your skin layers and begin to damage collagen fibers, r triggering enzymes that would otherwise repair those fibers. In the event of sun damage, the repair process becomes defective and results in incorrectly rebuilt skin. This process, if repeated frequently, is what causes premature wrinkles and a leathery skin texture.

Exposing your skin to the sun without proper protection can also cause liver spots, also called age spots, which are small spots of pigmentation caused by UV rays. They are typically formed on areas often left unprotected from the sun's harmful rays, such as hands, arms, and face. Liver spots, although perhaps unsightly, are considered fairly harmless, but some cases have been known to obscure the detection of skin cancer.

Skin cancer is among the most severe results of sun damage, and also the most common form of cancer in the United States. While the number one cause of skin cancer is UV damage, you can also get it from using tanning beds.

Why Daily Sunscreen Usage Is Important

Cloudy days don't mean you're safe.

Even on a cloudy, overcast day, about 40% of the sun's harmful rays penetrate and can harm your skin. If your skin is sensitive or if you easily burn, you may be running the risk of falling victim to the harmful effects of the sun, regardless of the weather . It is a good idea to wear sunscreen if you know you are going to be outside for prolonged periods of time, even if the forecast is calling for cloudy skies. Even on a cloudy, overcast day, about 40% of the sun's harmful rays penetrate and can harm your skin.

Prevent skin cancer.

Too much sun radiation can damage the genetic material of your skin. If that damage builds up too much over time, it can cause uncontrollable cell growth, ultimately leading to cancer. Sunscreen is an important supporting factor to preventing skin cancer, and should be applied daily. However, sunscreen alone can't get the job done. It is a strong recommendation to avoid peak sun exposure (between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.), especially if you are without sunscreen. Since skin cancer can penetrate deep into your skin layers and potentially spread to other organs of your body, protecting your skin from the sun is important.

Aids against premature aging.

Sun damage is a leading cause in premature aging. Since the harmful rays of the sun can damage collagen fibers and prevent skin repair from executing correctly, your skin is more susceptible to cracks, lines, and wrinkles. Furthermore, you are putting yourself at risk for age spots and pigmentation. You can also see an increase in redness, skin irritations, or blotches due to over exposing yourself to the UV rays. Wearing sunscreen daily, even outside of summer, can keep your skin looking radiant, smooth, and young.

What Sunscreen Should You Use and How to Use It

You should also keep in mind that sunscreens are usually different and contain different formulas. Purchasing sunscreen seems pretty simple. However, there are some key factors you should pay attention to when buying.the best type, and the right level of protection, for your skin.
  1. Look for SPF 15 or higher. SPF 15 is considered to be medium protection.
  2. Look for broad-spectrum protection. This will protect you from both UVA and UVB rays.
  3. Check the expiration date - expired sunscreen has fallen apart chemically, so the formulation no longer works. There is zero sun protection with expired products and this can generally lead to increased chances of sunburn, irritation, and other unwanted conditions.
  4. Apply generously. A common mistake is that sunscreen is not applied thick enough and can easily be washed off while swimming or sweating.
You should also keep in mind that sunscreens are usually different and contain different formulas. If you are worried you may be purchasing the wrong kind, it is best to do a little research or consult with an expert. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is an organization that assesses qualities like hazardous ingredients, effectiveness of products, and stability of different sunscreens. They are a reliable organization providing high-quality information.