The sun’s rays are essential for life, providing us with warmth, light, and vitamin D. However, too much exposure to the sun can be harmful, leading to sunburn, premature ageing, and an increased risk of skin cancer.
Sunscreen is an essential part of a healthy skincare routine, and it should be used year-round, regardless of the weather. This is because the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can penetrate clouds and glass, and they can reflect off of snow and water. As a result, you can be exposed to UV rays even on cloudy days or when you’re not spending time in direct sunlight.
Types of UV Rays
- UVA rays are the most common type of UV rays, and they are responsible for premature ageing of the skin. They can also contribute to the development of skin cancer.
- UVB rays are less common than UVA rays, but they are more likely to cause sunburn. They are also a major cause of skin cancer.
- UVC rays are the most damaging type of UV rays, but they are mostly absorbed by the ozone layer.
Benefits of Using Sun Protection
There are many benefits to using sunscreen year-round. These benefits include:
- Prevents sunburn: Sunburn is a painful and damaging condition that can lead to premature ageing of the skin and an increased risk of skin cancer. Sunscreen can help to prevent sunburn by blocking UV rays from reaching your skin.
- Reduces the risk of skin cancer: Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Sunscreen can help reduce your risk of skin cancer by blocking UV rays from reaching your skin.
- Prevents premature ageing of the skin: UV rays can damage the collagen and elastin in your skin, which are responsible for its firmness and elasticity. Sunscreen can help to prevent premature ageing of the skin by blocking UV rays from reaching your skin.
- Protects your lips: The skin on your lips is thinner and more sensitive than the skin on the rest of your face, so it is more likely to be damaged by UV rays. Sunscreen can help to protect your lips from sunburn and premature aging.
- Protects your eyes: UV rays can also damage the eyes, leading to cataracts and other eye problems. Sunscreen can help to protect your eyes by blocking UV rays from reaching them.
How to Choose a Sunscreen
When choosing a sunscreen, look for one that is:
- Broad spectrum: This means that it protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
- Water-resistant: This is important if you are sweating or swimming.
- SPF 30 or higher: SPF stands for sun protection factor. The higher the SPF number, the more protection the sunscreen provides.
How to Apply Sunscreen
Apply sunscreen to all exposed skin 15 minutes before going outdoors. Be sure to reapply sunscreen every two hours, or more often if you are sweating or swimming.
Additional Tips for Sun Protection
In addition to using sunscreen, there are other things you can do to protect your skin from the sun, such as:
- Seek shade: Avoid direct sunlight during the midday hours, when the sun’s rays are strongest.
- Wear protective clothing: Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to protect your eyes and skin.
- Avoid tanning beds: Tanning beds emit UV rays that can damage your skin and increase your risk of skin cancer.
Using protection from the sun is an essential part of a healthy skincare routine, and it should be used year-round. By following this and taking other sun protection measures, you can help protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Writer, G. (2021). Why you should wear sunscreen all year round. Times of India.