The sun is ever-present whether you live in a cold climate zone or are an inhabitant of a warm and dry area. Although the warmth feels comforting to the skin and gives you a lovely tan, the sun's UV radiation accelerates the aging process and gives rise to a host of problems. So, when experts emphasize wearing sunscreen, discoloration or sunburn are not their only concern. Your skin needs sun protection for its overall wellness and youth.
Sure there are some other easy ways to protect the skin from the sun, like hats, glasses, and protective clothing but nothing as effective as sunscreen.
Let us explain more about how the sun damages the skin and why sunscreen is necessary for sun protection in detail:
How Unprotected Exposure to Sun Damages The Skin
- The sun emits two kinds of UV radiation, the UVA and UVB rays.
- The UVA rays are a strong and highly reactive form of solar radiation that penetrates the deeper layers of the epidermis and affects the skin’s youthful tautness and glow. These powerful rays affect collagen and elastin fibers and even the blood capillaries, leading to the early appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, large pores, and age spots. UVA rays have the same damaging effects on the skin during wintertime.
- The UVB rays are even more potent than the UVA rays. They irradiate the skin’s outer layer, damage the DNA, contribute to sunburn and cause photoaging and serious skin issues.
- Prolonged and unprotected exposure to the sun leads to skin dehydration, dryness, flaky patches, cracked texture, and pigmentation. UV rays absorb moisture from the outer layers and harm the skin’s lipid function, leaving it looking rough, uneven, and tired.
- Sun exposure intensifies sebum production which is one of the main reasons for acne breakouts. Excess sebum enlarges the pores and attracts bacteria and dirt from the atmosphere that become the root of inflammation, irritations, lesions, and pimples.
How Sunscreen Protects Your Skin From The Sun Damage
- Sunscreen prevents UV radiation from penetrating the epidermis, protecting collagen and elastin fibers, and reducing the chances of the early appearance of wrinkles.
- Exposure to the sun increases melanin production which results in sun spots, hyperpigmentation, and discoloration. Sunscreen acts as a shield against the sun’s reactive rays and helps you maintain the skin’s natural glow.
- Wearing sunscreen saves your skin from sunburn, itchiness, redness, and numerous other troublesome concerns that occur due to prolonged exposure to the sun.
- The heat from the sun can further dry up the skin and give it a tired, dull, and flaky appearance. Sunscreens are specifically made with moisturizing agents that not only preserve the natural oils but also hydrate and soothe rough skin.
- If you have acne-prone skin then you must make sunscreen your best friend because sun exposure increases sebum production, which is the main culprit behind a breakout and pimples. Wearing a lightweight sunscreen with cleansing ingredients like tea tree oil, peppermint oil, or grapeseed oil balance excess oils while providing maximum sun protection.
How Often Should You Apply Sunscreen
- Wear sunscreen all around the year, even during the winters.
- Whenever you are stepping outside during the day, apply sunscreen every two hours on all the exposed skin areas, including the face, neck, shoulders, tops of the hands, feet, and legs.
- You need to apply sunscreen every day, be it on a cloudy day, rainy day, or partially sunny day, UV radiation is always there in the daytime.
- If you use products like vitamin C, retinoids, or AHA’s you need to be extra careful with sun exposure. Always wear sunscreen on top of these products to avoid sensitivity and irritations.
So since we have established why we need to use sunscreen throughout the year, make sure you choose a product that suits your skin type. An ideal sunscreen is with an SPF of at least 30 or better if it is 50. Also, invest in a wide-brimmed hat if you are planning to spend a day on the beach or out shopping in the broad daylight.
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