Do I really Need Sunscreen to Protect My Skin?
The short answer is, yes!
And ladies this advice is not just for you, so tell your man to be careful too.
Here in the UK we are not overly blessed with sun so you could be forgiven for thinking that you may not need to wear sunscreen at all in this country. However, one thing we have lots of is clouds, and when the sun is hidden behind them the harmful ultraviolet rays can still get through.
Did you know that over 80% of UV rays can pass through clouds and even cause sunburn?
I am sure that most of us are guilty of being sunburnt at least once in our lives. And hopefully most of us have learned from the unpleasant red burning skin. But what people don’t realise is that sunburn is actually a symptom of damaged skin which in the long term can increase the risk of skin cancer. The deadliest type of skin cancer is melanoma. But 86% of melanoma cases in the UK are preventable. If you find that you just can’t stay out of the sun and need your vitamin D hit then a good sunscreen is a must.
Researchers in Australia calculated that a group who wore sunscreen daily aged 24% less than the group who didn’t.
As a woman I like to keep a certain mystique about my age, and wrinkled skin can ruin the illusion. The number one cause of premature ageing of the face is ultraviolet exposure. By regularly wearing sunscreen you can actively slow down the development of wrinkles and reduce the risk of the leathery look.
Wearing sunscreen can also keep your skin tone even. Sun is the number one cause of hyperpigmentation, or dark spots to you and me. Ultraviolet light activates the cells that cause the discoloration and in turn they leave behind a brown spot or other kind of skin mark. There can also be permanent changes to the blood vessels and this can leave you look red in places.
Even if you only start today, wearing sunscreen will benefit you and reduce your risk of any further sun damage. It’s never too late to start looking after your skin.
Sunscreen Best Practices
- Make applying sunscreen an important part of your daily routine, like brushing your teeth.
- Your sunscreen should provide both UVA, at least 4 star, and UVB protection.
- An SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30 is a must.
- Apply 30 minutes before you go out into the sun.
- When you are out in the sun for prolonged periods reapply every 2 hours.
- If you are just applying to your head, arms and neck then 2 teaspoons of sunscreen in enough. But if you are wearing a costume and are applying to the rest of your body then you will need 2 tablespoons.
- Sunscreen does expire and this makes it less effective. According to NHS choices it has a shelf life of 2-3 years as long as it is not exposed to direct sunlight or stored in high temperatures.