We totally get it, mornings are hard. Most days, you're likely rushing out the door to make it to school or work just barely on time. You might throw on a swipe of mascara and lip gloss and call it a day, but beauty experts agree there's one step you should never skip in your a.m. routine: SUNSCREEN. No, sunscreen isn't a product you should reserve solely for trips to the beach. In this blog we explain the biggest reasons why you should put sunscreen on every morning, also how to choose the right sunscreen for you.
You Need Protection, Even When It's Not Sunny Outside
You might think sunscreen is only necessary at the height of summer when you've got plans to lounge outside by the pool, but the sun's UV rays are always present.
Even on cold and cloudy days, UV rays from the sun can damage your skin. UV rays are actually present year-round and of equal intensity during the daytime throughout the year, including winter. UV rays can even penetrate through clouds and glass. Cloudy days still allow for about 80 percent of the UV exposure as a sunny day. UVB rays are blocked by windows, but the longer wavelengths of UVA that lead to skin aging, sunburn and melanoma can still be transmitted through glass. So if you drive during the day or sit near a window at work, your actually being exposed to UV rays throughout the whole day.
You'll Keep Yourself Looking Young for Years to Come
The best anti-aging product offered will be your daily SPF. That's because sunscreen protects you from UVA rays, the ones that accelerate signs of aging. UVA are the longer of the UV rays, meaning they can penetrate your skin more deeply. UVA affects collagen structure, transforming the normal triple helix structure that looks like straight, uniform rods of dry spaghetti to broken, fragmented and different-sized tangles. This translates to visible skin changes, including textural changes, wrinkles and a sallow discoloration to the skin.
You'll Shield Yourself From Skin Cancer
More than four million cases of basal cell carcinoma (the most common form of skin cancer) are diagnosed every year in the United States, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. One in five will develop skin cancer in their lifetime in America, and one person dies from melanoma every hour according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Those are startling statics, but it's one that can be drastically improved if we all get better at incorporating sunscreen into our daily lives.
Daily sunscreen use is the best skin cancer tool short of avoiding direct midday sun exposure altogether. UV rays damage the DNA of skin cells, producing genetic mutations that can lead to cancer. Prevention is always easier than reversal.
You'll Steer Clear of Dark Spots
Wrinkles aren't the only signs of aging caused by the sun. Sunscreen can also protect your skin from developing brown pigmentation or 'sun spots' which aesthetically age the skin. UVA rays are the ones that lead to dark spots and blotchy hyperpigmentation. UVA causes DNA changes in melanocytes, the pigment-producing cells of our body.
You'll Get Added Skin Care Benefits
While protecting yourself from skin cancer and preventing premature signs of aging are the major benefits you get from applying sunscreen every morning, there are some additional reasons you should grab a tube the next time you're getting ready.
Many of today's sunscreen formulations have added ingredients that can address a variety of skin issues. Mineral sunscreen agents, for example, are anti-inflammatory and can help to calm irritated skin. Many sunscreen formulations also contain moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid which helps make collagen and helps improve the skins barrier, probiotics for active bacteria as well as antioxidants to protect against damaging free radicals.
Physical sunscreens also act as a barrier for your face. Just like a light jacket on your body, SPF acts like a jacket for your face. SPF acts as a barrier to protect you not only from UV rays but also from temperature changes, warmth, cold, wind, sun and moisture loss.
What to Watch Out For
PABA and Trolamine Salicylate should not be used as they give rise to adverse effects including inflammation, Edema and Erythema. Steer clear of organic and chemical suncreens as chemical sunscreens absorb the sun's rays instead of shielding. Avoid active ingredients: Oxybenzone, Avobenzone, Octisalate, Octocrylene, Homosalate and Ocinoxate.
How to Choose the Right Sunscreen
Before you can apply your morning SPF, you need to figure out which sunscreen is right for you. You should always reach for one that has a broad-spectrum label, as that means it shields your skin from UVA rays (the ones that age you) and UVB rays (the ones that cause burns). Always grab a sunscreen that is 30+. Look for active ingratiates Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide. Ask us during your next appointment what SPF is best suited for you. All SPFs are not created equal, so we will help you find one that fits your specific needs.