Can you believe summer is only one month away? Everyone is stocking up on sunscreen, buying new swimsuits and digging out their old sun hat as they prepare for vacation. If you’re planning a trip to the beach or somewhere tropical, sunscreen is likely at the top of your list, especially if you’re fair skinned. But, did you know you should be wearing sunscreen year-round regardless of your skin tone? Don’t wait until you’re in the sun to start wearing sunscreen. Here are five reasons you should be wearing sunscreen now.
1. Avoid Burning
The most obvious reason to wear sunscreen every day is to avoid burning. This is especially true when you’ll be outside in direct sunlight. Don’t forget about your face (including lips, ears and eyelids), neck, hands and feet. Also, keep in mind that water and sand reflect the sun and increase UV rays and your chance of burning. Remember that your clothes don’t always protect you from burning. The average t-shirt offers an SPF of seven. There’s nothing worse than getting burned the first day of vacation (or any day of vacation for that matter), so make sure you’re entire body is completely covered.
2. Minimize Aging
Did you know your skin has a memory? Because of that, damage to the skin from sun exposure is cumulative causing wrinkles and discoloration in the skin. Dermatologists of The Skin Cancer Foundation say that the majority of visible aging comes from the sun. Wearing sunscreen now can save your skin later from wrinkles and damage in the future.
3. Reduce Risk of Skin Cancer
There’s no such thing as a safe tan (unless it’s a spray tan). Everyone is at risk of developing skin cancer regardless of race, gender and age. It’s estimated that one in five Americans will develop it in their lifetime. Every time your skin is exposed to the sun without protection, your risk of skin cancer increases. And, since the damage from the sun is cumulative, it can get down to the cellular level and increase the chances of developing cancerous cells. Thankfully, sunscreen has been proven to decrease the development of skin cancer.
4. UV Rays Are Everywhere
UV rays are hitting you in the car, in the water, inside your home – anywhere there is natural light. Even if it doesn’t seem like a lot of natural light, the sun’s rays are reflecting off of mirrors, television screens, picture frames, water – any reflective surface. UV rays are even reaching you on cloudy days! So, make sure to add wearing sunscreen to your daily routine now even if you won’t be in direct sunlight.
5. Prevents Facial Discoloration
Too much sun exposure can cause facial discoloration such as brown spots, facial red veins (spider veins) or blotchiness. This is especially true if you have fair skin, scars or acne-prone skin. Facial discoloration can be frustrating to deal with – even the best cosmetics don’t cover it up (and can sometimes make it worse). The best way to avoid facial discoloration is to wear sunscreen daily to prevent sun damage on your face.
Even if you don’t think your skin will see a lot of sun during the day, remember that sun damage is cumulative and every little bit counts. Sunscreen is easy to add to your daily routine. For your face, apply a dollop size every day in the morning. For the best protection, apply 1-2 ounces of sunscreen to your entire body 30 minutes before going outdoors and every two hours to exposed skin after that. Make sure you’re protecting your skin this summer, and remember to wear sunscreen all year whether you’re directly in the sun or just sitting near a window.