The Reason You Should Wear Sunscreen Daily

There are a lot of habits in our daily lives that keep us healthy, happy and fit. But what many people don’t realize is that applying sunscreen – just like brushing your teeth and drinking coffee – is also an important daily habit.

Yes, maybe you diligently apply sunscreen when you’re lounging by the pool or going to the beach, but your dermatologist will tell you that you should apply sunscreen 365 days a year.

So, if you’re wondering why it’s so important to wear sunscreen daily – and how to best add it to your routine – keep on reading!

The hidden risks of UV
Simply put, ultraviolet (UV) light is a type of radiation that comes from the sun. As you’d expect, it’s strongest in warm, bright climates and weather – but rest assured, if there’s daylight, there’s enough UV rays to hurt your skin. This is why sunscreen is essential in any weather…….. Even on cloudy, rainy, snowy days.

Yes, sunscreen is essential even if you don’t plan on going out. Your car windows, home and office windows may not provide enough sun protection, and your favorite Madewell t-shirt is no exception. Broad-spectrum sunscreen is a necessity, even if you’re just commuting to and from work, or sitting in a room with a window to read a book.

In the short term, inadequate protection against UV rays can cause sunburn and tanning damage (yes, a tan is damage). And in the long run, scientists have attributed 90% of skin cancers and 90% of signs of aging (aka wrinkles, sun spots, discoloration and skin laxity) to cumulative UV exposure.

… That’s exactly why the American Academy of Dermatology recommends that everyone apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, full stop – no matter where you are or who you are or what your skin tone is. This may sound like a lot to commit to, but once you learn what works for you, the habit is easy to keep.

Incorporate sun care into your daily routine
Fortunately, there are so many different formulas – from SPF moisturizers to sun bars to sunscreen powders – that you can easily incorporate a broad spectrum sunscreen into your morning routine. Just take the time to find the product that works best for you and your habits and make sure you actually use it every day.

You can even combine products to make your daily routine more streamlined – for example, you can use both sunscreen and facial moisturizer, or swap out tinted sunscreen for a regular foundation.

Ultimately, make SPF your skin care focus. Therefore, you should look for products that list sunscreen as the main active ingredient and always pay attention to the label of the product. Pay special attention to the word “broad spectrum” on the product label and make sure the SPF is 30 or higher. (Many commercially available lotions and tanning oils don’t actually meet this standard of protection, so you need to be careful.)

Enjoy life with a total sun protection mindset
However, don’t be too afraid of the sun. Life should be enjoyed to the fullest, and exposure to nature in all its forms – including sunlight – is good for the mind, body and soul. The key is to take steps to support and protect your skin by applying SPF sunscreen daily (and reapplying it, of course).

Also, you can do more with sunscreen, for example, if you want to go to the beach and play, you can enjoy the sights and sounds of the waves lapping under your umbrella. Or, if you want to hike up the mountain for a picnic with a friend, then bring a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses. You can even prepare special curtains for your living area to reduce the incidental exposure to UV rays.

Finally, be sure to visit a board-certified dermatologist at least once a year for skin cancer screenings and to provide updated skin health guidance. Our skin has the important task of protecting us, so protect it well by applying sunscreen every day.

The sunny days are coming. Let’s face skin cancer together. Win a sun safety gift pack – enter today.EltaMD is giving away 31 gift packs, one for each day of Skin Cancer Awareness Month.