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The Importance of Wearing Sunscreen: Protect Your Skin as You Age

sunscreen protection tips

Wearing sunscreen is one of the best things you can do for your skin. Sunscreen helps protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun that can cause unhealthy skin as you get older. Things like sunburn, wrinkles, and even skin cancer are caused by too much exposure to the sun without any protection.

By using sunscreen every day, you can keep your skin healthy and looking young even when enjoying the summer weather.

Let’s take a look at why sunscreen is so important for your skin health and what can happen if you don’t use it. You may be surprised at how healthy your skin can be as you get older if you protect it when you’re in your 20’s.

The Importance of Daily Sunscreen Use

Preventing Sunburn

The most common (and obvious) side effect of not properly applying sunscreen when going out in the sun, is sunburn. It can make your skin red, painful, and sometimes even cause blisters.

Getting sunburned often can lead to more serious problems such as skin cancer. Sunscreen helps protect your skin from getting sunburned by blocking the sun’s harmful UV rays, while still allowing you to enjoy being outside.

What about cloudy days? Yes, sunscreen should be worn even on cloudy days. The sun’s UV rays can still penetrate through the clouds and cause damage to your skin cells. Cloudy days can be very deceptive because it may not seem like the sun’s rays are doing damage, when in fact they are.

This is why it’s important to apply sunscreen, at the very least on your face, every single day, regardless of the cloud cover.

Reducing Risk of Skin Cancer

Did you know that about 5.4 million people in the United States are diagnosed with skin cancer every single year? And what is the most common cause of skin cancer?

If you said the sun, you would be correct.

If not protected, the sun’s harmful rays can damage your skin cells and cause skin cancer over time. While there are genetic causes of skin cancer, and other outside sources that can cause skin cancer, using sunscreen can help lower your risk of getting cancer from sun exposure.

Sunscreen is like putting a shield on your skin to protect it from getting hurt by the sun.

Preventing Premature Aging

While not as serious of an issue as skin cancer is, the sun’s rays can also make your skin age much faster when not protected.

This means you can get wrinkles, fine lines, and dark spots earlier in your life than you should. Not to mention it can cause these imperfections and skin aging issues to be more prominent as you get older.  

Sunscreen helps keep your skin looking young by protecting it from these harmful rays. When you use sunscreen, you are helping to keep your skin smooth and healthy.

Avoiding Skin Discoloration

While usually not harmful or life threatening, over exposure to the sun for an extended period of time can cause dark spots, also known as liver spots, on your skin.

These spots can make your skin look uneven and sometimes unsightly depending on how large they grow. Sunscreen helps prevent these spots by protecting your skin from the sun. This will help keep your skin tone even and beautiful.

Minimizing Skin Inflammation

UV rays from the sun can also cause your skin to become inflamed, making it red and irritated. For people with sensitive skin conditions like psoriasis or rosacea, the sun can make things worse.

Sunscreen can help prevent inflammation and keep your skin calm and comfortable.

How to Choose and Use Sunscreen

Selecting the Right Sunscreen

When choosing a sunscreen, look for one with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30. SPF 30 blocks about 97% of the sun’s harmful rays.

It’s also important to choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen, which protects against both UVA and UVB rays. If you have sensitive skin, you can also look for gentle ingredients that won’t irritate your skin.

Proper Application and Reapplication

The biggest mistake most people make when wearing sunscreen is not properly applying it, or not applying enough.

To make sure your sunscreen works well, you need to use enough to cover all exposed skin. Don’t forget areas like your ears, neck, and the tops of your feet.

Apply the sunscreen 15 minutes before going outside and if you are swimming or sweating, reapply every two hours or after getting wet.

This will help ensure that you have proper coverage across your exposed skin and will help protect you throughout your whole day.

Surgical and Non-Surgical Treatments for Sun Damage

If you notice your skin showing the effects of sun damage, there are things we can do to help restore and rejuvenate your skin. But before undergoing any surgical or non-surgical treatments for damaged skin due to the sun, be sure to consult with a dermatologist about any concerning areas.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer and it’s always better to get checked out before just writing a spot off as being benign.

Non-Surgical Procedures

  1. Chemical Peels: This treatment removes the top layer of damaged skin, revealing fresh, new skin underneath. It can help with sun spots and uneven skin tone.
  2. Laser Therapy: Lasers can target dark spots and stimulate collagen production, which helps make your skin look younger and smoother.
  3. Microdermabrasion: This is a type of exfoliation that removes dead skin cells, making your skin look brighter and more even.

Surgical Procedures

  1. Facelifts: A facelift can tighten loose skin and reduce deep wrinkles caused by sun damage. This helps your skin look firmer and younger.
  2. Skin Grafting: If you have severe sun damage or skin cancer, a skin graft can replace damaged skin with healthy skin from another part of your body.
  3. Dermabrasion: This is a more intense exfoliation than microdermabrasion. It removes deeper layers of damaged skin to improve its texture and appearance.

Sunscreen is the Key to Healthy, Young-Looking Skin

Wearing sunscreen every day is essential for keeping your skin healthy and looking good. It protects your skin from sunburn, skin cancer, premature aging, and other damage.

Make sure to choose the right sunscreen with at least an SPF rating of 30 and apply it thoroughly and properly. If you are already noticing signs of sun damage, there are many different treatments available to help repair your skin.

By taking care of your skin with sunscreen, you can enjoy the sun safely and keep your skin looking its best for years to come.


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