The sun is currently shining this morning in Dublin ~ so today we’re talking all about the importance of SPF!
On the most basic level, the importance of sunscreen can be summarized in just a few words: it protects your skin from the sun. The sun produces natural energy in the form of ultraviolet (UV) rays that can cause damage to the skin.
There are two main types of UV rays that cause different types of damage if there is too much exposure:
Ultraviolet A (UVA) –– associated with premature ageing of the skin
Ultraviolet B (UVB) –– associated with sunburns
Your skin’s outer layer is composed of cells that contain a pigment called melanin that helps to protect your skin from the sun’s rays. However, melanin can only do so much; too much exposure to these ultraviolet rays causes these cells to darken and then shed. Sunscreen acts as a shield for your skin cells and protects your skin from damage.
This damage can take the form of:
Intense or frequent sunburns.
▪️Broken blood vessels in your skin
▪️Premature ageing of the skin resulting in fine lines and wrinkles
▪️Skin cancer - both non-melanoma and melanoma
Spending time in the sun, regardless of your skin type, puts you at a higher risk for sun damage. When choosing a sunscreen, look for the words “broad spectrum” –– this means your sunscreen will shield your skin against both UVA and UVB sun rays.
Skin cancer, along with sunburns and premature ageing, can all be easily prevented by simply wearing sunscreen all year round and incorporating it into your daily skincare routine.
Protecting your skin from these harmful UV rays will result in more youthful skin with less lines/wrinkles, altered pigmentation of the skin and broken capillaries especially on the face and back of the hands which are exposed daily and will also prevent formation of
precancerous and cancerous skin lesions.
How do I protect my skin from both UVA and UVB Rays? Continued in comments!
Broad-spectrum sunscreens include combinations of ingredients that protect from both types of rays. Keep an eye out for a combination of physical blockers zinc oxide and titanium dioxide and ingredients found in chemical SPF such as Octinoxate & Mexoryl SX. Different combinations of these ingredients will protect against both UVA and UVB rays for full protection.
Wearing broad-spectrum protection every day, even on cloudy days or days you’ll spend inside at a window/driving, is the key to keeping skin healthy and avoiding premature ageing -Fine lines/wrinkles, sunspots, broken capillaries, and protecting from some skin cancers. If you only apply one skincare product before you leave the house, make sure it’s a broad-spectrum sunscreen.
One of our favourite broad-spectrum SPFs is Elta MD UV Clear in both Clear or Tinted versions. You can order online at www.instituteofdermatologists.ie