Why should I use sunscreen and which ones are the most effective? These days it seems most everyone is aware of the importance of sunscreen in our daily lives. But, did you know that it is of great importance to apply not only while at the pool or beach but to apply every day, even in the winter and on cloudy days! Think, every day that end in Y!! Those aging and cancer causing UVA and UVB (think aging and burning) rays of the sun are always around, even when you don’t need your sunglasses. (UV protectant sunglasses are necessary too!) So lather up butter cup!! Here’s how to choose a quality sunscreen.
First off, I always use sunscreen on my face and body! In skincare we notice more brown spots or sun damage on the left side of peoples faces from constant sun exposure from the driver’s side window of the car. Even airplane pilots are at great risk for skin cancer and sun damage because they are closer to the sun on a regular basis while flying. The best protection is obviously staying out of the sun or wearing sun protective clothing like long sleeves and hats. Get your car windows tinted with UV protection. Have you ever seen a baby born with freckles?? I didn’t think so!
Best protection is a combination of absorbing and reflecting sunscreens known as broad spectrum with an SPF of 30 or higher. Reapply every hour if out in the sun and especially after swimming (use water resistant). I also recommend a vitamin C serum every morning to clean skin as your first product to amplify your sunscreen and neutralize free radicals that age the skin. Think protecting a grape from turning into a raisin!! Look for a sunscreen with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as well as other UV absorbing ingredients such as oxybenzone, as they will deflect and neutralize the radiation before it affects your skin. If you are sensitive to some sunscreens, use ones with only zinc oxide or titanium dioxide called true physical.
Let’s talk tanning beds for a moment. Now, please oh please STOP this at once if you still tan. Don’t even start!! Skin cancers and aggressive, deadly melanoma are on the rise because of cell damage caused by years of back damage done. Always keep an eye on your body for suspicious lesions and get a once a year check by a dermatologist. There are some beautiful and natural self tanners on the market that are sure to give you that radiant, California glow!! Have you ever seen a porcelain Irish beauty with wrinkly skin?? Not likely!!
We have all seen the ever so diligent Japanese women with their parasols, full sleeves, hats, and gloves to protect them from the aging rays of the sun. I admit, that is a bit over the top, but they are really serious about anti aging and have been for years! I think just being super aware of sun exposure and protecting your self with clothing and sunscreen is a great practice. We obviously can’t live in a cave. Avoiding sunburns and teaching our children the importance of prevention and protection is a beautiful thing inside and out!
By Jenni Phipps, RN