Healthy skin is the foundation of a confident, radiant appearance. While our skin is remarkable at defending us against external factors, it's not invincible. Prolonged exposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays can lead to premature ageing, sunburn, and even more severe concerns like skin cancer. This is why sunscreen is an essential part of any skincare routine, serving as a protective shield against the harmful effects of the sun. In this guide, we'll explore the critical reasons why sunscreen is important and provide valuable insights into the correct application, ensuring that you make the most of your sun protection.
Why is Sunscreen Important?
Sunscreen is a vital component of our skincare routine that helps to protect our skin from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation, also known as UV radiation. There are three categories of ultraviolet radiation: ultraviolet A (UVA), ultraviolet B (UVB) and ultraviolet C (UVC). However, most of the UV radiation that reaches earth is UVA, although some UVB radiation does reach earth as well — and that’s where sunscreen swoops in to save your skin. Here’s why sunscreen is an important part of any skincare routine:
UV Protection:Shields the skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays, preventing sunburn, sun-induced redness, inflammation, damage to the skin's cellular structure and other long-term damage. It also reduces the risk of skin cancers, including melanoma, by acting as a barrier against UV radiation.
Anti-Ageing:Helps prevent premature ageing, such as wrinkles and fine lines, caused by prolonged sun exposure.
Evens Out Skin Tone and Protects Scars:Aids in maintaining an even skin tone by preventing sun-induced hyperpigmentation and dark spots. Sunscreen can also help prevent scars from darkening and becoming more noticeable when exposed to the sun.2
While you may be tempted to just avoid the sun entirely, the sun’s rays are essential to the production of vitamin D which is a key factor that helps your body to absorb calcium and phosphorus from food1. Rather than shunning the sun, it’s highly recommended to just apply a good sunscreen regularly so you’ll be able to enjoy its warmth without compromising your skin’s health.
How to Choose the Right Sunscreen?
Navigating the range of sunscreen selections can be a bit like diving into a sea of options, but it’s well worth the effort. Choosing the right sunscreen is your key to a sun-kissed glow without the burn, so let’s delve into the factors that you should consider when choosing your skin’s new best friend.
SPF Level:Consider the Sun Protection Factor (SPF), which indicates the level of protection against UVB rays. Think of SPF as your sun safety rating. Higher values mean more protection against sunburn. For daily use, SPF 30 is a good starting point to keep your skin shielded.
Broad-spectrum Protection:Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen to safeguard against both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin, causing ageing, while UVB rays are responsible for sunburn. Choosing a broad-spectrum formula ensures comprehensive protection — it's like an all-in-one shield for your skin.
Skin Type:Tailor your sunscreen to your skin type. For oily skin, opt for oil-free or gel-based formulations. Creams or lotions work well for dry skin, while sensitive skin benefits from hypoallergenic and fragrance-free options.
Water Resistance:If you'll be swimming or sweating, choose a water-resistant sunscreen. Keep in mind that no sunscreen is entirely waterproof, so reapplication after swimming or heavy sweating is crucial.
Ingredients:Look for non-comedogenic formulations, especially if you have acne-prone skin, to avoid clogged pores. If your skin is sensitive, go for something hypoallergenic.
Fragrance-Free:Consider opting for fragrance-free sunscreens, particularly if you have sensitive skin or are prone to allergies. Fragrances can sometimes cause irritation, so a fragrance-free option is a safer choice.
Age Consideration:As we embrace different stages of life, selecting a sunscreen that suits your skin's unique requirements becomes essential. Older skin tends to be more sensitive and often requires more moisture, hence a sunscreen that is tailored to address these concerns can help to protect your skin even as it nourishes it.
If you are looking for sunscreen tips because you are travelling to a beach destination soon, remember to get one that is safe for coral reefs so you will not accidentally harm ocean life.
Can Sunscreen Be Layered?
Yes, sunscreen can be layered! However, do note that it works best when it’s applied directly to your skin, so make sure to wash your face before application to remove makeup and oil that could prevent the sunscreen from adhering to your skin. Pat dry after your wash and your skin is now the perfect canvas for sunscreen!
How Do You Apply Sunscreen Correctly?
If you were unsure of how to apply sunscreen to your skin, follow these steps:
- Smooth it evenly, making sure to cover all areas.
- Pay attention to the often-neglected spots like the tops of your ears, hairline, jawline, front and back of your neck, upper chest, upper back and shoulders.
- Once you’re done rubbing in your sunscreen fully, you can proceed with the rest of your skincare routine such as applying your moisturiser, foundation and other makeup products.
Sunscreen should be applied at least 20 minutes before you head out under the sun. If you’re out and about, it’s important to remember to reapply your sunscreen throughout the day — preferably once every two hours — as sweat and moisture can cause it to wear off. Even if you’re not heading out of the house for the day, do remember to apply sunscreen too as UV ray exposure, specifically UVA rays, can occur even through glass.
Prioritising your skin's well-being through the use of sunscreen is a small yet impactful step towards a healthier and more confident you. As we've uncovered, the sun's rays can pose significant threats to your skin, making the application of sunscreen an essential component of your daily routine. By taking this simple measure, you not only shield yourself from sunburn and premature ageing but also reduce the risk of more severe conditions like skin cancer. However, even if you have been going out in the sun sans protection all this while, not all hope is lost yet. Explore our range of facial treatments and professional skincare products here at Beauté Library to revitalise your skin for that gorgeous glow — and don’t forget to put on some sunscreen to protect your skin this time, because sun-kissed is in but sunburnt definitely isn’t!References