Regardless of the risks our dermatologists consistently highlight (as well as what our mothers taught us growing up), many of us remain active sun seekers, constantly looking to achieve that perfect beachy bronze. Even when we aren’t aiming to work on our flawless looking tan, it is still critical to use sun care products to protect your body.
While a mere comment like “you really should be wearing sunscreen” often isn’t enough to initiate action on the listener’s end, here are some rather alarming statistics and information about skincare and sunscreen that will turn you into an SPF lover for good.
ONCE YOU’RE TAN THE DAMAGE IS DONE
According to Darrell Rigel, a clinical professor of dermatology at New York University Medical Center: “a tan is literally your body’s response to being injured by UV exposure”.¹ By the time you are tan, the damage is already done. There is no such thing as a safe tan!
Sun exposure not only increases your risk of getting skin cancer but it also has a cumulative effect on wrinkles, thinning skin, dark spots and broken capillary veins on the skin.¹ Just keep in mind: sun is the greatest threat to your skin’s health as well as your youthful appearance. If you protect yourself from the sun properly now, you’ll be thanking yourself in the years to come. We are currently obsessed with Bare Republic, an eco-active skincare line with a wide variety of different types of sun care to meet your needs. Shop Bare Republic by visiting their website here.
THE DEAL WITH SPF
While the FDA is still debating the effects of super high SPF sunscreens, most doctors suggest a minimum SPF of 30 for everyday use and an SPF of 50 for longer days in the sun.¹ A sunscreen with an SPF of 30 will block out 96% of sunburn-causing UVB rays.²
THE NEED FOR VITAMIN D
Yes, the sun does encourage the body to produce essential vitamin D. But the need for vitamin D shouldn’t be the impetus for spending long hours in the sun. Ronnie Klein MD and assistant professor at Yale Dermatology states that after 15 minutes of exposure, the body is actually overloaded by the sun and stops producing vitamin D. In fact, you can get your daily requirement of vitamin D via diet, vitamins, and sun exposure from simply doing errands.¹
THE TROUBLE WITH CLOUDS
Cloudy days are the culprit behind some majorly bad sunburns. While the clouds do manage to block infrared rays (leaving you feeling cool), they only manage to block 20% of UV rays that will cause you to to burn.¹
WEIRD FACT: SUNSCREEN EXPIRES
To ensure you’re protecting your body to the utmost, make sure you’re not lathering up with expired sunscreen. The reason being is that the active ingredients in sunscreen can deteriorate over time, negatively impacting its efficacy. Similarly, storing your sunscreen in less than ideal conditions like your car’s toasty glove box can also hamper the sunscreen’s protective qualities.²
APPLY, REAPPLY, REPEAT
For those full days in the sun, one application of sunscreen is only good for a maximum of two hours. This is because the skin quite literally soaks up the active sun-protecting ingredients over time. Plus, activities like swimming and sweating demand more frequent application to ensure adequate protection.
OTHER WAYS TO TAN IT UP
If you can’t seem to kick the habit of tanning, keep in mind there is a way to get a tan without doing irreparable damage to your skin: invest in a sunless tanner or consider a spray tan!