Sunscreen should always be incorporated into your daily skincare line-up. Reality is, it should be the only non-negotiable step you apply daily. Sunscreen creates a physical barrier from the sun and UV rays to prevent photo damage to our skin, postpone signs of aging and wrinkling, as well as protect from skin cancers.
No matter the time of year, rain or shine, sun damage is still a risk. Even on cloudy days, up to 80% of the sun’s harmful UV rays can reach and penetrate your skin. It is a common misconception that we need the vitamin D that the sun naturally provides for us. Although vitamin D plays an important role in cellular growth, repair, and metabolism, it is proven that vitamin D derived from the sun naturally is no better than the vitamin D that we get from taking a daily supplement. Living here in the Midwest we are only receiving proper amounts of vitamin D four months out of the year, so consulting your doctor about starting a supplement for vitamin D may be beneficial.
THE QUICK TAKEAWAYS
Sun DAMAGE shows up after 10 years, so take care of your skin now!
Use the “2 finger rule” when applying sunscreen
Check expiration date before using
Always use SPF 30 or higher
Don’t forget to apply to your neck and hands, they show the first signs of aging
Over time, UV damage will take a toll on your skin as well as the underlying tissue. As a result of this sun damage, wrinkling, changes in pigmentation such as “age spots”, and decreased elasticity can be seen. Although you may not see it now, the lasting effects of sun exposure without sunscreen comes into full effect approximately 10 years after the time of exposure. Signs of aging can be seen and start in your early twenties, so it is important to be proactive to keep your skin healthy and youthful for as long as possible. However, it is never too late to start good sun protection to prevent further photo damage!
Dermatologists recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, which will protect 97% of the sun’s UV rays. Increasing the SPF will provide greater protection; however, no SPF will completely stop the rays from reaching your skin, that’s why it is also important to have an additional barrier such as a sunhat if you anticipate sun exposure for extended periods of time.
Be sure to check expiration dates! There’s a good chance that the neglected bottle in the back of your drawer won’t do you any good this season. Expired products won’t provide the same amount of coverage or efficacy. To be safe you should purchase a new bottle of sunscreen yearly to ensure proper coverage and throw out the expired.
How much sunscreen should I use?
For a general rule of thumb, use the “two finger rule”. To do this just squeeze the sunscreen across your pointer and middle finger for each area of your body. This may seem like a lot, but in order to achieve the advertised SPF protection listed on the bottle the proper amount is needed, or you won’t have the desired coverage. For the face, a dollop the size of a large pea will do. When applying sunscreen, be sure to remember the neck and hands – these are areas that oftentimes give away our age!
With sunscreen there is no such thing as applying too much, better to be safe than sorry! Generally, sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours or so, especially after swimming or sweating. If you work indoors sunscreen is still vital, although you may not need a second application. For an easy reminder, throw a bottle of sunscreen in your purse or desk drawer to serve as a physical reminder to reapply.
“Should I still wear sunscreen if my makeup has SPF?”
Although it may seem repetitive, yes – even if your foundation or other products claim to have SPF in them you should still be applying a separate sunscreen daily. When it comes to protection from the sun’s harmful rays, there’s no skipping it. For example, a foundation with SPF 30 doesn’t have the same level of sun protection as a sunscreen with an SPF 30 label because the foundation is mixed with sunscreen making the SPF concentration lower. Doctors also recommend wearing a SPF of 30 or higher on hands and feet when receiving a gel manicure or pedicure with the UV light. Although it is not sun damage, sunscreen can also protect from skin damage caused by the harmful UV light.
Here at BLUR, we believe that being proactive by reducing sun damage is the best way to slow signs of aging as well as prevent irreversible damage. For purchase in store, we carry sunscreens from both of our trusted brands, SkinMedica and SkinCeuticals, to aid in working with your skin’s natural repair system to protect your skin from UV exposure and correct the signs of aging.
In addition to the sunscreens, we also offer a vitamin C serum during our new Diamond Glow facial. This serum serves as additional protection from the sun, as well as a deep dose of antioxidants to rejuvenate and protect the skin from other environmental stressors.