More than 3.5 million skin cancers in more than 2 million people are diagnosed annually. AND many of these skin cancers could have been prevented with protection from the sun’s rays. (https://www.aad.org/media-resources/stats-and-facts/prevention-and-care/sunscreen-faqs, n.d.)
Plus as if that’s not enough of a reason to lather on the screen, 90% of skin aging can be contributed to the effects of the sun, often referred to as photoaging!! Sun exposure over time begins to alter the structure of the skin, causing wrinkles, loss of elasticity and tone, hyperpigmentation, broken capillaries, and keratosis: rough, scaly spots that can be precancerous.
Yes our genetics are partly the cause of how our skin ages. However, photoaging is an even larger factor and the good news: it is completely within our control and easily preventable. Since sun damage is cumulative (meaning 15 minutes here and there add up to hours of sun exposure) it is never too late to start protecting your skin with sunscreen!
Not sure which screen to pick?? The American Academy of Dermatology recommends everyone properly use sunscreen that offers the following:
- Broad-spectrum protection (protects against UVA and UVB rays). There are two types of sun rays from which we need to be protecting our skin. UVB rays penetrate the epidermal or outer layer of the skin which usually presents the damage it causes the skin through sunburn. UVA radiation, while also damaging the epidermis, penetrates deeper into the skin to the level of the dermis. It has recently been discovered that although skin cancer presents itself in the top layer of the skin (epidermal layer) that truly the cellular damage from the UVA rays deeper below the surface changes the cell structure perhaps leading to the cancerous cell development.
- Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 30 or greater. Dermatologists recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, which blocks 97% of the sun’s rays. Higher number SPFs block slightly more of the sun’s rays but no sunscreen can block 100% of the sun’s rays. High-number SPFs last the same amount of time as low-number SPFs and should be applied approximately every two hours when outdoors, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.
- Water resistance.
Once you have chosen the best sunscreen for you by checking out all our Green Beauty options. How do you make sure you are applying it correctly? Again the American Academy of Dermatology recommends:
- Apply the sunscreen to dry skin 15 minutes BEFORE going outdoors.
- Use enough sunscreen to generously coat all skin that will be not be covered by clothing. Ask yourself, “Will my face, ears, arms, or hands be covered by clothing?” If not, apply sunscreen. Most people only apply 25-50% of the recommended amount of sunscreen.
- Follow the guideline of “one ounce, enough to fill a shot glass”, which dermatologists consider the amount needed to cover the exposed areas of the body. Adjust the amount of sunscreen applied depending on your body size.
- Re-apply approximately every two hours or as indicated on the label, even on cloudy days, AND after swimming or sweating.