Why Sunscreen Should Be A Part Of Your Skincare Routine

Applying sunscreen daily should be an essential part of everyone’s skincare routine. Though some may see it as an unnecessary extra step, using sunscreen provides crucial protection against sun damage that can lead to accelerated skin aging and increased skin cancer risk. Making sunscreen a habit is especially important for those living in sunny climates like the southern United States. Here’s an overview of why you should make sunscreen application a non-negotiable part of your daily skincare regimen.

Prevents Premature Aging

One of the most compelling reasons to use sunscreen is to prevent premature aging of the skin. Studies unambiguously show that daily unprotected sun exposure leads to the early development of fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and loose, sagging skin. This accelerated aging is due to the sun’s UV rays damaging the skin’s collagen fibers and elastin over time through a process called photoaging. Regular use of broad-spectrum sunscreen prevents this damage and allows you to maintain a more youthful, even-toned complexion long-term.

Lowers Skin Cancer Risk

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Over 5 million cases are diagnosed annually. Daily sunscreen use has been shown to substantially lower the risk of developing the two most common forms of skin cancer: squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma. Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is also largely preventable with regular sunscreen application. Saying yes to sunscreen every morning is a small habit that can make a big difference in avoiding a skin cancer diagnosis.

Prevents Sunburns

It’s obvious, but worth stating: sunscreen helps prevent painful sunburns. Getting too much sun without protection leads to the trademark red, sensitive, blistering skin we all want to avoid. Maintaining a base layer of sunscreen when you head outdoors in sunny weather keeps you from ending the day crispy, sore, and peeling. The convenience of a daily sunscreen makes last-minute outdoor plans or unexpected long days trouble-free.

Protects Against Discoloration

Uneven skin tone in the form of dark spots and melasma is another consequence of unprotected UV exposure. The increased melanin production sun damage triggers can leave you with unsightly hyperpigmented patches on your face, chest, and hands. But implementing a regimen of sunscreen application counters this effect. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends broad spectrum sunscreen use as part of treatment for discoloration in skin of color in particular. Keeping your complexion even should be non-negotiable.

Prevents UV Damage Even Through Glass

Don’t be fooled into thinking indirect sun exposure when you’re sitting pretty indoors doesn’t require sunscreen. A common misconception is that glass windows block all UV rays, but UVA rays still penetrate and wreak havoc. Sitting in a sunny room or car without sunscreen still leads to photoaging, dark spots, and skin cancer risk. For comprehensive protection, apply a layer before any prolonged sun exposure, even if indirect.

Choosing The Right Sunscreen

To make sun protection non-negotiable, having sunscreens you want to apply is key. When choosing a product, look for broad spectrum formulas that protect from both UVA and UVB rays. Aim for SPF 30 at minimum, though SPF 50 provides even better shielding for extended outdoor time. Dennis Gross Sunscreen is available in SPF 30 and 50 to suit your needs. Consider your skin type too. Creams hydrate dry skin, gels are ideal for oily and acne-prone skin, and sprays make application fast. With the array of sunscreens available, you can certainly find options you look forward to applying.

A comprehensive skincare routine is incomplete without daily sunscreen use. Just a pea-sized amount applied in the morning guards your skin all day against the sheer bombardment of UV exposure.

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