Think of SPF as a magic potion to resolve or minimise most of your skin issues. Sunscreen not only protects us from sun damage but also reduces our risk of skin cancer, prevents the early onset of wrinkles and works immediately upon application. It’s one of the best beauty and skincare secrets, but it’s not really a secret because we have been told and even scolded as kids when we would step outside without applying it especially during long hours of sun exposure. Remember the days when you’d go to the beach without any sun protection and get rashes or sunburn? Yes. I, for one neglected applying sunscreen for the longest because I never believed a simple liquid could be so beneficial. But almost at the age of 30, with pigmentation and visible sun damage I decided to finally reach for my sunscreen and test it out by applying it consistently. Read on to find out why you should make this a habit, if you haven’t already.
The benefits of sunscreen
Reduces risk of developing skin cancer
Sunscreen works as protection against harmful UV rays which reduces the risk of developing skin cancer and skin pre-cancers. Applying a good amount of SPF with other protection like sunglasses or a cap/hat reduces the harmful effects of sun exposure.
Protection against sunburn
Sunlight consists of two types of harmful rays, UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays which are also used in tanning booths are linked to long term skin damage such as the formation of wrinkles, and some skin cancers. UVB rays are responsible for sunburn and are thought to cause most skin cancers. Not only are the sunburns painful, they have a direct link to the most deadly types of skin cancer. Luckily, sunscreen defends the skin against UV rays by absorbing, reflecting or scattering sunlight.
Protection against redness and inflammation
Long hours of sun exposure without any protection lead to sunburn, severe skin reddening and inflammation of the skin. The ultraviolet rays from the sun damage the skin and as a result the skin turns red as the body directs more blood to the affected area to repair the damage.
While hyperpigmentation also known as uneven skin tone or dark spots can be hereditary it can also be caused by excessive sun exposure. Hyperpigmentation refers to parts of the skin becoming discoloured or darkening in an inconsistent way. Blotchy skin or dark spots may spring up on the face, hands and other parts of the body regularly exposed to the sun.
Prevention from fine line and wrinkles
Sunscreen is considered one of the best ways to tackle signs of ageing such as wrinkles, fine lines and crow’s feet. Lengthy exposure to UVA rays prematurely ages your skin and results in the loss of collagen and skin elasticity. In fact, approximately up to 90% of visible signs of ageing are caused by sun damage. By introducing SPF into your daily skin care routine, you’re warding off the early signs of ageing with minimal effort.