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Why Sunscreen?

Why Sunscreen?

Many people have either questioned or contemplated the need to use sunscreen routinely. If you are one of them, this topic is for you and will address those popular myths about sunscreen use. The use of routine sunscreen is the best and most effective way of protecting your skin from aging and skin cancer. Briefly, Sun Protection Factor (SPF) and sunscreen are not the same thing and cannot be used interchangeably. According to U.S. Food & Drug, SPF is a measure of how well a sunscreen will protect one’s skin from UVB rays which are the kind of radiation that causes sunburn, skin damage and skin cancer (2017). It is critical to note that as the value of SPF increases, the protection of sunburn increases. The sun’s ultraviolet rays generate free radicals that can cause skin cancer, damage DNA and skin cells, and accelerates wrinkle formation. The higher the number of SPF, the better. For example, an SPF of 15 will provide about 15 times more protection than your normal skin without the sunscreen.

Myths About Sunscreen

  • I am dark skin with enough melanin, so I do not need to use sunscreen. While dark skin people may have melanin which provides some natural protection from the sun’s damaging UV rays, no one has full immunity from the damage caused by sun exposure. 
  • Sunscreen with SPF of 50 does not require reapplication when it wears off. This is false, the free radicals from the sun’s UV rays can still cause skin damage. 
  • Make-up or skincare product has sunscreen so no need to wear sunscreen. This is not true about the use of make-ups with SPF, one can still be exposed to skin damage from the free radicals and susceptible to skin cancer.

Let’s get to the why part of this topic. American Academy of Dermatology Association has supported the argument that sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher reduces the risk of developing skin cancer, prevents sunburn, reduces the risk of dark spots, stops existing melasma from darkening, decreases signs of aging such as wrinkle, age spots and sagging skin. 

Do you use sunscreen daily? Share your favorite brands in the comment section. 

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