Have you ever wondered why you need to wear sunscreen? Here is a great educational video that tells you exactly why: Get to view TED-ed Video
Essentially, sunscreen helps to protect our skin from UVB and UVA rays. These rays cause a variety of problems from sun burns to wrinkles and even skin cancer.
UVB rays cause sun burns while UVA rays are less well known and can cause deeper damage, even to the cellular level. This damage can cause mutations in our DNA which lead to cancer.
Sunscreen protects us in two ways, physically and chemically. Physical protection comes from things like titanium dioxide which forms a layer of sun block on our skin. Chemical protectants absorb the rays to keep them from going in our skin, but tend to break down quickly.
Exposure to UVA rays can cause the elasticity of our skin to go down which leads to sagging and wrinkles. Even car windows don’t protect against UVA rays. Don’t forget that snow and water also reflect and amplify the sun’s rays, making it important to wear sunscreen even in winter sports.
When choosing a sunscreen look for a broad spectrum one with an SPF of at least 30. Spray sunscreen needs several coats to be effective, so be aware if you choose to use those. Apply the sunscreen at least fifteen to thirty minutes before going outside and then apply again shorty after going outside. Reapply every couple of hours or after sweating or swimming.
Even with sun screen, try to avoid being in the sun during the hottest parts of the day. Wear sun protecting clothing and stay in the shade to avoid too much sun exposure.
Sunscreen should be a vital part of your skin care regimen, especially if you will be outdoors for long periods of time. Keep in mind that small children need even less sun exposure than adults, so protect yourself and your kids and stay safe in the sun.
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