We learn from a young age that we need to wear sunscreen if we want to spend a lot of time in the sun, especially in Australia. While most of us are pretty good at applying sunscreen if we’re going to the beach or a long walk in the sun, we can do better.
Applying sunscreen every day should be the foundation of your skin care routine. You already know some of the reasons why sunscreen is so important, but some of them may be new to you.
Here’s the short version:
- Sun damage is the biggest cause of premature aging
- Sunscreen makes the rest of your skin care routine more effective
- The reasons you don’t like wearing sunscreen go away when you find the right product
4 reasons why you should be wearing sunscreen every day
1. Sunscreen lowers skin cancer risk
We know this already, but it’s the most important item on this list and it’s worth repeating. What you may not know is how significantly daily sunscreen use lowers skin cancer risk. In an Australian study, invasive melanomas were nearly four times less common in daily sunscreen users compared to periodic sunscreen users over a period of 15 years.
2. Sunscreen is the best way to prevent signs of aging
Yes! This is true! UV rays are well known to cause photoaging of the skin. What does this look like?
- Leathery skin
- Fine lines
- Breakdown of collagen (so your skin will look less full)
The same study mentioned above also found that daily sunscreen users showed no detectable increase in skin aging in 4.5 years. If you’re using other products to help prevent signs of aging, sunscreen is essential to protect that investment.
3. It helps maintain even skin tone
Sun spots and uneven skin tone are largely caused by sun exposure. Even if you are using retinols for anti ageing, they will not really stop the sunspots or discolourations appearing if you’re not also protecting your skin with sunscreen.
4. Exfoliated skin burns easier
If you’re using skin care products with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), your skin will be more sensitive to UV light and sunscreen is even more important. And this is still the case even if you only use these products at night, your skin will still be sensitive the next day and for some time afterwards.
So if you have acids that feature in your routine, it’s extra important to make sure you’re protecting your dewy skin by using sunscreen.
4 reasons (excuses) why you aren’t already wearing sunscreen every day
1. It’s gross, oily, and smelly
Many of the most commonly available sunscreens aren’t created with beauty and comfort in mind. It’s a practical product, after all. But sunscreen tech has come a long way since the days of those big tubs at primary school and having to wear legionnaires hats. Old formulas have given sunscreen the bad rep of being greasy on skin. But that’s not the case anymore! Anything that’s been formulated in the last 5 or so years is now much better.
There is so much more on the market now, and products are constantly being developed to feel more comfortable and be more aesthetically appealing. Get a sunscreen that suits your skin type and concerns.
If you’re particularly concerned with looking shiny or feeling oily, you can try using blotting paper or translucent powder after giving the sunscreen about 8 minutes to soak in. Just be gentle and try not to disturb the sunscreen.
The Mesoprotech Mineral Matt Antiaging fluid is a great example of sunscreen without the oily texture.
2. It gives you a white tint
This is typically a problem which affects people with darker skin tones when using physical sunscreens. Physical sunscreens which use zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to create a barrier between the sun and your skin and this is what creates the white tint left on your skin.
You can try using a chemical sunscreen instead, as these use organic compounds to protect your skin.
3. It’s just another thing you need to do
Yep. It’s an extra step in your daily routine. But it’s also the most important step. And protecting your skin from sun damage will also make all your other skin care products more effective, giving you the best long-term results.
The three most important things you can have in your skincare routine are:
- Cleansing — to wash the grime off your face
- Moisturising — protect your skin barrier/locks in all your other treatments
- Sunscreen — protect your skin from the elements
4. I’m working from home so I’m just inside all day
If you are near a window, going outside for walks or to get coffee, then you’re still getting sun exposure and you still need daily sunscreen. If you’re completely nocturnal and literally never see natural sunlight, then there may be entirely different problems with your lifestyle that we can’t help with.