Now that we are heading into the warm summer months, it’s time to get outside and enjoy the sun. Feeling its warm rays kissing your face is amazing for your spirit, provides you with some much-needed vitamin D, and can boost your mood in a big way. The only problem is that you need to make sure your skin is protected from the UVA/UVB rays of the sun. Sun exposure and UV rays can damage the skin. Even just one bad sunburn as a child can lead to years of damaged skin to worry about.
Obviously, you know it’s important to slather on that SPF 30 each morning on all exposed skin, even for incidental sun exposure. You may want to use a higher SPF if you are going to be doing more outdoor activities that day, like going to the pool or the beach. Many people also know that it’s important to reapply throughout the day. That layer of sunscreen you put on in the morning won’t be effective in the late afternoon. But what about after 5 pm? Do you still need to put on more sunscreen after the most intense sun of the day is done? The answer to that is a resounding yes.
The sun doesn’t set in the summertime until much later in the day. So, if the sun's rays are still shining on your skin's surface, the importance of sunscreen cannot be overstated. If you don’t properly protect your skin, you’ll be setting yourself up for premature aging, sunspots, and even the risk of skin cancer. No one wants that! Plus, it’s all preventable with the right usage of sunscreen each day. Let’s look at some of the reasons why broad-spectrum sunscreen is so vital for the health of your skin, and the products that can help to repair sun damage from Cosmedica Skincare, your go-to resource for the best in simplified skincare that results in radiant skin.
Common Misconceptions About Sunscreen
There are some common misconceptions about sunscreen that have been circulating for years. Here are some of the more prevalent ones that many people continue to believe.
Myth 1: Higher SPF Offers More Protection
SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, is a measure of how well the sunscreen protects against UV radiation. Here’s the thing, after an SPF 30 it’s not going to make much difference. An SPF 30 blocks about 97 percent of sun rays. No amount of SPF is going to block 100 percent of the sun's harmful rays from hitting you or give you a longer time of protection. You still need to use the right amount and reapply often.
Myth 2: Using Sunscreen Blocks Beneficial Vitamin D
Everyone needs vitamin D from the sun. Your body produces it when the skin is exposed to sunlight, and it’s an essential nutrient. It keeps your bones, muscles, and teeth healthy and strong. People sometimes think that by wearing sunscreen you’re blocking all vitamin D absorption, but that’s just not true. Your body only needs a bit of sun to start making its own vitamin D. You’ll get that absorption even if you wear sunscreen because it’s simply not blocking all the rays of the sun completely.
Myth 3: You Don’t Need Sunscreen on Cloudy Days
It’s hard to believe that people still don’t realize that the sun shines through those clouds. The reality is you experience UV exposure during cloudy days too. Most of the sun’s rays will still hit your skin on these overcast days, up to 90 percent! So, sun damage can even occur on cloudy days year-round. Better to protect yourself than leave your skin vulnerable to significant sun damage.
Myth 4: Makeup Containing Sunscreen Is Enough
Here’s the deal with SPF in tinted moisturizers and foundations. You probably aren’t slathering your skin with enough of the product to offer the right amount of protection. Head to toe, you need at least a shot glass full of sunscreen for your body. Can you imagine how much foundation you would have to cake on your face to truly protect it? Plus, you probably aren’t putting your makeup all the way down your neck and on your ears either. It’s much better to use a separate sunscreen product for the best protection.
Understanding the UV Index
The Ultraviolet Index or “UV index” is a rating scale of 1 to 11 and up for the international measurement of how strong the intensity of the sun is on any given day. You may hear them reference this measurement on the weather forecast during the local news each day, especially during the summer. The United States Environment Protection Agency (EPA) offers a great tool to find the UV Index in your area on their website. All you do is plug in your zip code and it will detail the expected intensity in your area. Then it will make recommendations for the level of protection you need and when to avoid intense sun exposure during peak hours. Some of the information the UV Index on the EPA’s site offers is the following.
- Avoid the sun between 10 am and 4 pm
- Wear sun protective clothing
- Use an SPF of at least a 30 each day
- Don’t get a sunburn ever
- Watch out for the sun’s reflection off the water or snow
- Never use tanning beds
Guide to Protecting Your Skin
There are a few simple rules and guidance you need to follow when looking to protect your skin daily. Let’s call them the golden rules of sun protection. It’s not just for fair skin. Apply your sunscreen with an SPF 30, with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, at least a few times per day. Look for a sunscreen that says “broad-spectrum sunscreen” on the packaging.
That includes all exposed areas, even if you are only going to be getting some incidental sun exposure, which means those few minutes in the sun when going to and from your car. If you are going to be outside for longer periods of time, it’s important to reapply after any water activities, sweating intensely, or drying off. Water-resistant sunscreen is a must-have on beach vacations especially. You can also consider sun-protective clothing to ensure your safety.
Make sure you are using enough sunscreen in direct sunlight. As we mentioned before, for your entire body, it’s about a shot glass worth of sunscreen. Rub it in completely. Make sure to wait about 15 minutes before any sun exposure or swimming to allow the sunscreen time to absorb.
Here’s a great tip to follow. Find a sunscreen that you love. Make sure the consistency, smell, and texture are something that you can tolerate. There are many different kinds out there even for sensitive skin, so if you don’t like one, there is bound to be another that feels good to you. Sprays, sticks, lotions, serums, there is a sunscreen for everyone!
What Sun Damage Means for Your Skin
Here’s the bad news. Even one bad sunburn can cause lasting lifelong sun damage. When this type of damage occurs, it alters the structure of the skin breaking down important cellular bonds. It’s also called photoaging and causes different types of skin cancer.
Once the skin is sun damaged, you’ll start to notice large dark spots or freckles that don’t go away when exposed to extensive UV light. It’s going to show up on any exposed skin, but it’s especially noticeable on the face, neck, and chest area.
Can Sun Damage Be Reversed?
Now we have some good news for you. One of the most common questions asked is, can sun damage be reversed? You actually can’t reverse sun damage, that’s true, but you can take steps to improve the look of the skin after sustaining sun damage. So, if you have dark spots and fine lines, it’s never too late to use Cosmedica Skincare’s product to make serious improvements in skin repair. Plus, you can prevent further damage by simply making sure you follow all the SPF guidelines that we outlined above. Daily protection is critical for preventing premature agingfrom sun damage.
Cosmedica Skincare Products to Repair Skin
We have a bounty of products that will retexturize, resurface, and repair the skin. It’s all with the goal of giving you radiant skin that glows with health. Here are some of the best ones and what they will do to give you more flawless skin.
1. 2.5 % Retinol Facial System
This set is a great place to start to improve the signs of sun damage. It’s Cosmedica Skincare’s 2.5 % Retinol Facial System, including a serum and nighttime moisturizer to get you started. Retinol works to help with cellular regeneration, allowing the skin to turn over more effectively. This will refine the tone and texture, improving the look of dark spots and fine lines. Skin will be smoother, more even in tone, and hydrated.
2. Vitamin C Super Serum
Another way to fade those dark sun spots is with our Vitamin C Super Serum. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can not only fight off uneven skin tone but can help to fortify the skin against free radicals in the environment that age it. It’s a super powerful way to repair the signs of sun damage that will show you results right away and will just keep getting better the more you use it consistently.
3. Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum
One product that needs to be a part of everyone’s skincare regimen is the Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum. It will bind beneficial moisture to the skin and make all the other skincare products you use to reverse sun damage more effective. Skin will feel plumped up and have fewer dry patches from overexposure to the sun.
At Cosmedica Skincare, we wish you the best summer of your life with skin that is protected and looking radiant for now and in the future.