My latest mission? To get all of my clothes, makeup and accessories organized. Move the cold weather items needed now to a place within easy reach, store the warm weather things until their needed later. But there’s one item that isn’t getting moved to the back of the cabinet for later use, sunscreen. Believe it or not, sunscreen is one accessory we need year round.
Despite the name; sun, sleet, rain or hail – we should all use sunscreen every single day. (I vote that it it should be renamed to something else like “all weather screen” or “everyday protection.”) Many dermatologists feel this one thing is one of the best things you can do to prevent premature aging. There is a lot less sun in the fall and winter but, your face, neck and hands are still exposed. According to The World Health Organization in the Global Solar UV Index, even on a cloudy day, up to 80 percent of the sun’s ultraviolet rays can pass through the clouds. In addition, sand reflects 25 percent of the sun’s rays and snow reflects 80 percent of the sun’s rays.
Do you know the difference between UVA and UVB rays? I went to the Merriam Webster Medical Dictionary to answer this question:
• “UVA is radiation that is in the region of the ultraviolet spectrum which is nearest to visible light and extends from 320 to 400 nm in wavelength and that causes tanning and contributes to aging of the skin.”
• “UVB is radiation that is in the region of the ultraviolet spectrum which extends from 280 to 320 nm in wavelength and that is primarily responsible for sunburn, aging of the skin, and the development of skin cancer.”
Protection from both UVA and UVB rays is important. When looking at sunscreen check to make sure it is stable. No, not that it will stand firmly on your pool side table, stability of sunscreen translates into how long it will work. All of us have had a friend that put on SPF 30 and still got burnt to a crisp. The burn relates to the longevity of the sunscreen, it’s stability. Take a look at the percentages of the active ingredients, this tells you the UVA protection you are getting. The higher the percentage the better it is. And checking the SPF rating will tell you what protection you are getting from UVB rays.
Plus, when you skip daily sunscreen you can become more susceptible to brown spots (aka sun spots) on hands and face. This is especially true on left side of your face and hands which receive more exposure to sunlight through the driver’s-side car window. It’s true for me, I do have a few spots sun spots on my left hand from the huge amount of time spent in my car.
Don’t discount the fact that one of the best anti-aging skincare products is sunscreen. Consider this myth busted; everyone should protect themselves and wear sunscreen year round. (And here’s a hint: for maximum effectiveness, let it soak in thoroughly.)
How about it readers? Do you wear sunscreen ALL the time? Or just went you are “sunbathing” like the cutie in the Vintage Coppertone ad? Tell us your favorites…