Protect Your Skin With Sunscreen

From both a medical and cosmetic standpoint, daily use of sunscreen is one of the most important steps in your skin care routine. Sunscreen contains physical and/or chemical ingredients that block the harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun from damaging your delicate skin cells. Long-term exposure to ultraviolet radiation can lead to both skin cancer as well as premature aging of the skin.

Sunscreens should ideally be broad spectrum, meaning that it blocks both ultraviolet A, which causes premature aging, and ultraviolet B radiation, which causes sunburn. The recommended labeled sun protection factor (SPF) should be at least 30. SPF factor denotes the strength of the sunscreen in its ability to block out the harmful ultraviolet radiation. With an SPF of 30, 97{aea2b696391fa39cb967d30fcd6aba4dbca06caf6246edcd5037966107a3d780} of incoming UV radiation is blocked. Although higher SPF factors block out more UV radiation, the incremental benefit of increasing SPF factors actually plateaus, such that SPF’s higher than 50 provide negligible additional protection.

UV radiation exists during all seasons and weather conditions. Because UV radiation is invisible to the human eye, you cannot judge the amount of UV radiation present based on how sunny the day appears. Hence, it is important to use sunscreen on a daily basis regardless of season or weather condition, especially to exposed body areas such as the face, neck, and forearms. It is important to remember that although sunscreen helps protect the skin from harmful UV radiation, it does not make the skin immune from sun exposure. Sunburns are still possible if there is an extended period of sun exposure.

So which sunscreen should you use? The right sunscreen is a broad spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen that is most compatible with your skin such that you feel comfortable using it every day. Ask your local dermatologist for a recommendation on the best sunscreen product for your particular complexion and cosmetic needs.