Cover Up: Why SPF Is Necessary Year-Round
Packing for a tropical vacation? No doubt your sunscreen has its spot next to your fabulous resort wear. Heading to work on a morning in February? Chances are you may have skipped this all-too-important step in your skin care routine. Year-round SPF (Sun Protection Factor) is paramount for protecting the skin against the harmful effects of the sun’s rays. Not wearing sunscreen every day? It’s time to rethink that decision. The sun doesn’t take a break and neither should you and the safest sunscreen, is the one you wear every day. We share the reasons why SPF is necessary year-round, below.
First things first, ultraviolet (UV) rays come in three forms: UVA, UVB, and UVC. The American Cancer Society notes that while UV rays make up a small percentage of the sun’s rays, they are the most damaging—causing everything from sun spots to skin cancer. UVA rays are linked to fine lines and wrinkles, while UVB rays are associated with sunburn and skin cancer. UVC rays—the less talked about rays—rarely get through the earth’s atmosphere. Regardless of the association of each ray, all have the potential to cause skin cancers like melanoma. According to the World Health Organization, between 2 and 3 million non-melanoma skin cancers and 130,000 malignant melanomas are diagnosed globally each year. These are scary facts, but thankfully, we have a strong defense against the sun’s dark arts: broad-spectrum SPF.
The Skin Cancer Foundation outlines that it only takes 20 minutes for unprotected skin to start to burn and while no SPF can block all UV rays, wearing it daily—and reapplying often—is essential for protecting the skin. SPF 15 can block up to 93 percent of all incoming UVB rays and SPF 50 filters out up to 98 percent. For daily use under your makeup, try a sunscreen like La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid. This fast-absorbing, matte-finish formula features Cell-Ox Shield XL antioxidant technology to protect the skin from free radicals caused by UV rays.
Think a cloudy day is an excuse to skip the sunscreen? Think again. The Skin Cancer Foundation notes that up to 40 percent of the sun’s UV rays reach the earth on a cloudy day. So even when it’s overcast, reach for moisturizers, serums, and other skin care products containing an SPF of at least 15. These products can help protect your skin from UV damage in an everyday capacity. In contrast, during days spent outdoors, you'll require at least a one ounce of SPF application every two hours. For these longer days grab La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios 60 Melt-In Sunscreen Milk. Ideal for face and body, this velvety finish sunscreen is water resistant for up to 80 minutes.
Remember, the best defense against sun damage—from wrinkles to dark spots to cancers—is a strong SPF-packed offense.