Let’s Talk: What “Sun Damage” is and What it Actually Does to Your Skin

I love to lay out on the beach and get a tan as much as the next person, but there’s a reason I cover my entire face with SPF, sunglasses, and a sun hat when I do it.

Yes, vitamin D is beneficial to our overall health, and yes, it’s definitely good to “get some sun” every once in a while, but if there’s one thing you can’t be forgetting in your skincare routine? It’s sunscreen. and a broad spectrum one at that.

There are a few different types of sunscreen: physical, chemical, and physical+chemical suncreens. The difference between these types is the ingredients and how they help to block out harmful UV radiation from your skin. One of the most common sunscreen ingredients, octinoxate, is a chemical sunscreen ingredient, while Zinc Oxide, famous for gracing the noses of the Baywatch crew, is a physical sunscreen ingredient. Which type of sunscreen is best for you is really a test of trial and error, but it’s worth looking into and trying different things. Even on the cloudiest of days, UV radiation is penetrating your skin, so treat it with kindness!!

When it comes to sun damage, the least of your worries is premature aging and freckles. Melanoma, a form of tumor that causes skin cancer, is more prevalent than ever, with over 87,000 new cases to be diagnosed in 2017 alone. That’s not even considering the fact that 1 in 5 Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer in their lifetimes, and that 40-50% of people who live to age 65 or older will have had one of two types of skin cancer at least once.

If that doesn’t scare you into wearing sunscreen all OVER your body, if not just your face, I don’t know what will. 

I know this hasn’t been my most informative blog post, but I promise there’s another, much more interesting and thorough, post coming regarding suncreens and their ingredients, and which ones are best for different skin types. As summer approaches, faster than we think, it’s important we start thinking about how to properly protect our skin.

xo. m.