It’s easy to view applying a daily sunscreen as unnecessary, especially now that the Coronavirus has many of us working from and rarely leaving home. Unfortunately, being indoors doesn’t mean our skin is safe from UV damage. In fact, some of us may be even more vulnerable to UV damage now than we were pre-COVID because we’ve gotten more lax about applying our daily sunscreen. Meanwhile, the UV rays we encounter throughout the day are having a field day with our skin cells. Think the Avengers and Thanos in Infinity War, and the UV rays are Thanos… Yeah. So, in order to prevent this needless cellular-level slaughter, we’re going to discuss the importance of daily sunscreen, even if you’re inside for a majority of the day or wearing a mask.
When UV rays come into contact with skin sans sun protection, they can damage the DNA found in skin cells. This damage can then cause sunburn, and over time, premature signs of aging (such as wrinkles, leathery skin, sun spots, etc.) and skin cancer. To prevent damage, dermatologists insist that we should apply SPF at least once a day. There are no exceptions; rain or shine, indoors or out, sun protection should always be a priority. Here’s why:
UV light is most commonly associated with sunlight because it’s considered to be the main source of UV light we come across on a daily basis. While we all need a healthy dose of Vitamin D, it’s important to note that the sun’s UV rays are powerful enough to penetrate windows, and still cause significant damage. There are alternative sources of UV light that are found primarily indoors as well, such as fluorescent and quartz halogen lights. These can sometimes be as harmful as those pesky UV rays. With this knowledge, it’s clear that sun protection should be as integral to your morning routine as brushing your teeth. It’s important to understand that cumulative, unprotected exposure to UV light is arguably the most damaging occurrence for our skin’s health.
Similar to other products found in skincare, every sunscreen is not the same. Now that you know why it’s so imperative to wear sunscreen daily, here are a few things to keep in mind when applying a sunscreen after cleansing with our Revitalizing Daily Face Wash and moisturizing with our Daily Repair Moisturizer:
- Use a sunscreen with a SPF value of 30 or greater - SPF, or Sun Protective Factor, is a measure of how effective a sunscreen is at blocking UV rays. Sunscreens with SPF 30+ are able to block 97% of the sun’s UV rays, which dermatologists agree is a significant enough amount of protection for daily use.
- Use sunscreens labeled as having “broad spectrum” UV protection - There are three main groups of UV rays: UVA, UVB and UVC rays, two of which are found in sunlight. Using a broad spectrum sunscreen ensures that your sunscreen can block both of those groups, thereby minimizing potential UV damage.
- Use the “two finger rule” to apply your sunscreen every day - In order to actually receive the full SPF value that’s listed on the bottle, you have to be applying around ½-⅓ a teaspoon to your face and neck. To avoid the need to keep a measuring spoon at your sink, a good rule of thumb is to use the “two finger rule.” Draw one line of sunscreen down your index and middle fingers (two total), then apply to your face; that should be enough product to give you full protection.
- Always apply sunscreen as the very last step of your morning routine, even if your SPF product is labeled as a serum - If sunscreen is applied under other skincare products such as moisturizers or oils, it can make the product less effective. Products being placed on top can dilute the formula, so always make sure your SPF is the last step in your daytime routine.
- Let sunscreen settle on your skin for at least 15 minutes before sun exposure - No matter if you’re using chemical or physical sunscreen, you should always wait at least 15 minutes after applying before going outside. This ensures that the product has had enough time to dry and give you its maximum amount of sun protection.
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours you are outside or exercising and always immediately after rinsing and/or wiping your face - Sweat and friction can wipe away your sunscreen. Reapplying every 2 hours ensures you maintain an adequate level of protection at all times.
DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NEITHER MEDICAL ADVICE NOR SHOULD IT BE CONSIDERED A SUBSTITUTE FOR MEDICAL ADVICE. ALL SKIN IS DIFFERENT AND YOU SHOULD CONSULT A MEDICAL PHYSICIAN OR PRACTITIONER FOR QUESTIONS THAT PERTAIN DIRECTLY TO YOU.