Spring is here: This means outdoor barbecues, shorts, swimming, and of course, the sun. As much fun as it is to be outdoors in the sun, the sun does damage your skin and can make you look older than you really are. Read why it is vital to wear sunscreen this time of the year.
Is Sunscreen really that important?
Sunscreen is the single most important skin care product you can use. Period! If you use nothing else, you need to use a good sunscreen. If you are not using a sunscreen, then no matter what else you do, you are not helping your skin.
The purpose of sunscreens is simple. They are designed to protect your skin from the damage caused by the sun, specifically ultraviolet light. The majority of skin damage (wrinkles, brown spots, blotchy skin color, visible blood vessels, etc) is from sun damage. Every other product we use tries to repair this damage. Sunscreens prevent the damage from happening.
What type of sunscreen should I wear?
There are hundreds of different sunscreen products so it can seem overwhelming, but it is relatively easy to decide which sunscreen to use. You need a sunscreen that effectively reduces ultraviolet A, the rays that are most responsible for skin damage. All sunscreens reduce ultraviolet B relatively well.
To be effective in preventing skin damage, the sunscreen needs to use zinc oxide (all other products are not as effective) and it needs to have it in a high enough concentration. I recommend at least 9% zinc oxide. If you are going to use a good quality sunscreen why use less?
It also needs to be a sunscreen that feels good on your skin and is compatible with any skin conditions unique to you, such as acne, dryness or oiliness. This is when an experienced skin care specialist can point you to the right sunscreen.
Finally, you need to wear this sunscreen every day of the year on all exposed body areas, especially your face, hands, and neck.
Dr. Steven Finder