Wearing sunscreen is undoubtedly one of the most significant ways to protect our skin from sun damage. So then, why do so many of us not wear it everyday? Perhaps it’s because many people don’t understand the benefits of actually wearing SPF (even Miamians!). The benefits of wearing sunscreen daily extend beyond the short-term and can impact our life for decades to come. So let us unpack them for you:
Reduces signs of premature aging
As we age, wrinkles and fine lines are inevitable. While we often blame it on getting older, the real offender is photoaging—damage to the skin caused by exposure to sunlight and UV light. In fact, 90% of the visible aging you notice is caused by photoaging that you’ve accumulated throughout your lifetime.
Premature aging of the skin is caused by light exposure. UVA rays, specifically, penetrate deep into the dermis and damage the collagen fibers in your skin, causing decreased skin elasticity (enter wrinkles, and sagging skin). While chronological skin aging can’t be stopped, the real skin age accelerator—sun exposure—is largely preventable with the daily use of sunscreen.
We recommend a physical sunscreen with zinc oxide, which has a broader coverage for UVA rays. Plus, make sure it has at least a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30. Both Blocked SPF 30 Body Sunscreen and Save Face SPF 30 Sunscreen meet these guidelines.
Lowers the risk of developing skin cancer
Skin cancer is the most diagnosed cancer in the US and the number one cause is excess exposure to UV radiation from sunlight. That may sound daunting, but it means that prevention is possible. “Regular daily use of sunscreen can reduce your risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) by about 40 percent, and lower your melanoma risk by 50 percent,” writes The Skin Cancer Foundation. With one simple daily habit, you can cut your skin cancer risk in half.
As severe sunburns early in life may particularly increase the risk of melanoma, children and adolescents should be especially protected from the sun with a mineral sunscreen, reapplied frequently.
Hyperpigmentation is the discoloration of the skin. It can occur almost anywhere on the body that gets exposed to the sun—most notably, the face, shoulders, back, and hands. The root cause is an excess production of melanin, which comes from repeated exposure to UV rays. These sunspots are often flat areas of skin that come in different shades of brown.
Wearing sunscreen daily is the most effective way to prevent this type of hyperpigmentation. Sunscreen effectively blocks UV rays from passing through the skin barrier (mineral sunscreen) or absorbs the UV rays and turns them into non-damaging heat (chemical sunscreen). Since the skin is protected, discoloration caused from excess melanin production can’t happen in the first place.
Helps protect our bodies from threats (other than sun-damage)
Skin damaged by UV exposure is less effective at detecting and attacking threats to the immune system. Think, if the walls of a house are damaged, it’s easier to invade and penetrate—leaving the inside more exposed to threats. This makes it harder for our body to fight off disease and slows the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Applying sunscreen regularly helps protect our skin from UV damage in the first place, so that we can help keep our immune system in peak condition.
In addition, studies state, “many of the harmful human health effects that result from sunlight exposure are associated with a chain of events that begins with the formation of DNA damage. These lesions can lead to inflammatory and immunosuppressive processes in the epithelial tissue as well as accelerated aging and tumor development.” Meaning that, while protecting your skin from sun damage is important, there is much more at stake with not wearing sunscreen than just remaining youthful-looking.
Some sunscreens themselves offer additional skin benefits
The sunscreen market has taken off in the last 5 years. With more types of sunscreen available than ever before, it’s hard to determine which one is best for you and your needs. At Miami Beach Bum, we believe that if you’re going to put something on your body, it should be formulated for your skin’s natural ecosystem and deliver benefits.
Enriched with essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants–our broccoli-based sunscreens with SPF 30—Blocked and Save Face—support cellular renewal and prevent the damaging effects of the sun (goodbye sun spots and hyperpigmentation). Formulated with all skin types in mind, including the most sensitive and acne-prone, Blocked is naturally scented with coconut and orange, while Save Face is fragrance-free. Plus, our zinc-oxide mineral sunscreen provides the broadest protection against UVB and UVA rays so you can feel safe wherever your adventure takes you.
Surprised or not, the case has been made: wearing sunscreen everyday is important. It’s good for you and will keep you living longer (with healthier-looking skin, too!). So, whether you’re roller skating down Ocean Drive on a 98°F day, skiing on a mountain in cold, snowy weather, or it’s just a regular old Tuesday, apply your sunscreen and block those damaging UV rays from doing any harm to your body.