SKIN CANCER IS THE MOST COMMON OF ALL CANCERS.
Each year in the USA there are diagnosed more than 3.5 millions of cases of skin cancer, and more than 73,000 cases of melanoma (the more serious form) are expected to be diagnosed this year. 1 in 5 Americans will develop cancer in their lifetime.
Sunscreen is one of the most important products we need to use for our skin care. Sometimes is not seeing so important and is used in special occasions like going to the beach. I think sunscreen is one of the most important things everyone should use as a daily routine to take care of the skin and it has the greatest long-term impact on skin quality than all other skincare products.
I am going to mention the importance of sunscreen and will make a special emphasis on how to choose the right sunscreen, what does SPF means and how often we need to apply it to our skin.
What are Ultraviolet (UV) rays?
There are two types of Ultraviolet (UV) we are exposed to, this are UVA and UVB. Sunscreens vary in the ability to protect against UVA and UVB. Ultraviolet A (UVA) is the longer wave that causes more long-term effects on the skin. It produces skin damage, skin aging and causes skin cancer. Ultraviolet B (UVB) is the shorter wave UV ray that causes sunburns.
How often you should apply the Sunscreen?
Sun protection factor (SPF), measures a sunscreen’s effect against UVB ray. For example, if you burn after 10 minutes of sun exposure, an SPF 15 will allow you to be in the sun for up to 150 minutes without burning. (Minutes to burn without sunscreen X SPF number= maximum sun exposure time).
What does Broad Spectrum means and its significance?
Broad Spectrum is also a term seeing and it means that sunscreens protect the skin from both UVA and UVB rays. Only Broad Spectrum sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher can help protect against skin cancer and early skin aging if used as directed. You have to make sure when buying the appropriate sunscreen look for this term.
5 THINGS YOUR ARE PROBABLY DOING WRONG WHEN APPYING SUNSCREEN
You don’t check the expiration date in the bottle!
Expiration dates matter in a sunscreen, there are active ingredients that overtime will not work and they wont be effective. Also, the sunscreen can contaminate over time with germs. So I recommend reading the storage conditions and label for expiration dates.
You might be using makeup as sunscreen!
You need to wear sunscreen under the makeup; if you use a foundation with SPF the amount that you are applying isn’t enough for the rest of the day. Also it wears off during the day. You cannot rely on the foundation or any product that its purpose is not sun protection.
You are probably not using enough!
Many of you are not using enough sunscreen and its not protecting you well. You need to apply enough to evenly cover the skin. Try always to apply more than you think you need.
You put sunscreen at the beginning of the day and forget to reapply it!
As I explained earlier about the SPF factor, you need to take this into consideration when applying sunscreens because this is going to affect the time it is effective. The skin uses the active ingredient in the sunscreen over time and it is not working after a certain amount of sun exposure. Sweating and swimming causes the sunscreen to wear off even faster, so consider reapplying every hour in those conditions. Also you need to make sure the sunscreen is well applied before going to the water again.
There is not such thing as waterproof sunscreens!
The FDA recently applied rules regarding the term used for sunscreen as waterproof or water resistant. This is not true and when you go swimming you need to be conscious that the effectiveness of the sunscreen is not going to be the same and you need to reapply it.
Not only is important to apply sunscreen, to choose the right one, but to apply everywhere. ALL BARE SKIN.
I will like to remind you some of the areas we are most likely forgetting to put sunscreen and their importance.
Your ears are the third most frequent location for basal cell carcinoma. These cancers accounts for 80% of the new cases of non-melanoma skin cancer or a less aggressive form of skin cancer.
The hands especially if you are driving.
If you have thinning hair apply to the scalp, another idea is to wear a hat.
The lips are also important to protect, apply a balm with at least SPF 30.
The top of the feet and ankles is also an exposed area that sometimes we forget. Even walking, doing errands the skin is exposed and needs to be protected.
Sunscreen protects the skin from long-term skin damage and is a great anti aging product. By using sunscreen we are protecting the skin from overexposure to UV light, which accounts for skin aging and also prevents sunburns. In the long term, UV exposure can produce premature aging and even skin cancer. It is very important to understand the significance of it use because long-term effects are dangerous and are not seeing immediately. Premature aging can be seen as roughness of the skin, broken blood vessels, and pigmentation problems like sunspots, which can affect the appearance of the skin.