Sunscreen: An Overlooked Skincare Measure

Maybe you’re the one that all your friends go to for skin and beauty tips.

Maybe you’re on top of cleaning, exfoliating, and moisturizing your skin regularly. Maybe you always schedule a visit with your dermatologist once a year and never forget to take off your makeup before hopping into bed and calling it a night — that’s great!

But what about the most important preventative skincare measure there is?

Just how much thought or effort do you put into the application (and reapplication!) of sunscreen every day?

Why Should I Wear Sunscreen?

Ultraviolet rays — or UV rays — come in two wavelengths that can affect your skin’s health: Ultraviolet A (UVA) activates your skin’s melanocytes and can lead to melanoma, whereas Ultraviolet B (UVB) is more commonly known for causing sunburn.

Recent studies have ultimately revealed that UV rays are considered “complete carcinogens” for their ability to both mutate and irreversibly damage your skin at the cellular level, leading to two of the most common forms of skin cancer, which are basal skin cancer and squamous carcinoma skin cancer.

But sunscreen, according to Yale Scientific, “works by blocking and absorbing UV rays through a combination of physical and chemical particles,” thereby mitigating the sun’s harmful effects on your skin.

This also makes it the most important skincare product in your hands this summer.

What Happens If I Don’t Wear Sunscreen?

While skin cancer is one of the more frightening effects of prolonged and unprotected sun exposure, it’s not the only one to bear in mind.

Unpreferable aesthetic changes — like hyperpigmentation, thickened skin, broken blood vessels, dilated pores, and more — are all potential forms of skin damage you may unwittingly sign up for when you fail to apply your sunscreen.

Additionally, there are other factors of aging (think wrinkles and fine lines) that are exacerbated by the sun’s ability to break down collagen from within the skin.

This Product or That?

This time of year, any store you walk into is likely to be lined with shelf upon shelf of sunscreen products. So, which one do you actually grab?

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, you should look for three key labels:

  • “Broad Protection” — Protects from both UVA and UVB rays
  • “Water Resistant: — Ensures longer-lasting protection, even when wet
  • SPF 30 or above — Guarantees a stronger level of protection from the sun, particularly for those with sensitive skin types

Also, be wary of purchasing other cosmetic items that claim they contain a certain level of SPF protection. While SPF makeup may provide a boost to whatever sunscreen you’re already wearing, it is only that: a thin boost.

SPF makeup is not adequate for full-coverage sun protection and should always be used on top of traditional sunscreen products.

But here at Bella Mia Medical, we understand that, when it comes to understanding proper skincare, it can be easy to break a sweat and feel the burn. If you have further questions about how you can maintain a glowing, youthful look, be sure to contact us today and schedule an appointment! We’re here to help you boost happiness and health… inside and out.