Wait — Sunscreen Isn’t Only for the Beach?

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Daoudi Aissa on Unsplash

“ UVA is the dominant tanning ray, and we now know that tanning, whether outdoors or in a salon, causes cumulative damage over time. A tan results from injury to the skin’s DNA; the skin darkens in an imperfect attempt to prevent further DNA damage. These imperfections, or mutations, can lead to skin cancer.” -SkinCancer.org

On the other hand, there’s short wave ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, which are less prominent in the day than UVA but still have damaging effects on the skin. These rays are their strongest from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the United States and are the major culprit for sunburns and red skin as they penetrate the epidermis, the skin’s outer layers. These rays have the ability to burn the skin year round.

  • It decreases your risk of developing skin cancer, the U.S.’s most common cancer.
  • As our environment worsens, so does the ozone layer. The ozone layer acts like the sunscreen of the earth, absorbing as much UVB rays as it can before it hits our planet. Unfortunately, the ozone layer is depleting, meaning the need for sunscreen is all the more crucial.
  • Sunscreen will keep your skin tone even, preventing sun spots and discolorations.
  • It helps to prevents sun burns — obviously that’s its job and all. However, if applied correctly and repeatedly when outdoors, sunscreen will help stop those UVA rays from leaving you in pain with burnt, peeling, and sensitive-to-touch skin — not to mention the headaches, nausea, and fatigue that commonly follow. Sunscreen should be combined with other sun blockers such as hats and apparel for maximum prevention against sun burns.

“One rule of thumb is a teaspoon per body part or area: 1 teaspoon for your face, head, and neck; 1 for each arm; 1 for each leg; 1 for your chest and abdomen, and 1 for your back and the back of your neck.” -Consumer Reports

It’s recommended that everyone uses at least SPF 30 as it blocks 97% of the sun’s UVB rays. Higher SPFs such as SPF 50 block slightly more rays, but no sunscreen has the capability of blocking 100% of UVB rays.

Freelance writer, solo traveler & sustainable explorer. http://christaadams.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store