Sunscreen Prevents More Than Just Burns

Anyone who’s experienced the pain and peeling caused by a sunburn probably remembers a few tough days with little relief.

Using sunscreen can reduce the likelihood of a sunburn, but it has even more benefits than keeping your skin safe from damaging UV rays.

Besides protecting you from sunburn, here are five great reasons to apply – and reapply – your favorite sunscreen!

  1. Prevent skin cancer. The three most common types of skin cancer are basal cell skin cancer, squamous cell skin cancer and melanoma. UV radiation is the top risk factor causing these skin cancers. Consistent, adequate protection from the sun’s UV rays helps lower your risk, which is why it’s critical to apply sunscreen every day.

2. Sunscreen prevents premature aging. The culprits of the aging process are divided into two categories: intrinsic aging (influenced by genetics) and extrinsic aging (induced by chronic exposure to the sun’s radiation, pollution, chemicals and other environmental factors). UV radiation causes the premature breakdown of collagen and elastin in skin, resulting in fine lines and wrinkles. The sun’s ultraviolet radiation is responsible for an estimated 90 percent of visible signs of aging. Regular use of sunscreen allows you to enjoy smooth, youthful-looking skin for years longer.

3. Sunscreen reduces the risk of sunspots. A common skin condition caused by sun exposure, hyperpigmentation is when your skin is darkened in patches due to changes in the production of melanin, which gives skin its color. People with darker skin are naturally more susceptible to hyperpigmentation.

4. Sunscreen prevents inflammation of the skin. Did you know a bad sunscreen can result in swelling?UV radiation damages the DNA of immune-protecting cells, leading to inflammation in the skin and within the body.

5. Sunscreen prevents sun sensitivity. Sunscreens are particularly helpful in preventing solar irritation in people with sun-sensitive conditions, such as lupus and rosacea, where exposure to UV rays can lead to redness and burning in the skin and overall severity of these conditions. And remember, a bad sunburn can have lasting effects, causing sensitive skin and increased likelihood of burning again for years.