When going to the beach, most people put on sunscreen to prevent a sunburn. Some people skip it because they want a tan. Others think that they don’t need it since their skin is already naturally dark. Even more commonly, most don’t use sunscreen in their daily lives. However, everyone should be applying sunscreen daily, even on the cloudiest of days.
Sunscreen protects against harmful UV radiation. This UV radiation is what causes people to burn under the sun and can even lead to skin cancer and premature aging. About 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer within their lifetime. To prevent this, a sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or higher is recommended. It should also have broad-spectrum protection (protection against UVA and UVB rays). For those that will be in the water, the sunscreen should also be water resistant and reapplied every two hours.
There is a myth that darker skinned people don’t require sunscreen since the higher amount of melanin in their skins prevent them from burning under the sun. This is untrue. While it is harder for them to burn, they are not unaffected. Melanin does not protect against the invisible UV rays of the sun, which can lead to skin cancer and premature aging. Hence, even darker skinned people should be applying sunscreen daily.
Even if the sun is covered with clouds, it is still there. According to the American Academy of Dermatologists, up to 80% of the sun’s UV rays can pass through clouds. Furthermore, thin clouds can scatter UV rays, intensifying the level of UV rays. Sunscreen is needed everyday to protect against the constant UV radiations during the day.
Today, there are many products that make sunscreen application easier, so there is really no excuse to skip it. There are spray on sunscreens, moisturizers and foundations with sunscreen, and lip balms with sunscreen. Sunscreen should be part of everyone’s daily routine.