The Importance of Sunscreen

The Importance of Sunscreen

You probably know that you’re supposed to wear sunscreen every day, regardless of the weather.  It's even more crucial when staying outdoors for long periods of time.

Why is this so?  Sun damage can stay hidden for a few months or years, but with time it shows with increased sagging, fine lines and wrinkles, and discoloration.

Daily regimen

The surest defense against this is to wear sunscreen daily. Here's some scientific backing for this habit.

1 Skin cancer is the most prevalent type of cancer

This fact applies to the United States. In 2011, the CDC reported that about 9,000 people succumbed to and 65,500 people were diagnosed with skin cancer.

Applying sunscreen reduces your risk of melanoma by half. A 2011 study done in Australia reported that participants aged 25 to 75 who used sunscreen daily were half as likely to be diagnosed with melanoma after ten years as opposed to those who just applied it inconsistently.

2 Skipping sunscreen for two days damages skin at the molecular level

You might be tempted to skip sunscreen occasionally, but be warned.

In a 2014 study, researchers proved that UVA1 radiation could be particularly hazardous to skin cells. They took skin samples from human volunteers and shone a low level of pure UVA1 on them. The exposure simulated UVA levels from intense sun exposure over two hours.

Results showed that after two exposures, the skin cells created molecules that break down collagen. The skin tanned slightly, but this didn't shield the skin against additional damage at the next exposure.

NOTE: UVA light comes through even on cloudy days, and is the most damaging to human skin.

3 Sunlight damage continues even at night

Sun damage doesn't end once the sun sets. It's true that UV rays cause damage to your skin cells immediately. However, according to a 2015 study where researchers exposed human skin cells to UV radiation, the majority of the damage happens several hours after exposure to the sun. The radiation affected the DNA immediately, but hours later, in the darkness, the cells were still being damaged.

Scientists suggested that applying sunscreen after sun exposure cuts down on these adverse effects. 

4 Redheads are at more risk of cancer

In the past, scientists thought that redheads had a higher risk of skin cancer due to their fair skin. Recent studies have shown that there's more to it.

Researchers discovered in 2013 that the MC1R gene mutation (responsible for red hair and light skin) also develops a critical carcinogenic pathway.

In people whose hair isn't red, the MC1R gene helps suppress tumors. However, redheads have a mutated MC1R gene; thus, it lacks this protective property. Researchers estimated that red-haired people have a 10-to-100-fold higher frequency of melanoma.

5 Sunscreen prevents wrinkles and dark spots

Anti-wrinkle creams are a part of most people's skincare routine, but without regular sunscreen use, it's all useless.

A study conducted in 2013 compared skin aging in 900 women and men from Australia between 1992 and 1996. Those who applied sunscreen daily to their face, neck, hands, and arms were less likely to develop wrinkles and dark spots after 4.5 years compared to those who didn't.

Also, the former group showed 24 percent less skin aging than those who used it irregularly or not at all. 

As you can see, regular sunscreen use has immense benefits. From keeping you looking youthful to preventing cancer, this is one product you need to be using.

​With love,

The Sole Toscana Beauty Team