While most doctors recommend wearing sunscreen anytime you’re out in the open, it’s especially important in the summer, when hours outdoors can go by in what feels like minutes.
According to retired pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm, sun protection is especially important for women, who may be more susceptible to certain types of skin cancer. And, from an aesthetic point of view, sun damage can make the skin look old and worn well before its time. And once the skin is damaged, there is no amount of lotion or makeup that will fix it.
Marla Ahlgrimm explained the top five reasons to wear sunscreen are:
- A weakened ozone layer is not as effective at sheltering the body from harmful UV rays.
- Sunscreen use is proven to decrease the instances of skin cancer development.
- Sunscreen can reduce or prevent skin discoloration and brown spots.
- Blotchiness and red veins will not be as predominant in people who regularly use sunscreen.
- A high-quality sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher can reduce the appearance of aging skin and delay wrinkles.
Marla Ahlgrimm clarifies that exposure to the sun is vital to human health. She notes that exposure as few as five to 30 minutes twice per week will help the body produce its required level of vitamin D, which is approximately 600 IU each day. Additional sun exposure, through boating, sunbathing, or simply being outdoors without sunscreen, and does not provide any added benefits. Vitamin D may also be supplemented by eating a diet rich in eggs, dairy, liver, and fish.
Even with sunscreen, there are certain medications that can make skin sensitive to sunlight, explains Marla Ahlgrimm.. These include certain acne medications and drugs used in the treatment of cardiovascular disease.
There is no one brand of sunscreen that is best, says Marla Ahlgrimm. However, she notes that people who do not like the feeling of lotion on their hands or have trouble reaching sensitive spots on the back may find a spray on sunscreen the most convenient.