Because I’m a medical aesthetician and because I’m passionate about skin health I always ask my clients if they regularly wear sunscreen. Many do but many don’t. Here are the reasons for not applying SPF that I hear the most.
“It’s Winter…” or “It’s not Sunny”
People are definitely more sun-safe-savvy than they used to be. Many of my clients slap on the SPF faithfully everyday. Still, I talk to so many people who believe sunscreen is strictly for the summertime, only to be busted out with the bikinis and flip flops.
Yes, it’s true that the skin is more likely to burn in the summer because of the increased presence of UVB rays. UVB rays are responsible for those unsightly burns and even those lovely bronze tans both-of which are the skin’s way of reacting to damage. UVA ray on the other hand are responsible for photo aging aka wrinkles and pigmentation. They’re also the culprit behind most forms of skin cancer, both benign and serious.
A considerable amount of skin damage is incidental. Most people will have some kind of exposure to sunlight doing everyday things like riding on a bus, in the car, walking the dog, going for lunch and so on. It’s not necessary to apply an SPF 60 if you’re literally just going to your garage to get in the car and don’t see the outdoors until dark but it’s good to be mindful of how much sun you’re getting so you can protect your skin.
“It’s so heavy” and “I hate the way it feels”
I totally empathize. Sunscreen is notoriously hard sell sometimes and for good reason; it can be thick, greasy, waxy and altogether mask like. However, today there are so many products that make it easy to protect the skin from moisturizers with SPF to tinted moisturizers to BB and CC creams.
“By the time it’s bad (damage shows) technology will have come up with something”
When it comes to skincare and anti aging, prevention is almost always easier than treatment and probably more affordable. Maybe a laser or cream will be developed that can erase 20 years of damage. Maybe. Hopefully. In the meantime, what we do know is that there is a plethora of research and data showing the role of sunscreen in preventing skin damage dramatically.
Bottom line, whether you’re struggling with your skin or you want to maintain a smooth visage, sunscreen is one of if not the best topical you can use.