Is Sunscreen really THAT important?
How much SPF do you really need to wear in the winter? “In the wintertime, particularly with a clear blue sky, there are more UVA rays—the kind that cause aging. I recommend an SPF of at least 30.” from fellow dermatologist Cheryl Karcher.
From Dr. Pilest : Sunscreen needs to be broad spectrum – that means it protects you from both UVB rays (the ones that make you burn and tan) and UVA – the ones that sneak in and alter your precious skin DNA. Altered DNA adds up to brown spots and wrinkles and those really ugly actinic keratoses. Dermatology Times published a recent article on new findings of just how fast your skin responds to UV light.
“Altered DNA adds up to brown spots and wrinkles and those really ugly actinic keratoses.”
Extra tips about sunscreen and sunblock
- Chemical sunscreens take about 30 minutes to activate but physical sun blocks work immediately. Chemical sunscreens work by absorbing the sun’s light rays. Sun blocks work by reflecting the rays.
- What’s in a sun block? Look for zinc oxide or titanium oxide – at least 3% of one or the other and preferably 6% or more total.
- Apply every day, even if it’s not sunny. You still get UVA exposure through the cloud cover. And through the windows of your home and the windows of your car.
- Don’t forget your hands. Driving in the car with your hands on the steering wheel means mega exposure for the back of your hands. If you don’t want spots, make sunblocks an “in-car” habit.
- Remember your neck and chest too. If only your face stays protected, the mismatch will be obvious.