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Pool season is the best season, right? Well, unfortunately, pool season can go south fast… without sunscreen that is! It may seem like a no brainer that sunscreen is important, but do you know why or how important? Let’s break it down.
The sun is good for us! In moderation, of course. It gives us Vitamin D, it helps plants grow, it gives us that beautiful glowing tan we all strive for in the summer, and so much more. But, it can also be harmful. That’s where sunscreen comes in. It blocks the harmful rays that can cause cancer and other skin disorders.
What other positives does sunscreen provide? For one, it prevents premature aging. This is something I think we can all get behind. Sunscreen prevents wrinkles and lines on your face. This one may be a no brainer, but it also prevents sunburns. What you may not know, however, is that sunburns weaken your skin. Reoccurring sunburns lead to more bruises and slower healing times, blisters and itchiness, and skin cancer.
Some people opt out of using sunscreen because they think it actually harms their skin and causes acne, oil, and other common skin issues. In fact, sunscreen does the opposite. It protects the important proteins in your skin, like collagen, keratin, and elastin, that the sun can damage.
Hopefully by now you’re convinced that sunscreen is a (literal) life saver. So what else do we need to know about this miracle cream? Well, for starters, what’s SPF and how do I know what to use?
SPF stands for the sun protection factor, which is the ability of that sunscreen to block harmful rays. The higher the SPF number, the higher the protection. However, that doesn’t mean the highest SPF is best. No sunscreen can block 100% of rays, and regardless of how high the SPF is, it will need reapplied every few hours. Because of that, dermatologists typically recommend SPF 30 applied every two hours.
Another common concern is, does sunscreen expire? The answer is YES! Sunscreen definitely expires and becomes weakened and even completely ineffective. According to FDA guidelines, sunscreen must have a shelf life of two-three years. Most sunscreen should have an expiration date. It’s important to follow that date and throw it out once the date passes.
So throw on some sunscreen, pack a little extra, and spend a summer in the sun!