Do you need to wear sunscreen on cloudy days? Yes! The UV index, an indicator of possible exposure to burning rays, is always present during the day. Even when it's cloudy. And in winter months when its cold outside, we may not be thinking about sunscreen, but the suns rays can cause just as much damage in the winter.
There are two types of rays from the sun that we're exposed to daily~ UVA and UVB. They each have a different effect on your skin.
UVA rays, or "Aging Rays" penetrate to the deeper layers of the skin due to their longer wavelength. UVA rays are responsible for loss of elasticity caused by damage to elastin, loss of fullness and more wrinkles caused by damage to collagen, and brown spots. Brown spots and wrinkles usually show up years down the road after repeated overexposure to the sun, but they can start to appear as early as your twenties.
UVB rays, or "Burning Rays" effect the top layers of the skin due their shorter wavelengths, and are responsible for sun burns, as well as skin cancers over time.
The sun isn't all bad though! Getting sun on your bare skin before 10 am, for 15-20 minutes provides you with natural vitamin D, which is great for your skin but also for your immune system. Plus it's such a mood booster right?
So, what kind of sunscreen should you use? I recommend a mineral sunscreen (also referred to as a physical sunscreen) that is "broad spectrum," meaning it blocks both UVA & UVB rays. Look for Zinc Oxide and/or Titanium Dioxide as the active ingredients on the label. A mineral sunscreen works by forming a protective barrier, and blocking & reflecting UV light. They do not absorb into the skin.
The ingredients in a chemical sunscreen work by penetrating your skin and absorbing UV light to prevent sunburn. Studies show that these chemicals can also be absorbed into the bloodstream.
Daily use of a quality SPF is truly a skin savior! Follow these tips to keep your skin protected & healthy:
Sun exposure is cumulative, so a little here and there throughout the day adds up. Think about a daily dose of SPF as a regular part of your skin care routine.
Don't rely on your mineral makeup as your only SPF. We usually don't apply enough to get true full coverage.
An SPF of 30 is ideal. Any higher SPF offers a minimal increase in protection.
Make sure to apply your daily SPF by 10:00 am.
Reapply every 1 1/2 - 2 hours when you're in the sun, or after swimming.
Consider wearing a wide-brimmed hat while at the beach for extra protection for your face.
Have a Beautiful Day!