Bottom line… it’s important. As an esthetician, I’ve heard it all. From “I have a darker complexion so I don’t burn,” to “I have to burn first, and then I’m fine.” And probably everything else in between. Well, you can tell me until you’re blue in the face just how much you don’t need SPF, and I will still tell you that you do. Check out the chart below. It’s known as the Fitzpatrick Scale and is used by estheticians, plastic surgeons, dermatologists, etc. to help determine your skin-type:
Here’s a fact… “UV radiation causes collagen of your skin to break down faster than it should due to normal aging affects. Damage to collagen fibers results in the accumulation of abnormal elastin. In the process of repairing this damage, the body often forms disorganized collagen fibers known to some as solar scars. The repetition of this imperfect rebuilding process eventually produces wrinkles.”
In other words, whether or not you “burn,” your skin will still eventually breakdown and will no longer have the strength to hold itself up… Resulting in sagging and wrinkles. Gravity will eventually take over, regardless; I know for myself I’d like to keep from sagging as long as possible. 🙂
What’s the first thing you think of when applying SPF? Perhaps that you won’t “get tan?” Most times, people immediately associate sunblock with a super high SPF… But researchers are showing that, well… it’s not that big of a deal. The most commonly used SPF is 15. What that number means is that you are able to stay out in the sun 15 times longer before reapplying. BUT, don’t get confused with the 20, 30, 40… unfortunately researchers have also found that when using the higher SPF’s, it only blocks the sun up to 4x more than the 15. Let’s not kid ourselves… Most twenty-somethings worship the sun (myself included). But with the rising scares of skin cancer, and well… risk of looking like a catcher’s mitt… I’ve taken the necessary precautions. And to be honest, I couldn’t be happier!
There are so many things to be said about the sun and its effects… Visible damage, wrinkles, abnormal changes, and more. ALSO! Remember when we talked about different types of skin and you all started using the correct skin care regimen for you? 😉 Well, certain face washes/cleaners/exfoliates have ingredients that will react to the sun, causing severe burns. For further reading, try checking out some of these sites:
** Lastly and most importantly, check your body for anything “out of the ordinary.” If you notice more moles, freckles or any new growth on your skin, keep an eye on it. The general rule is that if it’s round and brown, you’re usually golden… but if you’re noticing the color is a little off, or it’s beginning to look a little more oblong, have it checked out by a doctor. Skin cancer is one if not the biggest cause of death in the United States, and you want to know why? Because it usually goes undetected for so long.
With all of that said, are you an SPF-user? You should be! Spring, summer, fall, and winter… Just like you would with any beauty or health care regimen!