The other day, a friend and I were talking about different makeup and beauty products we were eager to try, and she had started naming off a list of different anti-aging products. I looked at her confused and asked why someone so young would be thinking about using anti-aging products. She told me that it’s never too early to start reversing or slowing the inevitable effects of aging.
She had a point really. As a 22-year-old, I never thought of having to treat my skin as if it were already maturing, but after I did some research, I started to understand the importance. I’ve never had a good track record when it came to establishing a skincare routine. I even used to fall asleep with makeup on when I was in high school!
I told her about how dry my skin is and how I sometimes have discoloration across my T-zone, resulting in pinkish-colored skin. She told me that I really needed to consider using just one product every day, and that is – sunscreen!
I’ve always equated sunscreen with going to the beach. It’s something gooey and gross and makes you smell like an odd mix of coconuts and chemicals. With a bit of research though, I found out how this one product really is a miracle cure for combating the effects of aging, and keeping skin looking radiant.
It will guard against hyperpigmentation.
Hyperpigmentation is a condition that causes areas of your skin to darken due to the fact that sun exposure can cause an overproduction of melatonin. Most of the time, skin discoloration is seen as pink or red, and wearing sunscreen can prevent that from getting worse.
Hyperpigmentation can also be in the form of facial brown spots. It is important to understand that hyperpigmentation can affect all skin types, and that there is a difference between surface pigmentation and deep pigmentation.
Surface pigmentation is on the surface of the skin while the deeper pigmentation issues lie deeper in the skin—the two different types result in different colors. Surface pigmentation is typically light brown while deep pigmentation is dark brown or grey. Deep pigmentation is also harder to get rid of.
Instead of trying to use brightening creams and going through treatments to get rid of dark spots and hyperpigmentation, using a sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15 every day on your face can greatly reduce any discoloration issues.
It protects against skin cancer.
Though you know this already, many of us think that we are immune to such an awful disease because they don't run in our family, we eat healthily, exercise, and don’t have stress.
According to Forbes, “America’s skin cancer rate has risen steadily in recent years, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention”. The fact is, everyone is at risk of developing cancer, and those with lighter skin have an increased risk of developing the disease.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “There are six skin phototypes, going from light to dark. Individuals with skin types I and II (the lightest) face the highest risk of developing skin cancer”. The foundation states, “That is because those with more pigmentation have more natural protection from the sun.”
It prevents your skin from wrinkling.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “A new study published in the American College of Physicians’ Annals of Internal Medicine (released June 3, 2013) is the first research in humans to show conclusively that sunscreen can help prevent photoaging – premature aging caused by the sun”.
Ultraviolet (UV) rays are the main cause of visible signs of aging. These signs include wrinkles, rough patches, sagging and hyperpigmentation. How exactly does the sun cause wrinkles?
According to Heather Brannon, MD, a dermatology expert at About.com, “Both UVA and UVB radiation cause wrinkles by breaking down collagen, creating free radicals and inhibiting the natural repair mechanisms of the skin”.
How do I use sunscreen properly?
Yes, there is actually a proper way to wear sunscreen to ensure that you get all of the anti-aging benefits. Putting your sunscreen underneath your makeup will provide a smooth and hydrated foundation for your makeup. In order to apply the sunscreen properly, cleanse and tone your skin and then put a quarter-sized amount of sunscreen in your hand to rub on your neck.
According to Renee Rouleau, “When applying to the neck, apply in upward strokes to the front of the neck, and then, working sideways, apply to the sides of the neck, all the way to the hairline in the back of your head”.
This will ensure that the entire neck area is covered and protected. Next, apply a dime-sized amount to your fingertips and rub together, starting face from the sides of the nose outwards to your ears. Lastly, apply to the forehead, nose, chin and upper lip area.
Be sure to be generous with the amount of sunscreen you use, in order to make sure all of your skin is covered on your face. You may need to apply a little more in order to reach all the way up and out to the hairline, and that is perfectly fine!
After covering your whole face with a good amount of sunscreen, let it soak in for a couple of minutes and then apply your foundation and continue with your makeup routine.
Sunscreen is not only for summer.
Remember to wear sunscreen every day in order to really benefit from the anti-aging effects. Wearing sunscreen daily can help to curb hyperpigmentation as well as prevent skin cancer, blemishes and wrinkles.
Though it might sound strange, you should continue this sunscreen regimen for your skin even into the cooler winter months when there is less sun exposure.
According to Bruce E. Katz, the director of JUVA Skin & Laser Center in New York, “The sun's harmful rays are just as strong and damaging despite what your thermometer says—particularly the UVA rays, which are responsible for aging skin.”
You don’t need expensive serums and creams anymore. In order to ensure yourself beautiful skin in the future, start protecting it year-round with this one amazing product: sunscreen.