5 reasons you should be wearing sunscreen year-round

Summer is here and with so many of us still in lockdown, a little sunbathing in the glorious weather. One of the first things to think about is always sunscreen, but how often do you think about wearing sunscreen at home?

woman wearing sunscreen in the garden

Just because we don’t live in a hot and tropical climate doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be wearing sunscreen. While the weather is gorgeous now, even when it’s cloudy there are lots of reasons to wear sunscreen at home in the UK – and not just in summer.

Here are five reasons why you should be wearing sunscreen year-round, regardless of where you are.

1. It’s effortless

Applying sunscreen each day doesn’t mean slathering yourself in thick, greasy cream, leaving yourself with streaky white lines all over your body. These days, it’s so easy to get hold of regular skincare products such as daily moisturiser and body lotions that already contain SPF in them. Look for anything that includes SPF 15 and upwards, but ideally, according to Dr Emma Wedgeworth, consultant dermatologist, the higher the better. Online stores such as PharmacyOutlet have a great range of products containing sun protection in them, so have a browse and start including sunscreen into your daily routine.

 2. It can prevent premature ageing

We associate tired, wrinkled and saggy-looking skin with old age when, in actual fact, it’s down to years and years of exposure to the sun’s rays. The more time we spend in the sun, the wrinklier we’re likely to become.

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And, if you spend too much time in the sun without the right protection, you’re likely to show the signs of ageing skin a lot sooner than you’d like. So, make sure you’re wearing a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher, especially on the most-exposed areas such as your face and the backs of your hands.

3. Your skin isn’t as tough as you think it is

A lot of people think that because they have a darker skin tone or they rarely get sunburnt, that they don’t need to wear sunscreen. But, unfortunately, that really isn’t the case.

Everyone is susceptible to sun damage, regardless of skin type, as you’re still exposed to harmful ultraviolet rays, even if you’re not visibly burning.

Those with fair skin are at higher risk of getting skin cancer, but those with darker skin can be at risk of more serious types of skin cancer when they get it, so everyone should be applying the sunscreen.

4. It protects against harmful UV rays

The sun’s harmful UV rays are present year-round and not just in the summer. Just because it’s cooler or cloudier, doesn’t mean that they’re not there. Contrary to what many people may believe, the rays that do damage to our skin are not blocked by clouds.

On cloudy days, visible rays are blocked, but not UVB rays, which are still harmful. All of this is reason to be wearing sunscreen year-round, but even more so with the effects of climate change that we’re regularly seeing, such at hotter summers and heatwaves in February.

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5. Sun damage is cumulative

If you get sunburnt once, it’s not just a case of the redness disappearing, a bit of skin peeling and then you’re recovered; that damage is done and will always be there in your skin. We only have one skin that we live in, so each bit of sun damage adds up over the years, making us more susceptible to diseases such as skin cancer further down the line. As much as we like to think that a golden tan is a healthy look, a tan is really just a build-up of skin damage.

We should be doing all that we can to prevent continual exposure to UV rays by wearing sunscreen at all times.

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