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Summer Sun Habits And The Science Of Skin Care

By HERWriter
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Turns out you should be wearing sunscreen in the summer.


I realize that this is not news in anyone’s life. However, basic knowledge doesn’t mean that we listen to it, in the same way that we might overconsume wine and lie to our doctors about how many drinks we have per week.

I currently sport a striped foot curtesy of an oft-worn pair of sandals and the fact that my feet seem to be an area I forget with my baby formulated sunscreen. I used to never have a tan, sporting my pastiness with Victorian-era pride.

I thought it was time to learn more, because learning more means we do better and also because I have seen far too many people cooking themselves on patios. It’s 2018. Let’s get sun smart with the new science of skincare.

First things, first:

We all need it.

Yes, even if you have beautifully dark skin. Yes, even if you have never had a burn. Yes, even if your family members are leathery and skin cancer-free. Board certified dermatologist Dr. Fayne Frey says, “There is not one anti-aging product, anti-wrinkle product, firming, toning, any other product on the market … that can compare or compete with the benefits of sunscreen.” (1)

Hard to argue with that.

Label reading is not just for food.

What we put on our skin is as important as what we put in it. Broad spectrum (2) is what you are looking for in a sunscreen, as UVA rays can pass through windows. UVA rays do not have the power to burn or tan you, but can age you and stop the joy that is being carded over the age of 30. UVB rays are the ones that cause skin to color and can cause cancer.

There are a lot of terms that you might feel ensure the safety of the product, but many of them are not government regulated, including Sport, Natural or Mineral and even Dermatologist-Recommended. (Yikes.)

There is a consumer report sunscreen guide that discovered that 67% of sunscreens have potentially harmful ingredients or just simply don’t work. They suggest not using a sunscreen with oxybenzone, which can be a hormone disrupter, even though The American Academy of Dermatology recommends the same ingredient.

1. LifeHackers Essential Science-Based Guide To Skincare. Vitals - LifeHacker. Retrieved 1 August 2018. https://vitals.lifehacker.com/lifehackers-essential-science-based-guide-to-skin-care-1824029261

2. What Those Words On The Sunscreen Bottle Really Mean. The Washington Post. Retrieved 1 August 2018. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/what-all-those-words-on-the-sunscreen-bottle-really-mean/2018/06/29/30104b2a-64d3-11e8-99d2-0d678ec08c2f_story.html?utm_term=.f46cdae99272

3. Sunscreen Ratings. Consumer Report. 

4. Sun Care. Skin Safe Products. Retrieved 1 August 2018. https://www.skinsafeproducts.com/sun-care

5. Sunscreen users receive less than half the sun protection they think, study finds. Science Daily. Retrieved 1 August 2018. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/07/180724193649.htm

6. The Science of sunscreen. Harvard Health Publishing. Retrieved 1 August 2018. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-science-of-sunscreen

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.