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Why YOU need to wear (safe) sunscreen every day!

Commit to wearing sunscreen EVERY day!

Commit to wearing sunscreen EVERY day!

Do you wear SPF every day? I admit it, I didn’t used to. But I recently made the commitment to wear it EVERY day. It is important!

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer. My dad has had several malignant melanomas (thankfully all 0 stage or pre-melanomas) and my mom has had one pre-cancer cell removed. This is scary stuff.

There ARE safe sunscreens that can prevent skin cancer! Plus, a daily SPF protects against aging, wrinkles, and sun spots.

I often hear reasons why someone doesn’t need sunscreen. Like, “I’m in an office all day”, “I need the vitamin D” or “it’s raining, do I really need to wear SPF?”. I’m going to bust some myths and hopefully convince you to start wearing SPF every day. It is such a simple way to protect yourself!

I work in an office all day. I don’t think I need to wear SPF every day.

  • UVA rays can penetrate through glass. So you are exposed to damaging rays while driving. Plus you are exposed while walking into the office and during breaks.

  • This jarring photo of a truck driver from the New England Journal of Medicine shows just how damaging the sun can be while driving. This photo is a scary visual of what 28 years of sun exposure can do to the skin.

28 years of UVA ray damage from driving (NEJM)

28 years of UVA ray damage from driving (NEJM)

It rains all the time here, do we really need SPF? 

  • 95% of ultraviolet (UV) radiation comes from UVA rays which are 30-50% more damaging than UVB rays. UVA rays are also around year round and come through cloud coverage. On cloudy days 80% of the sun's rays pass through the cloud filled sky.

I prefer to get my vitamin D as naturally as possible, through sun exposure. I don't think I need to use SPF on my face every day.

* I want to start by saying that getting natural Vitamin D through sun exposure is very controversial. I'm not a doctor and I'm not trying to be one. I'm simply sharing information.

  • It's true that exposing your skin to sunlight is a great way to get Vitamin D. HOWEVER, you don't need to tan or burn your skin to get Vitamin D, you only need about 15 minutes to get ALL the Vitamin D your body can produce in a single day. The paler your skin, the more easily your skin produces Vitamin D. The Vitamin D Council suggests only exposing your skin for 1/2 the time it takes to get burned. Then it is time to cover up, stay in the shade, and use sunscreen. You also get the most Vitamin D when you expose a large area of your skin, not your face. Exposure to UV light is one of the factors that leads to wrinkles, so we definitely don't want to skip sunscreen on your face, even when spending a few minutes outside getting that natural Vitamin D. 

  • You can get Vitamin D through the following foods:
    - Fatty fish
    - Beef liver
    - Egg yolks
    - Fortified milk and orange juice
    - Fortified cereals

  • You can also get Vitamin D through a supplement.

Safe SPF & My Favorite Sunscreens

I hope I have convinced you to wear SPF every day. Of course you also need to be aware of the ingredients in your sunscreen! There is a big difference between chemical sunscreen (one that absorbs into the skin) and mineral sunscreen (provides a physical barrier on top of the skin). I prefer mineral sunscreen because they work better and there are more mineral sunscreens with safe ingredients.

You know I’ve done my fair share of label analysis on sunscreens! And I’ve tried a ton! I’ve narrowed down my favorites to those that don’t leave my skin look white and ghostly.

My favorite face sunscreen is Crunchi Sunlight. It is broad-spectrum (blocking both UVA and UVB rays), and uses non-nano zinc oxide while also nourishing the skin with aloe, vitamin E, jojoba esters, açaí, and goji fruit antioxidants. It rubs in well and doesn’t leave the skin greasy or opaque like other mineral sunscreens.

For body my favorite right now is All Good. I think it rubs in better than ThinkSport or Badger, two other brands that use safe ingredients.

What other questions do you have about SPF? What are your favorite safe sunscreens and what do you like about them?