The Importance of Sunscreen (SPF)

Daylight savings time will soon be upon us and we will all be “falling back” one hour. As one who loves summer, this is a sad reminder that cooler days are approaching and winter is nearby. Some people believe that sunscreen is no longer needed during the winter and they ditch their SPF moisturizers. Don’t do it! It is just as important to protect your skin from from UV damage in winter as you do in summer. In fact, you should wear moisturizer with SPF year-round. But exactly what is SPF?

SPF stands for sun protection factor. In a nutshell, it’s how long sunscreen will protect you from ultraviolet rays before you get sunburned. For example, if you can typically be in the sun for 15 minutes before getting sunburned, an SPF 15 will allow you to stay in the sun 15x longer before getting burned (225 minutes). SPF 25 will allow you to stay in the sun 25x longer, etc. In addition, the higher the SPF, the higher the percentage of rays that are blocked out. A product with SPF 30 blocks 97% of the UV rays while SPF 50 blocks 98%, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. SPF 15 blocks about 93% of UV rays while SPF 25 blocks 96%. For the record, SPF 30 appears to be what is most

There are two types of sun exposure. Intense sun exposure is concentrated (direct) exposure to UV rays which can be damaging. Some examples of this are a trip to the beach, a day at the amusement park, a hike, vacation on a Caribbean island, etc. Another kind of exposure is incidental sun exposure. This could include driving in the car, walking the dog or walking to a store, waiting outside for a train or bus, etc. While incidental sun exposure may be considerably less than intense sun exposure with regard to the amount of damage and length of time, the effects are cumulative. This means that those tidbits of incidental exposure build up and can be just as dangerous. Accordingly, you should wear sunscreen while driving or taking a leisurely walk. Moreover, wearing SPF products when skiing or shoveling snow is equally as important as wearing it during the summer. 

The reality is that the infrared light emitted by your computer, overhead lights, and other equipment is also damaging and requires SPF protection. Imagine that…we should even wear it daily to work!

There is myth that people of color don’t need SPF and that our skin doesn’t burn. In fact, as a black woman, I rarely heard about SPF when I was growing up. Don’t believe the lie! UV sun damage is not limited by race. While skin cancer is less prevalent in people of color, we can still get it. We are all susceptible to the harmful effects of sun exposure. Let me be direct, yes, black people should wear sunscreen, too!

It is imperative to use products with SPF. I use the Anew Ultimate Muti-Performance Moisturizer which is SPF 25 and sometimes I use the Anew Hydra Fusion Daily Beauty Defense which is is SPF 50. My Skin So Soft Bug Guard is SPF 30.

In closing, regardless of your ethnicity, the time of year, or the weather forecast, don’t forget to wear SPF every day. 

Continue to live agelessly,

Avon Rep Raquel,