I know what you’re thinking - the weather’s getting cooler, the days are the tiniest bit darker - it’s time to retire my sunscreen since it’s autumn now, right? Unfortunately not.
Sunscreen should be worn all year round, especially if you’re someone who’s decided to start their anti-ageing journey. Dedication to sunscreen seriously pays off in the long run - and not just when it comes to how your skin looks. Proper sunscreen use can help decrease the risk of skin cancers, something that we need to be aware of in the Southern Hemisphere.
Here are our top 5 reasons why you need to keep wearing your sunscreen all year round!
1) UV Exposure Is the Number One Cause of Premature Ageing
When it comes to ageing, there are two types of factors that influence how your skin looks. The first are intrinsic factors, which mainly refers to your genes. The second are extrinsic factors, which refer to lifestyle factors linked to ageing; examples of these include smoking, ultraviolet light exposure, and pollution.
The reason both these factors matter is because the external factors essentially speed up and worsen the appearance of intrinsic factors faster than they would normally, making pesky wrinkles appear years before they would have.
And the worst culprit of the three? You guessed it - UV light exposure, or how it’s described in many studies - ultraviolet radiation. It’s estimated that UV light exposure is responsible for 80% of extrinsic ageing! That’s why many say that the best anti-ageing cream you can buy is actually sunscreen - wearing the right amount of sunscreen every day is the best way to prevent sun damage, causing premature signs of ageing to pop up.
Declaré Sun Sensitive Anti-Wrinkle Sun Cream SPF 30 | $89
This SPF 30 cream from Declaré blocks 97% of UV rays for effective protection from UV exposure.
2) UV Rays Are Present All Year Round
There are two (technically three) types of UV rays to be aware of - UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVC rays are actually unable to make it to the Earth’s surface, and therefore aren’t much of a concern to our skin. However, it’s the other two that we need to know about - especially UVA.
An easy way to remember the difference between UVA and UVB rays is to think of UVA rays as the ‘ageing’ rays while UVB rays are the ‘burning’ rays. UVB rays have a shorter wavelength and are easily blocked by glass.
The ones you need to watch out for are UVA rays - they have a longer wavelength, and can actually pass through windows and car glass to your skin. These are the ones that are responsible for photodamage (the scientific way to refer to damage caused by UV on the skin).
UVA rays are also present all year round - which means that your risk of getting UVA-related sun damage on a sunny winter’s day is comparable to a sunny summer’s day. So slap on that sunscreen!
Dr Irena Eris Lumissima Brightening & Anti-Ageing Day Cream SPF 20 | $129
Moisturisers with SPF are perfect for protecting skin from the sun - just be sure to apply enough, around ¼ tsp or 2 finger lengths!
3) UV Rays Can Pass Through Clouds
Did you know that it’s a myth that you don’t need sunscreen on a cloudy day? Around 80% of UV radiation can still make it to the Earth’s surface on a cloudy day - and that means 80% of these rays are making it to your skin if you’re spending time outside.
UVA rays specifically are able to pass through cloud cover, so it’s crucial to protect your skin by wearing sunscreen - even in cloudy weather! In fact, some studies have found that UVA ray exposure is enhanced with cloud cover, increasing the potential for sun damage.
La Prairie Skin Caviar Essence-in-Foundation SPF 25 | $360
Layering makeup with SPF over your favourite facial sunscreen is a great way to ensure your skin is protected from the sun.
4) Snow Can Cause Sunburn, Too!
If you’re planning any winter getaways soon, don’t forget to pack your sunscreen. While many of us associate sunburns with balmy summer weather, that isn’t always the case. Winter sports fans will need sunscreen for a few reasons - first, being at a higher altitude on a mountain increases your sun exposure to harmful UV rays.
On average, for every 1000m increase in altitude, solar radiation increases by 11% compared to at sea level - meaning you’re exposed to more UV rays than normal. Second, the snow can actually reflect UV rays much more effectively than other surfaces, increasing your chances for both sunburn and sun damage - so make sure you include sunscreen on your winter escape packing list!
Declaré Sun Sensitive Anti-Wrinkle Sun Cream SPF 50 | $89
This SPF 50 from Declaré blocks 98% of UV rays to protect skin from collagen damaging UV rays.
5) You’re Using Skincare That Photosensitises Your Skin
When it comes to anti-ageing, there are two major players that have the added side effect of making your skin more sensitive to the sun - namely, Retinol and AHAs. Because of how these super-potent ingredients influence the skin, they leave it slightly more vulnerable than usual to the effects of the sun.
Here’s why this matters - a lot of the benefits that you get from these skincare ingredients basically get wiped out if you expose your skin to the sun over and over again without adequate sun protection! In essence, you’re flushing away all your hard work and sabotaging yourself by not wearing sunscreen daily - you don’t want to be that person!
La Mer The Soft Fluid Long Wear Foundation SPF 20 | $200
Layer this ultra-lightweight, UV ray blocking foundation over your sunscreen for a SPF boost.
Sunscreen is an essential that should come as naturally as brushing your teeth in the morning - we hope with our 5 reasons to wear sunscreen all year round, you’ll stop skipping this crucial beauty step!
Still looking for your new favourite SPF? Try our skincare quiz!
- Declaré Sun Sensitive Anti-Wrinkle Sun Cream SPF 30 | $89
- Dr Irena Eris Lumissima Brightening & Anti-Ageing Day Cream SPF 20 | $129
- La Prairie Skin Caviar Essence-in-Foundation SPF 25 | $360
- Declaré Sun Sensitive Anti-Wrinkle Sun Cream SPF 50 | $89
- La Mer The Soft Fluid Long Wear Foundation SPF 20 | $200