Although sunlight is beneficial in the synthesis of vitamin D in the skin, too much or too strong of sunlight without proper protection is responsible for sunburn, skin cancers, and premature aging. Wearing sunscreen daily is an easy and effective way to protect the appearance and health of your skin. If used on a regular basis, sunscreen helps prevent sunburn, skin cancer, and premature aging.
All individuals, regardless of skin phototype, are at risk for the potential adverse effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation and will benefit from sunscreen use. Sunscreen use is especially useful in those with light skin phototypes and those who are more susceptible to sunburns and skin cancers. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends sunscreens with a minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 for daily use and SPF of 30 or higher, broad-spectrum coverage, and water or sweat resistance for individuals performing outdoor work, sports, or recreational activities.
Sunscreen should be applied approximately 15-30 minutes prior to sun exposure to allow for proper formation of a protective film on the skin and should be reapplied at least every two hours. Sunscreen should also be reapplied after swimming or excessive sweating, even if the product is labeled as water resistant.
In general, sunscreens have an excellent safety profile and there is no evidence of systemic adverse effects related to skin absorption.
Sun protection is important for the protection against sunburns, skin cancers, and premature aging and therefore sunscreen should be used in all individuals daily.
Baron, Elma. (2021, May 10). Selection of sunscreen and sun-protective measures. UpToDate. Retrieved March 2, 2022
This article reviewed by Dr. Jim Liu, MD and Ms. Deb Dooley, APRN.
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