The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
As the summer season comes to an end, you might be thinking of finally putting your sunscreen away to brace for the cold weather to come – knocking a step off your AM skincare routine. Think again! Yes, sunscreen is an essential part of the summer season but it should be an essential part of your skincare routine all year round. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, even on the cloudiest day there is still an 80% chance the sun’s harmful rays are penetrating and affecting your skin. Sunscreen isn’t just a fad or something you only use during the summer season; it is an essential part of everyday life for us skincare enthusiasts!
Wearing sunscreen comes with a lot of short term and long term benefits. From protecting your skin against painful sunburns during the summer to reducing signs of ageing. Skincare also aids in the reduction of sunspots and also acts as preventive measures for skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in the United States, as one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. It is estimated that approximately 9,500 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with skin cancer every day according to the American Academy of Dermatology. But before you rush to your local drug store to grab sunscreen you need to understand the difference between chemical and mineral sunscreens.
Chemical and mineral sunscreen both protect you against the sun but their difference lies in their ingredients and in the way they protect you from the sun. Traditionally, mineral sunscreens are made up of ingredients like zinc and titanium dioxide that sit on the surface of skin and offer a layer of protection against the sun. Mineral sunscreen basically acts as a shield between the skin and the sun. Chemical sunscreen on the other hand is made with oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and/or octinoxate. These chemicals help the sunscreen absorb deep into the skin. While each sunscreen type has their own benefits, it’s recommended to use mineral sunscreen as it is less harmful to our ocean life.
Chemical sunscreens are usually very harmful to coral reefs. In 2018, the state of Hawaii banned sunscreens containing the chemicals Oxybenzone and Octinoxate which are regularly found in chemical sunscreens. The most important thing is that you should be wearing sunscreen with SPF higher than 30 to really work and you should be reapplying sunscreen every two hours especially if you have been swimming or sweating.
Sunscreen dates back thousands of years”. The first ever recorded sunscreen was in ancient Egypt where rice bran (which is known for its sun absorption) was used as sun protection. The sunscreen that we know now was invented in 1932 by an Australian chemist by the name of Milton Blake, soon after many companies rushed to develop their own to compete in the market. It’s important to take preventive measures to take care of your skin and in the long run your skin will thank you. And yes, you should wear sunscreen too if you have a darker complexion.