Let’s do this in quick facts, and let’s appeal to vanity first.
: The now famous study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine
proved quantifiably what dermatologists had long known from their hundreds of patients and case studies: daily sunscreen use prevents photoaging
. And by a significant margin. After four and a half years, people that used sunscreen every day showed less skin aging — measured by impressions taken of the backs of their hands showing lines and coarseness of the skin — by as much as 24%. It’s not as straightforward as saying you’ll look 33 when you and all your friends are 45, but it’s not that farfetched, either.
Fact 2: Dark spots make you look old. Daily sunscreen use, particularly when used indoors (indoor lights are proven to cause melasma or dark spots) prevents dark spots. An opaque enough sun and light screen — Armada Sun + Light Screens were the first and are still the only products with measured protection against visible and infrared light — can even help lighten them.
Tanned skin is injured skin. As the CDC
puts it: “A tan is a response to injury: skin cells respond to damage from UV rays by producing more pigment.” This is also why sun-exposed skin looks duller and less healthy in general — it is, in fact, injured.
Fact 4: The more you do it, the worse it gets. Sunning yourself is never “just this once” at the beach. Every day you tan, every sunburn, even the little sun you get while crossing the street, it all counts. The damage doesn’t reset when your tan clears. It all adds up, increasing the signs of aging, increasing the dark spots, and increasing your risk for skin cancer.
Now, let’s tackle the bigger dangers:
Fact 1: Skin cancer is on the rise, it is one of the most common cancers among young people — the most common among people aged 25-29 and second most common in ages 15-29.
Fact 2: Skin cancer affects ALL races and skin tones. Black, white, olive and everything in between. While more common among very light-skinned people, skin cancer can actually be deadlier in darker-skinned people. Remember, reggae legend Bob Marley died of melanoma.
Fact 3: Skin cancer affects men and women. In fact, it affects men more than women.
Indoor tanning is as dangerous. According to the CDC
, “Indoor tanning has been linked with skin cancers including melanoma (the deadliest type of skin cancer), squamous cell carcinoma, and cancers of the eye (ocular melanoma).”
Fact 5: UV rays get to you spring, summer, fall and winter. Cloudy day? UVA. Ski slopes? Snow glare. Late day walk on the beach? Water glare (double exposure)! Just driving or sunning yourself by the office window? UVA penetrates windshields and windows. I’m away from windows and in front of my computer all day. Indoor lights cause melasma and other dark spots.
Figure, you’re going to die anyway? Think about your kids. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation
, “One blistering sunburn in childhood or adolescence more than doubles a person’s chances of developing melanoma later in life.”*
And make no mistake: children might listen to what you say, but they’ll do what you do. Setting an example for your child by wearing sunscreen daily, avoiding the sun and reapplying every 1 to 2 hours when at the beach could literally save your child’s life.
If you do nothing else for your skin, do sunscreen. Daily.
One tube, all this:
- Less wrinkles.
- Less dark spots.
- Younger, healthier, glowing skin.
- At least one cancer you can better protect your family from.
- The damage doesn’t reset when the tan is gone. All exposure, no matter how minimal, adds up.
From preventing skin cancer to warding off wrinkles, fighting dark spots and looking younger, it’s impossible to get more good things in one squeeze (and so quickly and visibly!) any other way.
Wearing sunscreen every day, all year round, both indoors and out, is arguably the one thing you can do for your skin that delivers such profound, visible and life-saving results. If you do nothing else for your skin, do this.