Summer is upon us and so are the season’s accessories trends. From dad sandals to woven visors to quilted slides, there is no shortage of inspiration. But we’re coveting something a little different, and you should be too. No, nothing designer. SPF.
A tan has the power to make you feel a certain way (read: like a summertime goddess), but for our skin’s sake, we all should be considering the faux variety that comes from a tube. Here’s why SPF is the MVP for summer.
The C Word
We all know that jokes that accompany a sunburn (tomato red, burnt to a crisp, etc.), but sunburns are not funny. UV rays from Mr. Golden Sun are incredibly powerful (and damaging). When UV rays hit your unprotected skin, it damages the DNA in those cells, and a sunburn is visible proof of that (even though the sun still causes damage whether or not you get burned). According to worldwidecancerreasearch.org, “UV radiation damages DNA in your skin cells, which can accumulate over time and increase the risk of genetic mutations that cause skin cancer. The more often you get burnt, the more damage is done and the higher the risk of skin cancer.”
Your Skin Ages First
Not only does exposure to the sun make you more susceptible to skin cancer, it also speeds up your skin’s aging process. This is called photoaging—i.e. damage to the skin caused by exposure to sunlight and ultraviolet (UV) light—and it’s responsible for 90% of visible changes to the skin, (according to Skin Cancer Foundation). If you’re concerned about fine lines, loss in volume, or any other age-old signs, make SPF your new best friend. Stat.
Problematic For Acne Prone Skin
You might connect a little sun and salty water to an improvement in your complexion, but trust us when we say that sun does more harm than good. While the sun may “dry you up,” it’s a short term gain for long term pain. Caroline Robinson, MD "... acne and inflammation still exist under the surface of the skin, and exposing it to the sun without protection can lead to much bigger long-term problems, including a higher risk of scarring, hyperpigmentation, and more persistent breakouts — not to mention skin cancers." You might be concerned about sunscreen clogging your pores, but there are plenty of non-comedogenic options that will outweigh the damage you risk by skipping the SPF.
Don’t fear the sun this summer, just make sure that when you venture outside your BFF SPF is with you so you can enjoy the Vitamin D boost safely. Here are some of our favorite sunscreens, makeup with SPF built in and sunless tanners (because we all still want that sun kissed glow, just without the damage).