Many people underestimate the dangers of not applying sunscreen when outdoors. While there are plenty of products to protect ourselves from the harmful UV rays when going out, there are still people who choose to skip this important step of applying sunscreen because its “okay” to do so since they won’t be in the sun for long.

Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer and the number one cause of skin cancer is prolonged exposure to UV rays without adequate protection. A session out in the sun could cause skin to be sunburnt. Of course, sunburnt skin can heal quickly without much implications on the outside, however, under the microscopic eye, cells and blood vessels are damaged. And with repeated sun exposure, the damage gets more severe, causing skin to look dry, wrinkled and weakened over time.

Don’t be mistaken that the sun cannot penetrate through glass windows even if you are sitting comfortably indoors. As long as the sun rays hit you whether if it’s through your home window or your office window - you are definitely exposed to the UV rays.

Is sun protection really that important?

For those who do not have the habit of apply sunscreen, here are 8 reasons why you should immediately change your routine to include sunscreen application.

1. The ozone layer is depleting

Environmental changes and global warming are contributing to the thinning of the ozone layer. The Ozone layer is what prevents most of the UV rays from the sun. As the ozone layer thins, the amount of UV rays that were once blocked can now be penetrated right into our path. A strong sunscreen can protect the skin from receiving the brunt of the sun damage.

2. It keeps wrinkles, fine line and freckles away

Constant UV exposure also speeds up the premature ageing process of your skin because of the repeated damage, skin cells are unable to turnover as quickly as before, causing your skin to age faster. By wearing sunscreen, you are also slowing down the development of wrinkles and fine lines, as well as preventing dark spots from forming.

3. It reduces the risk of skin diseases and skin cancer

As mentioned above, UV exposure is the number one cause of skin cancer. By protecting your skin from the sun using an appropriate sunscreen, you are essentially reducing the risk of getting skin cancer.

4. Benefits from the sun can be obtained from your diet

So actually, there’s no need to “soak up the sun”. The biggest sunshine vitamin is Vitamin D, but this vitamin can also be found in eggs, cheese, salmon and mushrooms. Therefore, you are not losing out on anything when applying sunscreen. Whatever vitamins that the sunscreen blocks – you can always supplement it with a healthier diet.

5. Sunscreens are convenient to apply

There are plenty of sunscreens in the market. Ranging from sprays, lotion to stick. Depending on your needs, whether you need a spot protection, or a full body protection, there is always a suitable type for you. Not matter what type of sunscreen you choose, be sure to conduct a patch test to check if the product does not irritate your skin.

6. Sunscreen offers more than just protection

Many cosmetics brands incorporate SPF into their skincare products. These days, we see foundations, BB creams, CC creams and even lip products come with SPF protection. Unlike before where applying sunscreen is an additional step to take before applying makeup, now you can use a single product and have both glamour and protection! Do take caution though, if you intend to be our in the sun for long periods of time, it is still wise to carry a dedicated sunscreen for reapplication just to be safe.

7. It prevents painful sunburns

Activities like swimming, outdoor sports and events under the sun may seem fun while you’re at it but being out in the sun for hours can cause your skin to peel and swell. In more severe cases, the skin exposed to the sun may begin to itch and develop blisters which can be extremely painful. To be safe, it is always recommended to apply sunscreen in advance if you know that you will be spending time in the sun.

8. Sunscreen for sensitive skin

Some sunscreens are made with harsh chemicals that do their job extremely well, but the downside is that they aren’t so friendly on sensitive skin. Before buying a sunscreen, read the ingredients label to check if there is oxybenzone in the list. This ingredient is known to cause allergy-like reactions on sensitive skin, and cause disruption to the endocrine system. Luckily, there are many sunscreens that adopt a more natural formulation which does not irritate the skin. Always remember to do a patch test before applying it onto the whole body.