Taking care of your skin isn’t just about making it softer and more vibrant than it is now – it’s also about preventing problems that may arise in the future.

And one the BIGGEST problems that can take you from looking firm and radiant to saggy and wrinkled is prolonged exposure to the sun.

So if you want to keep your skin looking great for years to come, it’s not enough to simply cleanse and moisturize – you need to make sure you get a quality sunscreen on as well.

 

How Sunscreen Works 

Sunscreens are essentially creams or sprays made up of a number of chemicals that protect your skin from UV (ultraviolet) radiation.

These chemicals work either by repelling the UV rays, or by simply absorbing them, bonding to the UV radiation so that it doesn’t penetrate the skin.

 

Why It’s Important

Sunscreen is important for a few reasons. The first is safety.  While getting enough sunlight is important (and comes with a number health benefit), getting too much can be even worse, putting you at risk for a number of skin cancers (or at the very least, a nasty sunburn that leaves you red and sore for a few days).

It’s also a cosmetic concern as well, since sun exposure is directly tied to premature aging.  It might not seem like a big deal, but every sunburn you get raises the levels of inflammation in your skin, deteriorating the vital proteins that give it its tight, firm appearance.

 

What To Look For In A Sunscreen

When choosing the right sunscreen, it’s important that pay attention to a number of factors:

 

#1 – Go For Broad Spectrum

There are two types of UV rays – UVA and UVB.  UVB rays are typically associated with sunburns, while UVA rays are more commonly linked with premature aging.

A “broad spectrum” sunscreen is one that protects against both, so make sure that it’s indicated on the label when you make your choice.

 

#2 – Pay Attention To SPF

SPF is an acronym standing for “sun protection factor”, and it indicates the protection level against UV rays.  Generally speaking, you’ll want to go with an SPF 50 or higher.  Anything lower than that, and you’ll miss out on a lot of protection against premature aging.

And while a higher SPF is obviously better, keep in mind that there’s usually a point of diminishing returns once you get above 50.

 

#3 – Understand Your Skin Type

Our final tip is to make sure you understand your skin type and shop accordingly.  This is particularly important if you’re buying a sun cream.

Different types of skin react differently to various creams.  If, for example, you suffer from oily skin, you’re going to want to make sure you select something non-greasy and oil free.

Many people, particularly those who suffer from sensitive skin, also have reactions to different sunscreens.  If that’s you, choosing the right product may be a matter of trial and error in order to find the one that not only protects you from the sun, but treats your skin right as well.