The Importance of Sunscreen

The Importance of Sunscreen: Why Should You Wear It?

4 min read

OCT 28, 2023 - by THE ONESKIN TEAM
October 28,2023
SKIN SCIENCE
The Importance of Sunscreen

The Importance of Sunscreen: Why Should You Wear It?

4 min read

OCT 28, 2023 - by THE ONESKIN TEAM
October 28,2023
SKIN SCIENCE
Of all the elements of a daily skin care routine, sunscreen is the most critical for preventing premature skin aging. Adequate use of sunscreen protects your skin from the damaging effects of UV radiation, and can help prevent the development of skin cancer. Understanding how sunscreen works and why you need its protection can help keep you motivated to protect your largest organ year round.
Of all the elements of a daily skin care routine, sunscreen is the most critical for preventing premature skin aging. Adequate use of sunscreen protects your skin from the damaging effects of UV radiation, and can help prevent the development of skin cancer. Understanding how sunscreen works and why you need its protection can help keep you motivated to protect your largest organ year round.
01

The importance of wearing sunscreen

Wearing sunscreen is important because of its ability to protect your skin from harmful UV radiation, which is proven to cause premature aging and skin cancer. 1 UV damage to the skin manifests in two ways.
01

The importance of wearing sunscreen

Wearing sunscreen is important because of its ability to protect your skin from harmful UV radiation, which is proven to cause premature aging and skin cancer. 1 UV damage to the skin manifests in two ways.

Damage to Cell Structure

What does UV light do to skin? UV radiation damages the internal structures of cells by increasing the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can damage the main proteins that make up the skin, collagen and elastin. UV rays also induce senescence, increasing the number of senescent cells in the skin. Senescent cells secrete matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) which degrade collagen proteins. This cumulative damage leads to a weaker skin barrier along with sagging skin, fine lines, and wrinkles. The primary culprit for this type of damage is UVA rays, as they have long enough wavelengths to reach the dermis of the skin, where a majority of collagen resides. Even though UVA rays are less likely to cause immediate sunburn or direct damage to our DNA, they significantly impact skin’s structure, strength, and integrity, therefore their long-term effects on the skin's health and body’s health should not be underestimated.

Damage to Cell Structure

What does UV light do to skin? UV radiation damages the internal structures of cells by increasing the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can damage the main proteins that make up the skin, collagen and elastin. UV rays also induce senescence, increasing the number of senescent cells in the skin. Senescent cells secrete matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) which degrade collagen proteins. This cumulative damage leads to a weaker skin barrier along with sagging skin, fine lines, and wrinkles. The primary culprit for this type of damage is UVA rays, as they have long enough wavelengths to reach the dermis of the skin, where a majority of collagen resides. Even though UVA rays are less likely to cause immediate sunburn or direct damage to our DNA, they significantly impact skin’s structure, strength, and integrity, therefore their long-term effects on the skin's health and body’s health should not be underestimated.

Damage to DNA

UVB radiation contains more energy than UVA, making them capable of damaging the genetic material in skin cells. When cells accumulate enough DNA damage, skin cancer can develop.2 This damage can also cause our telomeres (the ends of chromosomes that are meant to protect the core genetic material) to shorten. Telomere attrition is a hallmark of aging, leading to early cell cycle arrest and senescence, which causes tissue aging. 2,3

Damage to DNA

UVB radiation contains more energy than UVA, making them capable of damaging the genetic material in skin cells. When cells accumulate enough DNA damage, skin cancer can develop.2 This damage can also cause our telomeres (the ends of chromosomes that are meant to protect the core genetic material) to shorten. Telomere attrition is a hallmark of aging, leading to early cell cycle arrest and senescence, which causes tissue aging. 2,3
02

How does sunscreen protect you?

Sunscreen works by either absorbing, reflecting, or scattering the sun's UV radiation. Broad spectrum sunscreen is designed to protect against both UVA rays and UVB rays
. Chemically based sunscreens contain active ingredients that absorb UV radiation and convert their energy into heat. 4 Mineral sunscreens contain microscopic particles, either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, that physically reflect or scatter the radiation harmlessly across the skin. 4
02

How does sunscreen protect you?

Sunscreen works by either absorbing, reflecting, or scattering the sun's UV radiation. Broad spectrum sunscreen is designed to protect against both UVA rays and UVB rays
. Chemically based sunscreens contain active ingredients that absorb UV radiation and convert their energy into heat. 4 Mineral sunscreens contain microscopic particles, either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, that physically reflect or scatter the radiation harmlessly across the skin. 4

Do you need to wear sunscreen everyday?

Applying sunscreen should be an everyday activity even on days that are cold or overcast
. UVA rays can penetrate through the atmosphere and clouds, while extremely overcast days will still only block up to 90% of UVB rays. 5 This is why you can still get sunburned on an overcast day, and why protecting against UVA radiation is essential all year round. Taking the precaution of wearing sunscreen every day and reapplying as necessary will protect you from the majority of
sun damage and its photoaging effects.

Do you need to wear sunscreen everyday?

Applying sunscreen should be an everyday activity even on days that are cold or overcast
. UVA rays can penetrate through the atmosphere and clouds, while extremely overcast days will still only block up to 90% of UVB rays. 5 This is why you can still get sunburned on an overcast day, and why protecting against UVA radiation is essential all year round. Taking the precaution of wearing sunscreen every day and reapplying as necessary will protect you from the majority of
sun damage and its photoaging effects.

How much SPF is enough?

The SPF (Sun Protection Factor) number on sunscreen indicates its efficacy at blocking UVB radiation. This increases the amount of time you can spend in the sun before getting burned, so long as you apply the proper amount as directed. 6 Dermatologists recommend an SPF of at least 30 as it blocks 97% of the sun's rays. An SPF 50 sunscreen will only block about 98% of UV rays, meaning higher SPFs have increasingly diminishing returns as it is impossible to block 100% of the sun's UV rays while remaining invisible on the skin.

How much SPF is enough?

The SPF (Sun Protection Factor) number on sunscreen indicates its efficacy at blocking UVB radiation. This increases the amount of time you can spend in the sun before getting burned, so long as you apply the proper amount as directed. 6 Dermatologists recommend an SPF of at least 30 as it blocks 97% of the sun's rays. An SPF 50 sunscreen will only block about 98% of UV rays, meaning higher SPFs have increasingly diminishing returns as it is impossible to block 100% of the sun's UV rays while remaining invisible on the skin.

What is PA+ or PPD?

Unlike SPF, which measures protection from UVB rays, indicating the level of protection against UVA rays isn’t required in the US. Luckily, the adoption of grading scales that measure UVA protection, such as the PA (Protection Grade) scale and PPD (Persistent Pigment Darkening) scale, are becoming common within the skin health and cosmetic industries. 7 Most often found on European or Asian sunscreens, a sunscreen with a PPD equivalent to of 10 blocks about 90% of UVA rays, and is best for everyday use. Both scales are effective tools to indicate UVA protection. For reference, PA++ = PPD4 to 8, PA+++ = PPD8 to 16, and PA++++ = PPD16+. While broad spectrum sunscreens block both UVB rays and UVA rays, it’s helpful to check for the PA+ and PPD scales to determine the level of UVA protection. 7

What is PA+ or PPD?

Unlike SPF, which measures protection from UVB rays, indicating the level of protection against UVA rays isn’t required in the US. Luckily, the adoption of grading scales that measure UVA protection, such as the PA (Protection Grade) scale and PPD (Persistent Pigment Darkening) scale, are becoming common within the skin health and cosmetic industries. 7 Most often found on European or Asian sunscreens, a sunscreen with a PPD equivalent to of 10 blocks about 90% of UVA rays, and is best for everyday use. Both scales are effective tools to indicate UVA protection. For reference, PA++ = PPD4 to 8, PA+++ = PPD8 to 16, and PA++++ = PPD16+. While broad spectrum sunscreens block both UVB rays and UVA rays, it’s helpful to check for the PA+ and PPD scales to determine the level of UVA protection. 7

Related Products

Benefits of sun protection

Protecting your skin from the sun is arguably the most important step in your skin care routine that you can take. Doing so will manifest unparalleled results for the long term health of your skin.
  1. Preventing skin cancers: Skin cancers are the most dangerous long term impact of unprotected sun exposure. A daily application of broad spectrum SPF will significantly reduce your risk of skin cancers. Clinical studies have shown that wearing only an SPF 15 sunscreen daily reduces the risk of some skin cancers by 50%. 8
  2. Slowing skin aging: UV radiation speeds up skin aging in a number of ways. Daily sunscreen users experience an average of about 24% less aging of the skin. 9
  3. Reducing hyperpigmentation: UV exposure can cause
  4. hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone, and sun spots
    . When harmful UV rays strike melanin within our epidermis, it is absorbed, triggering increased melanin production in the skin. Over time this can cause uneven patches of melanin density that result in many forms of hyperpigmentation. Wearing sunscreen effectively blocks the harmful UV rays that can cause these marks. 10
  5. Protecting the skin barrier: Our
  6. skin barrier
    is a delicate layer of fats and lipids that keep moisture in and pathogens out. The health of the skin barrier is highly indicative of skin age and health. Studies suggest that sunscreen use may encourage a healthier skin barrier by reducing inflammation. 11
    Protecting your skin from the sun starts with the right topical skin care products like a peptide face moisturizer or a peptide body lotion to complement a broad spectrum SPF sunscreen. However, not all sunscreens are created equal. OneSkin’s OS-01 SHIELD provides broad-spectrum SPF 30+ PA+++ protection with ingredients such as zinc oxide and the OS-01 peptide. OS-01 SHIELD, our peptide sunscreen, not only protects skin from advanced UV aging with 100% Non-nano Mineral Broad Spectrum UV filters and potent antioxidants, it is scientifically proven to reduce the effects of UV-induced aging!When it's time to remove sunscreen, be sure to use a gentle gel cleanser that effectively clears your skin without causing any unnecessary irritation, maintaining your skin's health throughout your skin care routine.

    Benefits of sun protection

    Protecting your skin from the sun is arguably the most important step in your skin care routine that you can take. Doing so will manifest unparalleled results for the long term health of your skin.
    1. Preventing skin cancers: Skin cancers are the most dangerous long term impact of unprotected sun exposure. A daily application of broad spectrum SPF will significantly reduce your risk of skin cancers. Clinical studies have shown that wearing only an SPF 15 sunscreen daily reduces the risk of some skin cancers by 50%. 8
    2. Slowing skin aging: UV radiation speeds up skin aging in a number of ways. Daily sunscreen users experience an average of about 24% less aging of the skin. 9
    3. Reducing hyperpigmentation: UV exposure can cause
    4. hyperpigmentation, uneven skin tone, and sun spots
      . When harmful UV rays strike melanin within our epidermis, it is absorbed, triggering increased melanin production in the skin. Over time this can cause uneven patches of melanin density that result in many forms of hyperpigmentation. Wearing sunscreen effectively blocks the harmful UV rays that can cause these marks. 10
    5. Protecting the skin barrier: Our
    6. skin barrier
      is a delicate layer of fats and lipids that keep moisture in and pathogens out. The health of the skin barrier is highly indicative of skin age and health. Studies suggest that sunscreen use may encourage a healthier skin barrier by reducing inflammation. 11
      Protecting your skin from the sun starts with the right topical skin care products like a peptide face moisturizer or a peptide body lotion to complement a broad spectrum SPF sunscreen. However, not all sunscreens are created equal. OneSkin’s OS-01 SHIELD provides broad-spectrum SPF 30+ PA+++ protection with ingredients such as zinc oxide and the OS-01 peptide. OS-01 SHIELD, our peptide sunscreen, not only protects skin from advanced UV aging with 100% Non-nano Mineral Broad Spectrum UV filters and potent antioxidants, it is scientifically proven to reduce the effects of UV-induced aging!When it's time to remove sunscreen, be sure to use a gentle gel cleanser that effectively clears your skin without causing any unnecessary irritation, maintaining your skin's health throughout your skin care routine.
      Key Takeaways:
      • Sunscreen is a vital component of daily skincare routines, primarily because it plays a pivotal role in preventing premature skin aging and skin cancer.
      • UV radiation has two significant effects on the skin. UVA rays damage cell structures leading to collagen and elastin damage, while UVB rays damage DNA, potentially causing skin cancer.
      • Sunscreen either absorbs, reflects, or scatters UV radiation. A chemical sunscreen absorbs UV radiation, while a mineral sunscreen uses microscopic particles to physically reflect or scatter radiation.
      • The SPF number on sunscreen indicates its effectiveness in blocking UVB radiation. An SPF of at least 30 is recommended by dermatologists as it blocks 97% of UVB rays.
      • The PA and PPD grading scales measure UVA protection, specifically the prevention of long-term tanning effects from UVA rays.
      • Protecting your skin with sunscreen reduces the risk of skin cancers, slows skin aging, reduces hyperpigmentation, and maintains a healthy skin barrier.
      Key Takeaways:
      • Sunscreen is a vital component of daily skincare routines, primarily because it plays a pivotal role in preventing premature skin aging and skin cancer.
      • UV radiation has two significant effects on the skin. UVA rays damage cell structures leading to collagen and elastin damage, while UVB rays damage DNA, potentially causing skin cancer.
      • Sunscreen either absorbs, reflects, or scatters UV radiation. A chemical sunscreen absorbs UV radiation, while a mineral sunscreen uses microscopic particles to physically reflect or scatter radiation.
      • The SPF number on sunscreen indicates its effectiveness in blocking UVB radiation. An SPF of at least 30 is recommended by dermatologists as it blocks 97% of UVB rays.
      • The PA and PPD grading scales measure UVA protection, specifically the prevention of long-term tanning effects from UVA rays.
      • Protecting your skin with sunscreen reduces the risk of skin cancers, slows skin aging, reduces hyperpigmentation, and maintains a healthy skin barrier.

      Reviewed by Alessandra Zonari, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) and Co-Founder of OneSkin

      Alessandra earned her Master’s degree in stem cell biology, and her PhD in skin regeneration and tissue engineering at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil in collaboration with the 3B’s Research Group in Portugal. Alessandra did a second post-doctoral at the University of Coimbra in Portugal. She is a co-inventor of three patents and has published 20 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals.

      Reviewed by Alessandra Zonari, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) and Co-Founder of OneSkin

      Alessandra earned her Master’s degree in stem cell biology, and her PhD in skin regeneration and tissue engineering at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil in collaboration with the 3B’s Research Group in Portugal. Alessandra did a second post-doctoral at the University of Coimbra in Portugal. She is a co-inventor of three patents and has published 20 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals.

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