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Certified dermatologist explains why you need to wear SPF every day

Katie Mather
·2-min read
Certified dermatologist explains why you need to wear SPF every day

In order to keep your skin protected, it’s important to wear SPF every single day. Yes, even if you don’t go outside —and yes, even if it’s not sunny out.

In The Know spoke with certified dermatologist Dr. Joyce Park about why sunscreen is so necessary. It may seem like an annoying everyday chore, but the benefits completely outweigh the 30 seconds it takes to properly apply it each morning.

“Cumulative sun exposure throughout your whole life can increase your risk of skin cancer,” Dr. Park explained. “Wearing sunscreen every day can also protect against photoaging — wrinkles, sagging skin, leathery texture, dark spots, red spots — all of that kind of stuff.”

There are two types of radiation that the sun emits — UVA and UVB — so when it comes to selecting a sunscreen, you’ll want to find one that protects you against both.

“You want to find one that says ‘broad spectrum’ because that means it blocks both UVA and UVB radiation,” Dr. Park said.

If you’re someone who’s been working from home and thinks that’s an excuse to not wear sunscreen, you’re wrong. Windows block UVB radiation, but not UVA — so, you’ll still need protection.

Or if you consider sunscreen to simply be a barrier from getting a gorgeous suntan, Dr. Park added that, yes, you can still get tan even with sunscreen. Plus, there are plenty of self-tanning options out there.

“In realistic world setting, you’re probably not getting that full SPF benefit,” Park added. 

Park also said that SPF 30 protects against 97 percent of radiation, but that’s only if you perfectly apply an evenly thick layer of sunscreen to your entire body and face — and reapply it every two hours. It’s not realistic.

“Don’t stress out,” she concluded. “It’s never too late to start wearing sunscreen — I recommend you start today and you’ll do great.”

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