Importance of wearing sunscreen every day; Health risks associated with sun damage

Alexa Falls, Reporter

Many know that sunscreen is important to wear during a sunny and hot summer day. Or going to the beach or the pool, and other things like that, but what about wearing it every day? 

     Sunscreen protects the skin from sun damage, reduces the risk for skin cancer, prevents wrinkles and fine lines due to aging, stops DNA damage, and so much more. Dermatologists encourage wearing sunscreen for these reasons. 

   Sophomore Logan Chapman says, “I only wear sunscreen when I am intentionally staying out in the sun for an excessive amount of time.” He adds, “If I am going to the store or something like that I don’t usually put sunscreen on.” As for the weather impacting if people decide to wear sunscreen or not, he says, “absolutely because people associate sunblock with warmer weather.”

     There are two types of sunscreens that you need to know about first, chemical and mineral, or also known as physical sunscreen. A good sunscreen also protects against UVA and UVB rays, not one or the other. Mineral sunscreens usually contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, and chemical sunscreens will likely include oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, or octinoxate, according to CNET News.

     The difference between these ingredients is how they protect your skin. Mineral sunscreen filters work like a shield on your skin blocking UV rays, but chemical sunscreen filters absorb UV light like a sponge soaking up water. Chemical filters convert the UV rays into heat when being absorbed and mineral filters stay on the top of your skin. 

      Although, some studies have shown that certain chemical filters aren’t safe for aquatic life, especially coral reefs. Sunscreens that use oxybenzone and octinoxate have been banned in Hawaii for their negative effects on the ocean. Avobenzone is another chemical sunscreen filter that is not reef safe, according to Waxhead sun defense.  

     Now that you know the differences, which is better for your skin? No two people have the same exact skin, so it is important to pick the right one for you. If you have sensitive skin that gets irritated easily, a mineral sunscreen may be best since the filters won’t be irritating to the skin for most. 

     Chapman says that on a rainy or cloudy day, he doesn’t wear sunscreen, “Even though UV rays penetrate your skin [through] the clouds on any day I don’t think I would.”

     One issue with mineral sunscreens is that sometimes, they leave a white cast on the skin which can be a pain for some. If you are a person of color or have a darker skin tone, a chemical sunscreen would be ideal since most don’t leave a white cast, a tinted mineral sunscreen may work well too.

     The sunscreen Chapman uses is, “something with a relatively low SPF. I haven’t really found a good brand to use but it’s usually something to give me a little bit of protection, but not a lot because I do like a little bit of color on my face.”

     Some skincare brands that carry sunscreen include CeraVe, Differin, Cetaphil, cocokind, Sun Bum, La Roche Posay, Kinship, Everyday Humans, and many more. All these brands can be found at Ulta Beauty, some can be found at Target and most drugstores, and their prices range from about ten dollars all the way to $40. 

     Each of these brands contain either a mineral or chemical sunscreen, some include both so there is something for almost everyone. Obviously, there are other brands than the ones mentioned but there are a lot of options to pick from in this list to get started on your healthy skin journey.