From Panama Jack — September 23, 2015 at 5:00 am

Summer’s (Officially) Over, But You Still Need Sunscreen

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©istockphoto/eli_asenova

©istockphoto/eli_asenova

Summer is sadly coming to an end and the snow is about to make its way in, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to pack away the sunscreen. Many people aren’t aware that sunscreen is meant to be worn year-round.

If you’re one of those folks who already tossed your tube in the back of the closet, here are a few reasons you might want to dig it back out.

It Prevents Cancer
Recent studies have been confirming what many doctors already assumed—wearing sunscreen helps prevent skin cancer. That’s because sunscreen blocks out harmful rays that cause melanoma, as well as squamous cell carcinomas. One study found that using sunscreen led to 50 percent fewer cases of melanoma when participants applied at least SPF 15 daily.

It Keeps You Looking Young
Not only does sunscreen help you stay healthy, but it also keeps you looking young. Australian researchers found that people who use sunscreen on a regular basis throughout the year show 24 percent less skin aging than their non-applying peers. It might not be the fountain of youth, but it’s the closest thing we’ve found yet.

The Sun Is Always There
Some people mistakenly believe that when the sun goes behind the clouds, they’re safe from the harmful rays. Sorry to burst the bubble, but this simply isn’t true. Harmful UV rays penetrate the clouds and still permeate the skin to age you just a tad bit faster, so all the more reason to apply at least SPF 15 even on a rainy day.

Snow Reflects Light
The snow is a tricky mistress, and she often lulls people into a false sense of security when it comes to light and sun. Ice and snow actually reflect up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV light, meaning you’re getting a double dose of the harmful stuff on those powdery days. The sun hits you from above, them comes back and whacks you from below as it bounces off the snow. That’s why it’s important to wear sunscreen of at least SPF 30 during the winter months.

It’s Easy, So Do It
When it comes to all the basic chores we do on a daily basis—showering, combing our hair, getting dressed, cooking dinner—applying sunscreen seems like a pretty minuscule task, doesn’t it? It takes very little time and has some amazing benefits, so there isn’t much excuse not to get the job done.

Doctors recommend using at least SPF 15 each day, but if you have particularly light or sensitive skin, it might be a good idea to ramp it up to SPF 30 or higher. You should consult your doctor to help determine the right amount for you.

Find a quality sunscreen that works for you and lather away. If you don’t enjoy rubbing cream on yourself, you always have the option of buying a nice spray that doesn’t leave sticky residue and only takes seconds to apply. Protect yourself from aging and harmful cancers by developing a sun care routine today. Your future self will thank you for it later.

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