How do you prevent sun damage?  There are lots of ideas and advice but it’s time for the number one skincare myth to be debunked.  What is that myth?  Sunscreen is only necessary for sunny summer days.

I’ve been an esthetician for many years and I’ve studied all the details about sunscreen usage. I know the ins and outs of why wearing sunscreen is so important for long-term healthy skin.  Everyday with clients I see firsthand the effects of sun damage caused by not wearing sunscreen. However, I am ashamed to admit that I sometimes don’t act on what I know to be true. So I want to share my sunscreen secrets with you because you only get one face, and I want to help you keep it beautiful.

This month I went on a weekend ski trip with my family, which was amazing.  Normally I wear sunscreen every day, but this one day I completely forgot. We were snow tubing on a super cloudy and overcast,  day but out of nowhere, the sun came out!   The UVA/UVB rays were beaming down on us all day, and when the sun hits things like snow or white sand, it is extremely reflective. What does that mean? Hours of unnecessary sun damage. 

Even wearing a hat or sitting in the shade somewhere, you can’t always escape the harmful rays that are reflecting off the ground. This is why sunscreen should be worn every day you go outside, even on days when you expect overcast weather. As winter activities are coming to a close we and begin to enjoy the beach again, it is vital for your health and beauty to wear sunscreen and protect your skin, every day.


Sunscreen Evolution

Over the years sunscreen has made an epic evolution. About 10 years ago, sunscreen was thought of as an annoyingly thick substance that would leave your skin looking and feeling greasy all day.  Actually, it did and that led to unnecessary breakouts.  Covering up the breakouts with makeup products like foundation or concealer was impossible. Now, sunscreens are beautifully curated with specific formulas for every skin type. 

Thicker sunscreens are still available and they have their place in your healthy routine.  They are essential for use at the beach or playing outdoor sports, activities where you require more protection to prevent sun damage.    But there are many sunscreen options now for everyday use. Many of the everyday sunscreens are made with DNA repairing ingredients leaving you without excuses not to incorporate an SPF product into your everyday routine. 


The Best Sunscreen For All Skin Types & Consistency Preferences

As I mentioned, there are tons of sunscreen options for every skin type, but a few of my all-time favorites include Elta MD Broad Spectrum SPF 46, Super Goop Mineral Sheerscreen SPF 30, and SkinCeuticals Light Moisture UV Defense SPF 50. These are all sunscreen products specifically formulated for the skin on your face, which is more sensitive than the skin on the rest of your body. They are also all suitable options for dry, oily, normal, and combination skin types.

There are even sunscreens that double as regular make-up products like foundation. If you are more of a powder person, they create sunscreen in powder form as well. A great powder sunscreen is the Bare Minerals Original Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 .   It conceals any minor blemishes and provides protection from the sun’s harmful rays. If you do prefer liquid products, but don’t want to have the added step of sunscreen in your makeup routine, opt for a tinted sunscreen and knock out two birds with one stone.  Simple and easy. 


Applying Sunscreen

Sunscreen should always be the last step of your morning skincare routine. If you use a moisturizer without SPF, you should apply your sunscreen after that. But if your moisturizer already has SPF, then your routine can be even simpler. 

When applying your sunscreen to your face, don’t forget the tops of your ears, your neck, and the skin right under your eyebrows. These are the places people tend to ignore, but your neck is actually one of the first places on your entire body to start aging. The skin underneath the brows is very thin and susceptible to the sun. 


Wear Sunscreen Year-Round

Everyone knows they should wear sunscreen when they are at the beach, but in reality, you need to wear sunscreen every day. If you are inside your house, on a rainy day, in the middle of Winter, then maybe you can skip that day but I wouldn’t recommend it.  Did you know that 80% of the lines and wrinkles you may begin to see are from sun damage from the little 5 minutes a day you in the sun without sunscreen? 

another time we often don’t realize we are experiencing sun damage is while you are in your car.  When you’re driving the sun’s rays to come right through your windshield. It could be the middle of January, 30 degrees outside, while you’re driving around town, but that is when the sun beating through the window is causing sun damage. T Small amounts of exposure add up over time. It’s not the days at the beach in the smoldering summer months. It’s the minutes each day of exposure you get throughout the entire year without wearing sunscreen.

During the  Winter when after you have retired your sunscreen for the year you are accumulating the most of your sun damage and you might not even recognize it. Over time, however, you’ll begin to notice and it may be too late!  Again, sun damage doesn’t only happen during the long summer days.  It happens on overcast days when you forgot to wear sunscreen on your skiing trip.  Oh, wait… that was me.  Wear your sunscreen every day without fail and keep your beautiful skin healthy year after year. 


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Biba Vernon

Biba Vernon

Biba is a New Jersey based esthetician, business owner and 15-year veteran of the skincare industry. After working as the lead skincare therapist at top spas in Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia, she founded her own private studio in 2015. Beauty by Biba, located in Southern New Jersey, is a unique wellness getaway where clients receive decadent, customized facials, the highest quality waxing services, as well as in-depth education and insider knowledge of how to achieve their best skin.