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While many debate on the topic of whether applying sunscreen does more harm than good, there is no arguing that the only way to protect your skin from harmful radiation while outdoors is by using sunscreen.

Read also: 8 Reasons Why Sun Protection is Important

Why are the sun rays so harmful?

The sun rays can be classified into 3 types, UVA, UVB and UVC. Thankfully, we only have 2 types of UV rays to worry about as UVC rays do not penetrate the earth's ozone layer.

UVA rays

UVA rays cause wrinkles, fine lines and premature ageing of the skin. In comparison, UVA rays account for 95% of the UV radiation that reaches the earth's surface and they are prevalent all year round and all times of the day, even when you are indoors. Why? Well, here's a shocking fact - UVA rays can penetrate through glass windows. All the more reason to put on sunscreen even if you are at home!

UVB rays

UVB rays only affect the epidermis of the skin, damaging only the outer surface of the skin. It doesn't sound scary, but UVB rays are responsible for the painful sunburns, skin peeling and blistering from the aftermath of an unprotected suntan. UVB rays are most powerful when the heat from the sun is at its peak, and they are strongly linked to skin cancer. Don't underestimate UVB rays too as they are capable of burning your unprotected skin in as little as 15 minutes.

What happens when I go out in the sun unprotected?

We all have done it at least once in our lives. Maybe a couple of us never had the habit of putting on sunscreen because there are no immediate visible effects of going out in the sun. But under the microscopic eye, 20 minutes out in the sun can cause reddening and increased sensitivity in the skin, damage to the skin's DNA, weakening of skin cells and tissues, and ultimately, skin cancer. Among other harmful effects are also cataracts and eye damage as well as a weakened immune system.

 Why Should I Use Sunscreen?

Sunscreen is a vital step in your skincare routine, we admit sometimes we skip this step in a haste to leave the house. Furthermore, many beauty and skincare products now come with SPF, so essentially, sunscreens have been left in the dust. Until now.

Here are 5 reasons why you should apply sunscreen:

  1. Sunscreen  gives you better protection than foundations with a low SPF
  2. Mineral sunscreens are safe for kids and babies
  3. Sunscreens are lightweight and easy to reapply
  4. Some sunscreens that contain herbs and natural ingredients can have skincare benefits
  5.  Sunscreens protect your skin from premature ageing.
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