Skincare Expert Details How Dangerous It Really Is Not To Wear SPF Daily

Sunscreen has long been a beach bag staple, but has it made its way into your daily skincare routine? Though it may seem like overkill, the sun can harm your skin on even the cloudiest days, and it isn't just painful sunburns you need to be wary of.


If you've been keeping up with TikTok trends, you'll notice that the cosmetic industry has seen a shift from heavy-duty makeup looks to a preference for simple, glowy skincare. As a result, some of our favorite brands have upped their product game. If you have yet to invest in an SPF-backed moisturizer, this is your sign.

Dr. Rosmy Barrios is a medical doctor and advisor for Health Reporter. She shared with us some of the most important things you need to know about daily SPF use, and her argument is compelling and crucial for keeping your skin gorgeous and healthy. Here's everything you need to know about SPF and choosing the best sunscreen for your skin

Sunscreen protects against aging and non-melanoma skin cancer

Perhaps you've never been afraid of a little sunburn. After all, the pain is usually bearable. And, if you're lucky, it will heal into a stunning tan. While allowing some UV rays to penetrate your skin may seem gratifying in the moment, it can have severe long-term impacts. As it turns out, some of the common skin problems we thought were inevitable are highly preventable with the right care. 


Dr. Rosmy Barrios notes that the sun emits two different kinds of beams: ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Dubbed "the burning ray," a sunburn is a clear sign that your skin is taking on the sun's ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Sunburns are more than just an inconvenience though; they're a warning sign. Unfortunately, UVB exposure is also what can lead to skin cancer. UVA, meanwhile, can damage the appearance of your skin.

Dr. Barrios adds that the danger of these rays is too often overlooked. "Even on cloudy days when the sky is covered, 80% of UV rays penetrate the clouds and your skin absorbs it," she shared. "This shows how important it is to safeguard your skin at all costs."


Broad-spectrum sunscreen is best

As more sunscreens and SPF products hit the market, you're bound to encounter many different labels and promises. Selecting the right formula for your skincare routine may seem complicated, but it's worth it. To help you sort through the mess, Dr. Rosmy Barrios recommends purchasing SPF that's labeled "broad spectrum." This term indicates the sunscreen's ability to protect against both UVA and UVB rays.


Although UVB's propensity to cause skin cancer may make it seem like the only one you need to worry about, UVA can still wreak havoc on your skin's appearance and your confidence. Dr. Barrios refers to this beam as the "aging ray," as it causes your skin to prematurely age. This can manifest in fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots. This means that you can trade out anti-aging creams and hacks for good, old-fashioned sunscreen. "Considering that, a broad-spectrum sunscreen is your best bet for protection," Dr. Barrios explains. SPF is a preventative measure that will keep your skin looking younger down the line and has the added bonus of preventing UVB's cancer-causing rays. 

The timing and strength of your sunscreen makes a difference

One more label hack to look out for is the strength of your SPF. You might be familiar with sunscreen bottles proclaiming that they are SPF 15, 30, or even 50. "An SPF basically tells you what portion of UVB rays it filters out," Dr. Rosmy Barrios explains. According to her, SPF 15 filters out 93%, while SPF 30 gets to around 97%. For this reason, she recommends wearing a minimum of SPF 30.


Finally, she shared that the time of day has an impact on your skin's risk. The sun's position in the sky plays a role in the intensity of its rays, and Dr. Barrios said 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. is when you need to be especially careful. So, if you're not ready to hard-launch SPF into your skincare routine, at least pay special attention to those hours!

With SPF moisturizers, lotions, and foundations making their way onto the market, you can easily combine this essential skincare step with another staple. Your skin and health are worth the investment!