Daily use of sunscreen is one of the most important things that you can do to preserve the health and beauty of your skin. Sunlight contains various wavelengths of ultraviolet radiation (UV-A, UV-B) that damages the texture, firmness, and clarity of the skin, as well as induces the formation of skin cancer. It is a common misperception that sunscreen should only be used on sunny days or during a sunny vacation. The truth is that sunscreen should be used on a daily basis on all sun-exposed areas of the body. Ultraviolet radiation is invisible to the naked eye and can be present in high levels even on an overcast, rainy day. A lesser well-known fact is that ultraviolet radiation can even be found in low levels from fluorescent lighting.
When choosing a sunscreen, make sure to look for a high SPF (sun protection factor). I recommend an SPF of at least 30, which blocks out 97% of the UVB. SPF’s with higher numbers confer only minimally increased levels of protection. Since SPF rates only the protection against UVB, one should look for “broad spectrum” as an indicator of protection against UV-A and UV-B, both of which contribute to aging skin and skin cancer.