Will sunscreen prevent sunburn? I mean really prevent a sunburn?
Will sunscreen prevent sunburn for someone like the young lady in the image? It should help, but only if applied properly, and as needed.
How difficult is it to remember to reapply sunscreen when you are busy enjoying the outdoors? Moving about and sweating and running the risk of sunburn? Personally, I know I would be sweating a lot! This is the reason so many people think that they have to run, or hike wearing less clothing.
Covering your body with a lightweight loose fitting long sleeve sun-blocking shirt that wicks moisture away and helps you stay cool is a better option. A sun-blocking hat with a brim to keep the sun off your face, and your sunglasses.
Unfortunately, the feel of the sun on our bodies has long been a reason we forget to watch the clock and monitor our time in the sun, and soon we have a sunburn.
How Is Your Sun Danger Alert?
Do you pay attention to how direct the sun’s rays are when you are going out? Is there an automatic trigger that tells you it is time to get out of the sun?
According to Health Encylopedia
‘A sunscreen protects from sunburn and minimizes suntan by absorbing or reflecting UV rays. Selecting a good sunscreen is important in protecting the skin. Choose a sunscreen that offers: Broad-spectrum protection.’
The problem with depending on sunscreen alone has always been the human factor. Sure, you can set your watch to alert you in 2 hours, but will you heed your call and ignore the time limit? I’m betting you would pay attention to some of the reminders, but not all.
Who wants to rub sunscreen on again and again, especially if you are sweating? Not me, for sure.
Then did you notice that the definition of sunscreen said that it minimizes tan? Even if used as directed you are going to get a suntan, which is the first warning that you are getting into the sun too much.
If you don’t reapply in a timely manner and kept the protection level up, you will sunburn if you are out too long. You need another layer for this skin protection effort.
So that is why I am glad UPF clothing or sun blocking clothing has come on the scene. Between them both, it is easier to cut your risk factor.
You will be protected as long as you have your sun hat, sunglasses, and sun blocking shirt on your body! Sunscreen on the parts not covered in clothing is easier to keep protected.
So to answer the question, will sunscreen prevent sunburn? Yes, it could.
- If you don’t stay out too long in the sun at any one time. Do you know your safe limit?
- Remember to reapply often
Do You Sunburn Easily?
Sunburn is more than a temporary annoyance. Are you aware that sunburn can cause long-lasting damage to your skin? This can happen even if you don’t have red hair or super fair skin.
People just plain react differently to the sun. Some of us feel the sun’s effects very quickly, and others seem to have little effect even with a full day of outdoor time.
Your genetics is what will determine how your skin reacts to the sun.
Alli Hendi, MD made this statement:
“Light-skinned people burn more easily than people with darker skin; consequently, they have a higher risk of developing skin cancer. They are especially more likely to develop melanoma since they are so much more vulnerable to sunburn,”
He also says that everyone has some risk for skin cancer. No matter your skin color or whether you burn easily or not, you can sunburn and develop skin cancer.
He also warns that we shouldn’t assume we are safe just because of having a darker skin tone. If you have ever had a tan, you have had skin cell damage. I have had a tan, and I have had skin cell damage resulting in skin cancer. So can you, regardless of your natural skin tones, exercise caution and protect your skin.
The other factor besides genetics is a lifestyle. Do you exercise caution in your sun exposure? I didn’t when I was younger. As recent as just 10 years ago I allowed myself to get a fairly deep tan. So ridiculous! It had to be temporary insanity!
What Is A Sunburn Preventing Lifestyle?
When the sun is strongest is when it will do more damage. However, you will get some damage in what is considered a safe time. Before 10 AM and after 4 PM in our part of Central Texas is considered a safer time to be out in the sun.
You can still receive sun damage to your skin while avoiding the stronger hours if you are out long enough. Maybe not in one day, but it will add up, all sun damage is accumulative and you will see the results.
Here are some suggestions for a safer lifestyle. For preventing sunburn.
- Apply sunscreen daily, even when staying inside. Especially if you are working in front of a window all day, or commuting to work. The glare of windshield glass will allow those aging rays, UVA to go to work. Block them with at least a wide spectrum of SPF 30 or more.
- Pay attention to safer hours for sun exposure time.
- Wear lightweight tightly woven clothing to protect your skin. Remember the sun hat, sunglasses, and your sun blocking loosely fitting long sleeve shirt. When you are covered, you will need less sunscreen.
- Be aware of the medications you are taking, even the over-the-counter ones. Many medications can cause extreme skin sensitivity and the result can be sunburn.
- If you are spending time outside in the sun, even if you are being careful, stay hydrated. Keeping your water going down allows your body to do the natural things it can do to keep you from sunburn. This is important all the time, but especially when stressing your skin with sun exposure.
A Sunburn Preventing Lifestyle Reaps Benefits
While you are young, you don’t think you will ever be old. This link will allow you to see the results of some famous people who didn’t realize they would get old either.
While there is some time for you to adapt to a safer lifestyle that protects your skin from the sun, take action.
If you have been a sun-loving, tan-loving, bulletproof person for a while, changes will come slow unless you find skin cancer on you somewhere. At that point, you will find it easier to make some modifications to how you expose your skin.
Making small changes comes easier, we know. You see, once you have skin cancer, your chances of having more increase substantially. Your dermatologist will tell you that you are looking good right now. We will need to make sure this is true in 6 months.
This will continue for the rest of your life. You may be in remission with skin cancer now, but that leaves the whole rest of your life for another one to pop up.
My kids go every 6 months and fully expect to leave with a follow-up to remove another skin cancer. You are never OVER skin cancer? You are just waiting for the next outbreak. This is worth taking seriously.
A few changes like wearing sunscreen on your face every day. Wearing your sun blocking shirt when you are out in the sun. So many of the things we do are habits. Make skin protection a habit as well.
Remembering your sunglasses is such a no-brainer.
Sunscreen alone will have a hard time protecting your skin. Don’t think that you can enjoy full days in the sun without doing damage to your skin. Who remembers to reapply on time, or knows if the layer is already gone in 1 hour, not 2?
Sun blocking clothing will at least stay the same with the protection, but there is apt to be some reflected rays to your face. What about your face? Those are hard to cover up.
Use both clothing and sunscreen to get the job done better.
Use some common sense for a sun-safe lifestyle that will reward you with less skin cancer.
Sami’s Take Will Sunscreen Prevent Sunburn
When thinking about how we used to think that there was little damage to our skin from sunburn. How we now have so much documented evidence of the danger now.
It is too late for those of us who lived unaware of the damage.
However, it isn’t too late for you. As you are trying to figure out how to prevent sunburn, use the tools that are available to you now.
There are many ways that cutting down the amount of exposure can help protect your skin. Will it be easy to make the changes? Probably not, but with the vast amount of choices we have in UPF clothing, you can make a difference.
With better decisions about what we wear to work outside in the yard. How hard is it to plop on a wide-brimmed hat? Grab the sunglasses. Take a second to get the sun blocking shirt and slip it on. Yes, my friend, it is a hassle the first few times. But it can become a habit.
Your family will see you making better choices and follow suit. Small changes can add up to healthier skin for your life.
I have chosen this blog as a way to hopefully influence my kids and grandkids to make a difference in their skincare. As well as in the skin health of my grandkids, and someday great grandkids. Do you have a message you would like to get out to someone?
Writing makes me have to research and read and read again and finally learn best practices and why they are recommended. If there’s a message in you that you want to share, here is where I learned to build a website.