We have a rule of thumb. If you can see the light from the sun, you are exposing yourself to its UV Rays. Studies show just how much this time in the sun is impacting our skin, becoming a major factor in aging and skin damage, including skin cancer.
Even though temperatures are decreasing in Autumn, the UV index throughout Canada today was at a high level of 6-7. In Southwestern Ontario, the UV index was 8 which means extra protection is needed.
In this SPF blog we look at the facts behind daily sun exposure, why using sunscreen 365 days a year is so important to KINeSYS, and how changing the mindset around our sunscreen routine can make a difference.
Outdoor Lovers Are More Susceptible
While regular physical activity is associated with a reduced risk of most cancers, skin cancer is an exception. Whether you are a hiker, pickleball player, or triathlete, individuals who regularly exercise in the outdoors are exceeding recommended UV limits. During the summer and Autumn months, this can increase up to 8 times the suggested daily exposure.
Incidental Exposure Makes an Impact
Incidental sun exposure is when you don't think you are exposed to the sun, but you are. It's when you're on your way to work, taking a trip to the coffee shop, walking the dog around the block, and coming in and out of the grocery store. Every little adventure into the sunlight is slowly increasing your hours of exposure.
While using sun protection for planned outdoor activities seems a no-brainer, research actually shows that for the average person incidental sun exposure accounts for 78% of all sun damage.
We also want to bust the myth that cloudy days are safer. While overcast conditions may cool temperatures, they only reduce UV radiation by 20 to 40 percent. Clouds can filter UVB rays, which cause sunburns, but won’t block out UVA rays, which are responsible for causing lasting damage and premature aging.
Another important fact people need to be aware of is that UVA rays penetrate glass. That means if you sit directly behind a window at work, you are likely exposed to eight extra hours of radiation per day. But since UVB rays don't penetrate glass, you won’t tan or burn, and there’s no benefit from the production of Vitamin D.
Add Sunscreen To Your Morning Routine
Yep, that is 365 days a year. If you are only applying sunscreen for planned outdoor activities, when the weather looks sunny, then the fact is you are not protecting your skin enough.
If You Are Going To Do It, Do It Right
Research has shown that even people who are consistently using sunscreen are often making vital errors. So we decided to leave you with a few tips for getting the most out of your sunscreen routine.
Check the Expiry Date
Yes, it's true, sunscreen does not last forever. In fact, if you are using a sunscreen that is beyond the expiry date its SPF is not effective.
Keep them Cool
The majority of people don’t realise that sunscreen deteriorates when stored in extreme temperatures, we recommend below 30 degrees Celsius. If you leave bottles in the car or out in the sun, effectively you are cooking your sunscreen and it will lose effectiveness.
85% of people are not applying enough sunscreen. It’s important to carefully check the directions on your sunscreen bottle, and apply as directed. Sunscreen is a barrier that relies on a particular amount of product to deliver the advertised SPF, and on average you should be reapplying at least every two hours, immediately swimming or towel drying or every 80 minutes if you are sweating.
"The Canadian Dermatology Association recommends the use of an adequate dose of a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 30 for most children and adults, as part of a comprehensive photoprotection strategy."
4 - Sunscreen, One Part of the Puzzle
While daily correct application of sunscreen will go a long way in avoiding sun damage, your approach to protection shouldn’t be limited to just this. Wear protective clothing that is UV rated, always head out with a hat and sunnies, and make an effort to take shelter from the sun during peak UV times.
Our purpose for KINeSYS is to play a role in creating a future free from skin cancer, this is why educating people about 365 sunscreen is so important to us. Looking at the science it’s easy to see that taking the daily approach to protection provides significant benefits for your skin. Changing routines isn’t always easy for humans, but changing our mindset can be a powerful first step.