Yes, every day. Yes, inside. Yes, during the winter. Yes, when it's cloudy. The most important product you can use is SPF, but why? This isn't about squashing your fun or ruining your makeup, but this is an issue that affect everyone regardless of age or skin color. I have heard every justification for not wearing SPF, and I'm not the kind of esthetician that wants to shame people, but I also feel like I have an ethical obligation to press the issue because sun exposure can lead to skin cancer and premature aging. If you've been curious about why professionals won't let this go and how light actually affects your skin (yes, all light) then read on.
First of all, let's talk about Ultraviolet radiation (UV rays).
UV radiation in ambient sunlight is composed primarily of UVA and UVB energy. Most UVC is absorbed by the ozone, therefore although it is highly bioactive, terrestrial organisms are not exposed to significant levels of UVC. UVB can cause direct damage to DNA and reach the epidermis. UVA can penetrate the dermis and increases levels of ROS that indirectly induce DNA mutagenesis.(1)
Here's how UVA causes aging though oxidative stress:
Your skin gets exposed to UVA and causes oxidation and
Oxidation causes free radical damage as electrons are stolen from each other in a frenzy of instability
Your skin gets so focused on repairing the damage that the free radicals caused your DNA, that your cell has to halt its normal activities and go into repair mode,
If you do this over and over, your cells can't ever make up for the lost time and get back to doing it's normal cell functions
Over time this causes cells that don't function properly
These dysfunctions compound and ultimately lead to cells who basically forget who they are and what they are supposed to be doing
The forgetful cells (senescent cells) basically fuck you over 7 ways to Sunday(2)
EXTREME PROTECT® SPF 30 provides extraordinary protection by combining broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection and powerful antioxidants to mitigate oxidative solar damage. Featuring micro-fine zinc oxide and microencapsulated organic active sunscreens, EXTREME PROTECT SPF 30 offers advanced sun protection.
I like this one because its really moisturizing but doesn't cause breakouts, it's glossy and I'm into that, it has lots of antioxidants to help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress from any rays that break through, and it doesn't have any silicones (which aren't bad, but they aren't for everyone)
Here are some helpful tips from the AAD (3) about SPF and reapplication:
Wear your SPF every day no matter what
for beauty and health.