Sunscreen remains to be one of the least popular skin care products out there. When in fact, it's one of the most important. The sun can cause us more trouble than we think, and we shouldn't have to learn the hard way to start protecting ourselves. And since we're already here, let us guide you through what skipping sunscreen actually does.
1. Your skin ages faster.
Our skin ages naturally over time, but the process quickens every time we're exposed to the sun. UV rays reduce our skin's antioxidant levels while increasing the amount of free radicals that we have in our bodies. This leads to a significant reduction in skin elasticity as well as the development of wrinkles.
2. You become more prone to sunspots.
Habitual sun exposure without protection eventually causes sunspots, or those small pigmentation spots on the skin that look like freckles. Except, of course, sunspots are caused by sun damage and not genetics.
If you already have sunspots but still choose not to wear sunscreen, you're at risk of developing more pigmentation and darkening the ones you already have.
3. Your acne scars darken.
We've all heard of tanning as a great way to camouflage acne scars, but we strongly discourage you from doing so. Prolonged sun exposure will only cause your scars further damage, because it causes your scars to go a shade darker, too.
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4. You expose your skin to harmful UV rays.
Due to the worsening state of our ozone layer, being exposed to UVA and UVB rays is becoming more and more dangerous. The consequences of not wearing sunscreen therefore goes beyond aesthetics at this point, because without proper protection, you're absentmindedly putting yourself at risk for cancer.
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5. You become more likely to develop skin cancer.
Skipping sunscreen doesn't seem like a big deal now, but in the long run, it can be. The sun damage you accumulate over years of staying under the sun (especially if you're a beach bum) might eventually lead to skin cancer.
You might be thinking, "Oh, I've had a sunburn before and it healed just fine." While that might be true, do note that every time you get a sunburn, your chances of developing skin cancer increases. So while you can still prevent it, better to layer on that sunscreen!