Updated 9/7/14. People who are interested in preventing their skin from premature aging caused by the sun usually know to wear sunscreen, but a common misconception is that it only needs to be worn in the summer, or on sunny days or when you are in direct sunlight. However, did you know that daylight coming through the windows in your home, office or car (even on cloudy days and in the winter) is just as damaging as standing in direct sunlight? Daylight is truly the #1 hidden enemy of premature wrinkles.
There are two types of UV rays given off from the sun that you need to know about.
UVA rays: responsible for changing the DNA in the skin causing premature skin aging and skin cancer, approximate same strength from summer to winter and can penetrate through clouds, windows in your home, office or car. Simply put, these are the true damaging rays!
UVB Rays: responsible for giving the skin a suntan or sunburn, strongest from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm and less strong in the winter and does not penetrate through glass.
Here’s a test to determine if daylight is affecting your skin: Take note of where you are right now. Do you have any lights on, such as overhead lighting or lamps? If so, turn them off. Also turn off your computer or any other source of artificial light in the room to make it dark as possible. Now look around and observe your surroundings. Is it pitch black in the room? Can you see? Chances are it’s not because you have a window or skylight close by. This means daylight is surrounding you and if it is, it is affecting your skin and causing wrinkles.
Throughout the day, your skin is constantly exposed to daylight so you need to always wear sunscreen to avoid this unnecessary exposure. Why get UV damage when you’re not even getting a tan for it? Every time daylight shines on your skin, it accelerates the aging process of your skin. This is why sunscreen should truly be called daylight screen. Be sure to find a sunscreen compatible with your skin type. Wear it faithfully and apply it generously 365 days a year, rain or shine! Be sure to dust on a SPF mineral powder like my favorite ColoreScience SPF 50 Mineral Powder to ensure your skin is protected.
If you have sensitive, oily, acne-prone skin and require a sunscreen that dries to a matte finish, use Daily Protection SPF 30 with 7% Zinc Oxide.
If you have sensitive, normal to dry skin and require a moisturizing (yet non-greasy) sunscreen, use chemical-free, all-mineral Age Defense Moisturizer SPF 30 with 20% Zinc Oxide.
See my recommended sunscreens here.
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Celebrity Esthetician & Skincare Expert
As an esthetician trained in cosmetic chemistry, Renée Rouleau has spent 30 years researching skin, educating her audience, and building an award-winning line of products. Trusted by celebrities, editors, bloggers, and skincare obsessives around the globe, her vast real-world knowledge and constant research are why Marie Claire calls her “the most passionate skin practitioner we know.”