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Do I Need To Wear Sunscreen Even On Rainy Days?

Ethnically diverse woman applying Urban Skin Rx® hydrating moisturizer to her face

There’s a myth going around that people don’t need sunscreen on rainy days.  Have you heard it?  Are you one of the people who are spreading it?  Debunking this myth could reveal the hidden answer to your skin woes and could possibly save your life! 

Let’s start with how the sun affects our skin.

The rays from the sun travel to the earth as a mixture of both UVA and UVB waves.  Overexposure to UVB rays could lead to sunburn while UVA rays travel more deeply into the skin. Thankfully, the sun rises everyday rain or shine, wind or snow.  Therefore, the sun's rays are always present even if it's not as visible. The same goes for if you’re just at home or in an office all day, if there are windows present, you are being exposed to the sun’s rays. 

Melanin rich skin has been surrounded by myths regarding sunscreen as well.

Melanin is a pigment that is found in the cells of the outer layer of your skin called the epidermis.  Melanin protects your skin from the sun's ultraviolet rays.  However, regardless of how much melanin is present in your skin, it is still “working” to combat the negative effects the sun could have such as burning, and over time, the reduction of elasticity, causing premature aging by way of wrinkles, sagging skin, and dark spots. 

One of the most common obstacles our clients face with their skin is dark marks and hyperpigmentation.  Any trauma to the skin causes it to be more susceptible to the negative effects of the sun. Failing to use a quality sunscreen could lead to those dark marks staying around for months, sometimes years!  It acts as a barrier to minimize more trauma occurring from the sun. Overtime, that exposure accumulates and leads to those stubborn dark marks and premature aging and skin damage.

Research suggests that if you have dark or melanin rich skin, you already have an equivalent of an SPF 13 naturally at all times. Therefore, people with darker skin tones will take 13 times longer to burn than someone without any naturally occurring SPF.  However, this does not mean that melanin rich people are immune to sun damage.  In fact, when compared to their white counterparts, women of color have higher mortality rates for several types of skin cancer.  Late detection and misdiagnosis are direct results of this lower survival rate.  

We all know (and some have experienced) the visible consequences of the way we have treated the earth.  The sun has become something we have to protect ourselves from more fiercely than ever as one of those results.  That means that yes, when it's cloudy outside, the sun is still there doing its job and so therefore, we must still do our job and protect our skin. 

The bottom line is we must educate ourselves and be proactive about our health.  It should be a part of our daily routine to wear sun protection.

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