You may think of sunscreen as separate from your skin care, as if its only job is to keep you from getting sunburn. The truth is, sunscreen offers several benefits for your skin. It not only shields you from unsightly, painful burns and reduces your risk of skin cancer, but sunscreen plays a direct role in preventing premature signs of aging, like dark spots, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation.

Here's how sunscreen protects and remedies your skin from visible signs of sun damage.

How Does Sunscreen Protect Your Skin from Sun Damage?

Golden, sun-kissed skin may be enviable, but it's actually an outward sign of premature aging. Sure, aging is a natural part of life, but no one wants to age before their time. Believe it or not, any change in your skin color is actually sun damage. You might not notice the damage overnight, but the effects will become visible—think fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and a lackluster look—and worsen over time. It's called photoaging, and up to 90 percent of damage to the skin is caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. This is why prevention is key.

First, you have to find a sunscreen that works for you and your skin type. Mineral sunscreens (sometimes called physical sunscreens) are a great option seeing as they use physical compounds that create a barrier to deflect the sun's UV rays. For ultimate protection, look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen, which protects against both UVA rays and UVB rays—associated with skin aging and skin burning, respectively.

How to Repair Sun-Damaged Skin with Sun Care

If you haven't committed to a daily sunscreen habit just yet, you may be wondering how does sunscreen protect your skin from further sun damage? Beyond preemptive sun protection, sunscreen can actually repair sun-damaged skin. So, it's never too late to start wearing sunscreen every day.

If signs of sun damage are already present in your skin, practicing sun safety now can stop fine lines and wrinkles in their tracks and prevent aging. A sunscreen formulated to repair skin damage, like the EltaMD UV Restore Broad-Spectrum SPF 40, is a bonus as it protects your skin while it heals so that the sun doesn't exacerbate the damage already done.

This mineral sunscreen is formulated with ginger root to improve skin tone and texture and smooth out fine lines. And for mature skin that has lost its luster and elasticity, it also includes squalane, a highly moisturizing ingredient that restores suppleness.

UV Restore also contains antioxidants vitamin C and vitamin E, which neutralize free radicals from sunlight, blue light, and air pollution, while lessening their damaging effects. They also help brighten and illuminate your complexion. Pair this with a skin care regimen that targets these issues and hello, glowing skin!

Using Sunscreen in Your Skin Care Routine

Sunscreen isn't just something you slather on your nose for your annual trip to the beach. It should be a staple in your daily skin care routine. With regular use, sunscreen can tackle your specific concerns, restore your skin to its former glory, and keep your complexion healthy and happy for years to come.

UV Restore does what a good sunscreen is supposed to do, while also pampering your skin in the way it deserves. Ultimately, whatever product you choose, make sure you find a sunscreen you love. The more you love it, the more you'll use it—and the better off your skin will be!

Author

  • Lacey is a Southern California-based freelance writer who combines her passions—fitness, health, and a vegan lifestyle—with her work to help readers feel and be their best. Her work has been featured in Healthline, Livestrong, Verywell Fit, Eat This Not That, KinderBeauty, and more.