The importance of sunscreen can't be overstated. There are obvious reasons why you should wear sunscreen every day, such as the prevention of sunburns and skin cancer—but there are so many other benefits too, like preventing discoloration and wrinkles. To explain, five experts at EltaMD shared their personal reasons for wearing SPF daily and answered the question, "Why is sunscreen important?"

Jamie Hayward, EltaMD Account Manager

Jamie Hayward, EltaMD Account Manager

1. Why Do You Wear Sunscreen?

I wear sunscreen for a variety of reasons, but I started wearing it to prevent sunburns. Back when I was deployed with the United States Army, there were times where I lived in austere environments, so it started out as an effort to keep my skin protected as much as possible. When I rerouted my journey through life and joined the path of esthetics, it not only came from a point of view of preventing sunburns, but it became more about an insurance policy of getting the most out of my products and my treatments (while also preventing sunburns). Outside of anti-aging, our skin is the largest organ of our body and protects us from many things we do not think about on a daily basis.

2. What Has Your Lifelong Relationship with Sun Care Been Like?

When I was younger, I was not in the habit of wearing sunscreen on a daily basis because of the texture, smell, and breakouts I suffered from using them, and also because, sometimes, I still got burned.

3. How Does Sunscreen Fit Into Your Daily Routine?

Today, I am much more careful about sun exposure and wear sunscreen on a daily basis, head to toe. The best step to prevent early aging is sunscreen. As someone who uses anti-aging serums and retinols, I want to get the most out of my products and protect my skin from future damage. With the vast amount of sunscreens EltaMD has to offer, I have plenty of options. I've had family members who had skin cancer, so I'm sure to reapply often.

4. What's Your Favorite EltaMD Sun Care Product?

My favorite facial sunscreen with EltaMD is the EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46. This, in my opinion, is a multifunctional product in that it can help with breakouts, reducing the appearance of redness, but also helps my skin look brighter. With cooler weather in store, I love the EltaMD UV Lotion Broad-Spectrum SPF 30+. It acts as a daily moisturizer and sunscreen in one. This is also a great product for those with tattoos because it will provide protection without dimming vibrant colors.

Mandi Hersley, EltaMD Account Manager

Mandi Hersley, EltaMD Account Manager

1. Why Do You Wear Sunscreen?

I wear sunscreen every day on my face and body to prevent skin cancer, hyperpigmentation, and skin aging.

2. What Has Your Lifelong Relationship with Sun Care Been Like?

When I was younger, I would go to the tanning beds as often as I could. I also lived at the swimming pool so I was always tan. When I was 20, I started my career as an esthetician and learned about the benefits of wearing sunscreen. From that moment, I formed my lifelong relationship with SPF.

3. How Does Sunscreen Fit Into Your Daily Routine?

Sunscreen is easy to add into my daily routine; I apply mine when I apply my other daily skin care products. I also love using the EltaMD Foaming Facial Cleanser, the EltaMD Skin Recovery Essence Toner, and the EltaMD Skin Recovery Light Moisturizer every day. Using these products combined with the EltaMD UV Sheer Broad-Spectrum SPF 50+ keeps my skin looking happy and healthy!

4. What Are Your Best Practices for Applying and Reapplying Daily Sunscreen?

I always suggest applying sunscreen in the morning after all your other skin care products are applied and before makeup. Keeping sunscreen visible on your counter helps you remember to apply it. To reapply, I suggest you press a thin layer into the skin on top of makeup.

5. Are There Warning Signs or Symptoms That Signal People Should Start Wearing Sunscreen Daily?

You should wear sunscreen every single day, even if you're indoors or it's cloudy outside. Typically, when you see the "warning signs'' to start wearing sunscreen, it's already too late. Sunscreen is preventative and can prevent skin cancer, sun damage, skin discoloration, and fine lines and wrinkles.

6. What's Your Favorite EltaMD Sun Care Product?

I absolutely love the EltaMD UV Lotion Broad-Spectrum SPF 30+. This product is so great for every single person. Because it is a full-body sunscreen, it is great for not only myself for daily use but my husband and kids too. My kids wear this every day on their arms, legs, and faces to protect them during the hot days in Texas.

Corrina Buchanan, EltaMD Colorado Account Manager, Physician Sales

Corrina Buchanan, EltaMD Colorado Account Manager, Physician Sales

1. Why Do You Wear Sunscreen?

I wear sunscreen so that I don't develop dark spots and melasma when I get older and to help prevent other conditions like cancer, hyperpigmentation, lines, and wrinkles.

2. What Has Your Lifelong Relationship with Sun Care Been Like?

I used to lay in the sun to clear the acne on my face and body. I also tanned all throughout my twenties as it was a fad then.

3. How Does Sunscreen Fit Into Your Daily Routine?

Sunscreen is a daily application and reapplication depending on my activity level.

4. What Are Your Best Practices for Applying and Reapplying Daily Sunscreen?

I am good at reapplying to my body, but as for my face, I try and always wear a hat because reapplying over makeup can be less effective. You want the sunscreen to form a protective layer on your skin before you apply any makeup.

5. Are There Warning Signs or Symptoms That Signal People Should Start Wearing Sunscreen Daily?

Age spots or post-exposure inflammation response.

6. What's Your Favorite EltaMD Sun Care Product?

I love the EltaMD UV Lotion Broad-Spectrum SPF 30+ as it is a great head-to-toe daily sunscreen. It's great for you and the whole family.

Shannon Anderson, EltaMD National Corporate Accounts Manager

Shannon Anderson, EltaMD National Corporate Accounts Manager

1. Why Do You Wear Sunscreen?

The main reason I wear sunscreen every day is truly twofold: to prevent skin cancer and to help prevent further signs of aging. What most people don't realize is that 90% of aging comes from ultraviolet (UV) light exposure. This is not only the time you spend in the sun, but also the UV exposure we get from computer and phone screens. I feel this is especially important in our new world of working from home, or remote work.

2. What Has Your Lifelong Relationship with Sun Care Been Like?

My relationship with sun care has been a very rocky road until about 10 years ago. I grew up in the South with a pool in my backyard; I have memories of my mom using baby oil and iodine and living through the "not-so-glory" days of tanning beds and tanning salons. It felt as if there was an ongoing competition as to who could be the tannest among my friends. When I started to notice the visible signs of aging in my mid-thirties, as well as my increased knowledge of the dangers of UV light, I did a complete 180. Not only have I spent the last 10 years doing all available aesthetic treatments to help reverse the signs of sun damage, but I was also introduced to EltaMD sun care back in the late 2000s. This was truly a game-changer as my family and I are very active water-sports people.

3. How Does Sunscreen Fit Into Your Daily Routine?

I wear sunscreen every single day, no matter the weather or season! I've had a very strict skin care regimen for the last 10 years that includes vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, Retin-A, and ceramides seven days a week, 365 days a year. I never go to bed without washing off my makeup and I never put makeup on without applying EltaMD sunscreen first.

4. What Are Your Best Practices for Applying and Reapplying Daily Sunscreen?

During the workweek, I like to use a damp makeup sponge to reapply a tinted EltaMD sunscreen every two or three hours. This ensures that my makeup stays intact and fresh-looking even with sunscreen reapplication.

5. Are There Warning Signs or Symptoms That Signal People Should Start Wearing Sunscreen Daily?

Any discoloration or hyperpigmentation is a sure sign you've had too much sun exposure. This can signal that your skin cells are producing too much melanin (pigment in the skin). Increased melanin production is a common result of too much sun exposure without proper sun care protection.

6. What's Your Favorite EltaMD Sun Care Product?

I like to think of my EltaMD sun care products as either "Daily Drivers" or "Weekend Warriors." I feel what is so great about our product portfolio is that there's a sunscreen designed for every skin type and every lifestyle. For my facial "Daily Driver," I prefer the tinted EltaMD UV Elements Broad-Spectrum SPF 44. I have a drier skin type and uneven skin tone, so the hyaluronic acid helps with hydration, while the universal tint evens out my skin tone. In the summer for my face, I like to use the EltaMD UV Restore Broad-Spectrum SPF 40. The corrective active ingredients, such as vitamin C, ginger root extract, and saccharide isomerate, help to additionally correct the sun damage I have while evening out my skin tone with the tint. For my body sunscreen, I love the EltaMD UV Pure Broad-Spectrum SPF 47 as an all-physical, water-resistant active lifestyle option. This one is great for either daily wear or extended outdoor activity. Lastly, the EltaMD UV Lip Balm Broad-Spectrum SPF 36 is an everyday, everywhere staple as our lips are an often-forgotten area.

Tara Terino, Regional Sales Manager East

Tara Terino, Regional Sales Manager East

1. Why Do You Wear Sunscreen?

I wear sunscreen 365 days a year, rain or shine, as a part of my overall health care efforts. To me, it is as important as brushing your teeth every day. I live a healthy lifestyle consisting of exercise, clean eating, staying hydrated, and caring for my skin. Sunscreen is a big part of this for me. It is the first line of defense against skin cancer—and it's just a bonus that it keeps my skin looking young and vibrant.

2. What Has Your Lifelong Relationship with Sun Care Been Like?

I grew up in Southern California and always struggled with the sun. As kids, we lived in the swimming pool and on the beaches of Malibu. I am of Italian and Irish descent but none of the Italian came through for me. I have my mother's fair skin and light eyes, while my sisters have all the Italian genes with dark eyes, dark hair, and olive-toned skin that would turn a beautiful shade of golden when in the sun. I, on the other hand, would burn and freckle almost immediately. It was a constant struggle for me and not much fun as a kid and in my teen years when beach-going was a big social activity. All of my friends enjoyed the sun, while I was on the side applying sunscreen and trying not to burn to a crisp. Luckily, my parents were in the medical field, so I got an early education in the importance of caring for my skin, particularly to guard against skin cancer.

By the time I was 20, I had given up on being able to languish in the sun and, instead, had begun to wear sunscreen daily. I've never turned back. My early struggles with protecting my skin motivated me to get into my current career in skin care. Now, I feel a true sense of purpose and fulfillment in educating others on the benefits of daily sun care.

3. How Does Sunscreen Fit Into Your Daily Routine?

Sunscreen is as much of a necessity as brushing my teeth. To me, it's simply hygiene and self care to apply sunscreen each day. When you find a sunscreen you love, it fits seamlessly into a daily routine. Luckily, I have a whole wardrobe of sunscreens I can choose from to meet any of my needs—be it daily wear or activewear, tinted or untinted. Frequently, I forego makeup altogether and allow my tinted sunscreen to serve as my makeup. This gives me a feeling of tremendous freedom to be able to run out the door looking glowy while also being protected. Having worked in skin care for so many years, I also use serums to add hydration, retinols, and a regular exfoliator.

4. What Are Your Best Practices for Applying and Reapplying Daily Sunscreen?

The number one best practice for applying sunscreen is to find one you love. If you do not love your sunscreen, you won't wear it. It's really that simple. Your sunscreen should not only protect your skin, but make it feel and look healthier. Seek out an expert who can help you find the sunscreen you cannot live without. For reapplication, the best practice I know is to develop the habit of reapplying. It needs to be kept front of mind to reapply every 80 minutes. A good spray or tinted sunscreen can make for easy reapplication throughout the day.

5. Are There Warning Signs or Symptoms That Signal People Should Start Wearing Sunscreen Daily?

The earliest warning signs usually show up in people's mid-30s, when skin begins to look slightly mottled. If daily sunscreen wear has not already begun by this age, then it is time to start. With sun damage, if you are seeing it on the outside of the skin, then it's already present in the lower layers. It is never too late to begin wearing sunscreen daily. The example I gave my skin care clients was this: You have two friends, both age 35. One begins daily sunscreen use and the other does not. When these two friends reach age 45, the difference in their skin will be significant. The one who used daily sunscreen will look 5-10 years younger than her friend just because she committed to sun protection.

6. What's Your Favorite EltaMD Sun Care Product?

I have two favorite EltaMD products that comprise my daily sun care collection. The EltaMD UV Lotion Broad-Spectrum SPF 30+ sits inside my shower, and I apply it while I am still damp as an all-over body moisturizer and sunscreen. It makes my skin feel soft and moisturized, but the best part is that when I hit the outdoors, I have no exposed body parts that are not already protected. My other favorite is the EltaMD UV Restore Tinted Broad-Spectrum SPF 40. I love the physical-only ingredients and squalane. It makes my skin look dewy and has completely replaced my foundation.

Why Is Sunscreen Important?

According to the above experts, sunscreen should be worn daily for many reasons, as it does the following:

  • Prevents skin cancer

  • Protects against sunburn

  • Helps fade acne scars

  • Prevents free radical damage that can cause fine lines and wrinkles

  • Protects vivid tattoos

  • Prevents discoloration, sun spots, melasma, and hyperpigmentation

  • Keeps skin looking bright, young, and vibrant

  • Helps with breakouts

  • Reduces the appearance of redness

  • Evens out skin tone

All things considered, sunscreen is an important part of your overall health and skin care efforts, protecting the skin from disease and visible signs of sun damage. Once it becomes a routine, applying sunscreen every day will be your favorite form of self care.

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.