Why sunscreen is not just a trend but a necessity

As the director of “Romeo & Juliet”, “Chicago” and “The Great Gatsby”, Baz Luhrmann has written movie history. But his most relevant advice is hidden in one of the songs of the soundtrack for “Romeo & Juliet”:


„If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it

A long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists

Whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable

Then my own meandering experience, I will dispense this advice now“


– Everybody’s Free (to wear Sunscreen) by Baz Luhrmann


That’s why we want to insist on a wagging finger covered in sunscreen to protect your skin with well over 200,000 new cases per year, skin cancer is the most common cancer in Germany. That’s the bad news. However, it is responsible for only one percent of all cancer deaths. That’s the good news well hidden within the bad news. 



What’s up with this completely random advice of skincare now you might wonder? Well, it’s not so random after all: even though skincare is an everyday necessity, Thursday, May 27th, was the National Sun Screen Day, which is in close competition to the „Don‘t Fry Day“ of the National Council of Skin Cancer Prevention and come on – what a fantastic name is „Don’t Fry Day“? This Holiday might have already passed but skincare is a daily matter. This article is to remind you of that. The sole existence of not one but two Awareness days underlined the importance of sunblocking. Let’s check the facts – and let’s not get frightened by them: 



  • 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70.
  • More than 2 people die of skin cancer in the U.S. every hour.
  • Having 5 or more sunburns doubles your risk for melanoma.
  • When detected early, the 5-year survival rate for melanoma is 99 percent.
  • An estimated 90 percent of skin aging is caused by the sun.
  • People who use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher daily show 24 percent less skin aging than those who do not use sunscreen daily.
  • Sun damage is cumulative. Only about 23 percent of lifetime exposure occurs by age 18.


Sounds like lots of bad shit could happen if you expose yourself to the sun, right? Not necessarily if you follow these few rules:

Always go for SPF 30 or higher

Find the right formula for your needs and go for a sunblock over sunscreen. The difference between these two is essentially this: A block will block UV rays whereas a screen will absorb them. Both will properly be called sunscreen on their label but it’s all about the ingredients, so check the back panel: The two types of blocks are titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide, as dermatologists explain.

Take it slow – and use more than you think you need

The most common mistake when it comes to sunscreen is simply using too little too fast. Studies show most people only apply 25-50 percent of the recommended amount of sunscreen. “The guidelines are to apply an ounce – basically the same amount to fill a shot glass – to the exposed area of the body“, dermatologists suggest. 


Reapply

Based on the Food and Drug Administration there is no such thing as sweat-proof or waterproof sunscreen. So check the label and when it says water resistant, you have to reapply after the number of minutes on the label. Most dermatologists also suggest reapplying sunscreen at least every two hours or the SPF level will dilute. Even if you are not in the sun, you have to apply and reapply: „Incidental exposure adds up quickly and UVA can penetrate cloud cover“, dermatologists urge.




How not to apply sunscreen: