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Do I Need to Wear Sunscreen Every Day?

Medically reviewed by Martha Juco, MD · Aesthetics

Written by Fiel Tugade · Updated Jul 26, 2022

Do I Need to Wear Sunscreen Every Day?

Sunscreen has become more popular than ever nowadays. Practically every skincare product available is trying to incorporate ingredients that help protect and prevent the penetration of harmful UV rays, but how do sunscreens really help us in the long run? Is everyday sunscreen a necessity for good skin health? 

Understanding the Use of Sunscreen and its Labels

As many people know, sunscreens are applied on any part of the skin to provide protection from the damaging rays of the sun. Apart from keeping us protected from sunburn, the application of sunscreen is also helpful in preventing photosensitivity, premature skin aging, and even skin cancer.

What is Broad Spectrum?

‘Broad-spectrum’ refers to the chemical that can shield you from both ultraviolet A (UV-A) and ultraviolet B (UV-B) radiation by reflecting, absorbing, and diffusing it.

What is SPF?

Sun Protection Factor (SPF) indicates how long it would take for your skin to redden and absorb the sun’s UV rays after applying sunscreen on any part of your body as compared to not wearing sunscreen at all. 

So, for example, the label says that it’s SPF 15, then it would take 15 minutes longer for your skin to burn once covered with it. 

There are a lot of sunscreens that offer a wide range of SPF, which ranges from 15 to some as high as 100 +++. 

Ingredients of Sunscreen

The sunscreen’s active ingredients shield the skin from the harshness of the sun. Two of the known “generally recognized as safe and effective” (GRASE) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  are:

  • Titanium dioxide
  • Zinc oxide

Other approved active ingredients are also mentioned below:

  • Aminobenzoic acid
  • Avobenzone
  • Cinoxate
  • Dioxybenzone
  • Homosalate
  • Meradimate
  • Octocrylene
  • Octinoxate
  • Octisalate
  • Oxybenzone
  • Padimate O
  • Ensulizole
  • Sulisobenzone
  • Trolamine salicylate

Types of Sunscreen

Certified chemists and other manufacturers are producing different types and formulations of sunscreen products, such as:

  • Lotions
  • Creams
  • Sticks
  • Gels
  • Oils
  • Butters
  • Pastes
  • Sprays

Choosing what kind of sunscreen from the given list all depends on the preference and the skin type of the person who is going to apply it. The directions on the application may be different for each, so it is important to carefully read the label before use.

Who needs everyday sunscreen?

Everyone should be wearing sunscreen on a regular basis. Just like taking in your vitamins daily for immunity boost, everyday sunscreen can shield you from harmful sun exposure more so the risk of having other skin conditions like squamous cell carcinoma (SCG). No one is exempted from having it, even kids who are having fun under the sun.  

Everyday sunscreen: Do I need to wear it even when indoors? 

It’s natural to think that the trick to avoiding UV rays is to just stay indoors all the time and not have to worry about using sunscreen. However, that trick may not safeguard you throughout the day. 

Sure, glasses from your windows down to your cars may be there to block most UVB rays, but it cannot block them all in one go and in equal measure. Chances are, some may still penetrate and may provide possible skin damage. On top of this, fluorescent lights emit low levels of UVA rays which can be harmful to the skin.

It is still important to layer an adequate amount of it despite being indoors and on top of doing other activities.

What time do I need to apply sunscreen and how often?

It is best to spread some of the needed protection 15 minutes before being exposed to the sun. Prepare your skin by applying a generous amount that could cover the parts of your body that will be exposed such as your face, ears, even your lips. A lip balm with some SPF 30 can do the work for you.  

Sunscreen reapplication also takes place every 2 hours throughout the day. Reapply sunscreen more frequently if you are sweating or swimming.

Key Takeaway

Everyday sunscreen application can be a great preventative measure and protection for your skin as you age. But, it still doesn’t rule out other possibilities, so it is still as important to seek some good shade and protect other parts of your body by dressing accordingly. 

Learn more about keeping your skin healthy, here.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Martha Juco, MD


Written by Fiel Tugade · Updated Jul 26, 2022

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