We now know that sunscreen is crucial on a daily basis — or if you don’t, you should read all the reasons why in this story! If you’re someone has spent tons of time in the sun without SPF (hopefully before you knew how harmful it truly was!) it may show on your skin in the form of dark spots, fine lines, freckles, wrinkles, and other types of hyperpigmentation and signs of aging.
Sure, there are tons of skincare ingredients, creams, treatments, and procedures available to help correct these dark spots, but none of them are able to truly be effective if you aren’t simultaneously protecting your skin with sunscreen every day.
If you already have damage from the sun on your skin you don’t need to bother wearing SPF, right? “The damage is done,” you may think. Wrong! Here are all the reasons it’s that much more important to protect your skin if you’re already seeing signs of sun damage.
Why does sunscreen matter if I already have dark spots and sun damage?
Unfortunately, the more UV exposure your skin has had, the more damage its endured and the more susceptible you are to skin cancer, sunburn, and dark spots. Every time you step outside, your skin is exposed to the sun. Have a long commute? We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your windshield doesn’t protect you from the sun’s rays. You’re still fully exposed, even just sitting in the car on your way to work or heading out to run an errand. In order to avoid darkening and deepening of sun damage, it’s critical to apply sunscreen every single day, whether it’s a chemical or mineral sunscreen, in any form — in your makeup, primer, moisturizer, or a simple liquid sunscreen.
Because the threat of skin cancer is still very real, but also because products that fight dark spots can cause sun sensitivity…
Those with hyperpigmentation and sun damage are often looking to rid their skin of these dark spots by investing in products intended to lighten, resurface, and remove their unsightly spots and marks. While these products can be very effective (we’re big fans of retinol and hydroquinone!), using them without sunscreen is really only likely to worsen the damage already caused, or can even render the product ineffective, in the case of retinol. These ingredients, while effective to reduce and diminish visibility of sun damage, can often cause further sun sensitivity, and use without sunscreen can actually cause darkening of sun spots or more serious damage.
In other words, fighting damage is only effective when you’re simultaneously preventing new damage from occurring. How? Simply by applying sunscreen daily.
The bottom line
We’re here to change the way you think about SPF. Think about putting on sunscreen the same way you think about putting your hood up or grabbing an umbrella when it’s raining. You may already have gotten a few drops on your hair, but unless you want to get soaked, you need to ensure you’re protected from a downpour.
What we’re saying is, just because you’ve gotten a few dark spots, lines or wrinkles doesn’t mean your hope of a spot-free complexion is lost! Skin that’s already damaged is more susceptible to more damage, so putting on a sunscreen is just as key to helping you reclaim a clear, even complexion as those skin brightening, dark spot lightening creams and serums.