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At What Age Do You Need To Wear Sunscreen?

by kelly / April, 29 2020 01:30

Photo of a woman putting sunscreen on her legs

I often get asked the following questions: when do I need to start wearing sunscreen, if I missed wearing sunscreen as a kid is it worth it now and is there a time in my life I don’t have to wear sunscreen? I’ve got the answers to these burning questions. But first off let me start by saying sun protection is vital at any stage of life. And wearing sunscreen is one component, granted a very important component, of sun protection.

When Do I Need to Start Wearing Sunscreen?

You need to practice sun protection on babies as soon as they are born. That means keeping infants in the shade and dressing them in sun-protective clothing such as long-sleeves, pants, and hats.

Sunscreen is recommended once babies are 6 months by the American Academy of Dermatology, the Skin Cancer Foundation, the Mayo Clinic. Of course other sun protection measures should also still be practiced.

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends parents look at the active ingredients in sunscreens and opt for: “zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are good choices, because these physical filters don’t rely on absorption of chemicals and are less apt to cause a skin reaction.”

Of course I have to mention that our sunscreens use zinc only Laughing.

So the bottom line: sunscreen wearing starts almost when we are born and sun protection starts from age zero.

Bonus points – the sooner we start wearing sunscreen the better because the effects of sun damage are cumulative.

Is Sunscreen Worth It As An Adult If I Didn’t Start As A Kid?

There’s a myth out there that if you didn’t wear sunscreen as a kid, it’s not worth it as an adult. Why is that myth out there? Well, because there was a time when experts wrongly believed that people got most of their sun exposure before they were 18.

According to Consumer Reports, the reality is that: “by age 40, you’ve racked up only half of your lifetime dose of UV rays; by age 59, just 74 percent.”

Bottom line: it’s never too late to start wearing sunscreen.

At What Age Can I Stop Wearing Sunscreen?

As we age the body loses its ability to repair cell damage from the sun. Our immune system also weakens, making us more vulnerable to skin cancer.

Bottom line: You should never stop wearing sunscreen, especially as you get older.

Suncare Smarts

So there you have it. Sun protection should start at age 0, sunscreen should start around 6 months (ideally with a mineral only sunscreen), and sun protection is important no matter your age. Since it’s so important for everyone to know the basics and benefits of sun protection; feel free to share, post, and like.

For even more sun and skin care tips for every age check out our Suncare Smarts and Education blog series.

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