Growing up in my household, I was always told the importance of wearing sunscreen. My mother would always re-apply me when it was a sunny beach day. In my rebellious youth, I chose to stop wearing sunscreen because I didn't like the smell and thought it was all just a hoax.
Later in life, I started getting more into sunscreen and found on numerous sites/videos that sunscreen is our only defense against aging and skin cancer. With global warming on the rise and the the ozone layer deteriorating ( say thank you to aerosol cans, fossil fueling, and more), the sun's harmful rays are damaging our fragile skin too.
Anybody can get skin cancer, regardless of your age or ethnicity. Cancer can even start forming at your lips, so it's important to wear a sunscreen chapstick. The recommended amount to apply sunscreen is every 2 hours if you're in direct sun or 3 to 4 hours. The minimum SPF should be about 35 from the research I've done, but I am sure it just depends on your location and frequency of contact with the sun. Even if you aren't in direct sunlight, but near a glass window, the rays still come through and can cause effect. Australia has a hole in the ozone layer right above it, so the rays are even more dangerous. In this part of the world especially, it's important to wear sunscreen year round.
Although the damages aren't seen to the naked eye, there's still a lot of harm going on through the UVA & UVB rays. There's also UVC rays, but those are not able to reach earth. UVA are long waves and UVB are short ways. Exposure to these waves can cause eye damage, skin cancer, melanoma, premature skin aging, and damages your immune system.
So you have some facts and can do even more research with the links I'll provide down below, but what now? Wear sunscreen! ٩(●ᴗ●)۶ Even if you get a cheap Target brand, a fancy imported Sephora brand, or a Korean sunscreen. They all work! It's just about finding which ones work best for you. So many different brands are innovating their products to fit picky customers. They have ones that aren't oily, have scents, tinted ones, thick ones, non-white casting, serums, the list goes on and on. The most reliable sunscreen is cream, because it covers your skin entirely. Powdered sunscreens don't work the best, but can be nice for re applying throughout the day when you're wearing makeup. The brands I use for my personal sunscreens are Sunforgettable Total Protection and Volition Beauty Prismatic Luminizing Shield, which gives me a nice glowy sheer look.
Keep in mind that ANY time you go into natural water like oceans, rivers, etc. you always need to wear reef-safe sunscreen. The coral reefs are dying and it's up to us to not cause any more harm than we already have. Even if you are on the other side of the world, the toxic sunscreen can still travel and make it's way to the reef. Be mindful and read every package before you buy. Chasing Coral is a heartbreaking documentary that dives deep (pun intended) on how the coral reef is dying and what that means to our ecosystem. We are all connected with the planet, so do your part, and be a mindful consumer.
Let me know in the comments below if you found this useful and what sunscreen product you'll be using!