Why Sunscreen? For outdoor adventures, it's almost as important as water.




Why Sunscreen? For outdoor adventures, it's almost as important as water.

Sunscreen, Nearly as Important as Water!

Anytime you’re headed into the great outdoors, whether for a day hike or an epic adventure, sunscreen is arguably the most essential item to carry after water. Here are the reasons why:

Protection from Harmful UV Rays

The primary reason to use sunscreen is to protect your skin from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Prolonged exposure to UV rays can cause severe damage, including sunburn, premature aging, and an increased risk of skin cancer. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, even a single blistering sunburn can double your risk of developing melanoma later in life. 

Maintaining Skin Health

Beyond the immediate discomfort of a sunburn, consistent sun exposure without protection can lead to long-term skin damage. Sunscreen helps preserve your skin’s health and appearance by preventing photoaging (wrinkles, fine lines, and pigmentation). The Skin Cancer Foundation notes that up to 90% of visible changes commonly attributed to aging are caused by the sun.

Use Sunscreen no Matter the Weather!

It’s not only for sunny days… UV rays penetrate clouds and reflect off surfaces like snow, water, and sand, making sunscreen necessary even in seemingly less intense conditions. High altitudes, commonly experienced during hiking or mountain climbing, also intensify UV exposure due to the thinner atmosphere.

Immediate and Long-term Benefits

For today’s outing, it will prevent a painful sunburn and the redness, blistering, and peeling that comes with it. Long-term, regular sunscreen use will reduce the risk of developing actinic keratoses (precancerous skin lesions) and other skin disorders.

Essential for All Skin Types

People with all skin types need to use sunscreen. While individuals with lighter skin are more susceptible to UV damage, darker-skinned individuals are also at risk of skin cancer and other sun-related damage. It’s a misconception that darker skin does not need protection. 

Safe and Effective Brands

Brands like Sky & Sol offer natural, mineral-based sunscreens that provide effective protection without harmful chemicals. These options are safe for both humans and the environment. This is particularly important if your adventure includes snorkeling or diving with marine life and/or around coral reefs. 

Always check the ingredient list and opt for sunscreens free of harmful chemicals.

Their products often contain zinc oxide, which offers broad-spectrum protection and is considered reef-safe.

Given the significant health risks associated with UV exposure and the versatility of sunscreen in various weather conditions, it’s clear that it’s a crucial item for any outdoor adventure. 

So, pack enough water, and remember the sunscreen!

Check out these resources

American Academy of Dermatology Association https://www.aad.org/media/stats-sunscreen

The Skin Cancer Foundation. https://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-prevention/sun-protection OR https://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-prevention/sun-protection/sunscreen

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. https://www.epa.gov/radtown/ultraviolet-uv-radiation-and-sun exposure#:~:text=UV%20light%20from%20tanning%20beds,eye%20damage%20from%20sun%20exposure.

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