Hello, I’m Dr. Neal Schultz and welcome to DermTV.
Patients ask me, “Do I really need sunscreen every day?” and the answer is, “Yes.” There are two reasons. Think of your skin as having a meter on the surface. Every time the sun hits it, its starts the meter and the meter runs continuously. Your skin doesn’t know the difference between walking to work for five minutes in each direction every day, five days a week, which is ten minutes a day, 50 minutes a week. Your skin doesn’t know the difference between those 50 minutes a week of unprotected sun protection and being out on the beach for 50 minutes continuously on Saturday. That’s the first reason. The second reason has to do with the fact that, if you can see your hand in front of your face when you go outside, then there is enough light coming through the clouds, even if it’s a cloudy day, to bring some of the ultraviolet light with it, and that ultraviolet light is hitting your skin. Certainly not the same way it does on a sunny day, but you’re still getting that ultraviolet burning and damaging sun. So, for both of those reasons, please use a sunscreen everyday and choose one that has an SPF between 15 and 30.