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Lather UP: The Importance of SPF

Updated: Feb 18, 2023

By Grace Klebe

Onela Ymeri / Unsplash

Spring break: a time filled with friends, fun, food, drinks, and laying in the sun. If you’re like me, that last part is the most exciting. We have been sun deprived for months now, baring the unpredictable Midwest weather and being stuck in dorms, classrooms and houses. Finally, the promise of vitamin D is right around the corner.

But there’s a catch. The sun can turn on you quickly.

I have had many a vacation ruined with viscous sunburns, my face swollen and peeling and red, my shoulders in excruciating pain, my scalp so burnt that it hurts to even brush my hair. I’ve been burnt on my lips, the tops of my feet, even in between my toes. Ew. Unfortunately, I have had to learn the hard way how important sunblock is when it comes to beach vacations.

Vicko Mozara / Unsplash

Sunburns aren’t even the worst thing that can result in too many unprotected hours lounging in the sun. Too much sun seriously increases your risk for skin cancer, and according to the Cleveland Clinic, 80 percent of cancer-causing sun exposure happens before the age of 18. By the age of 70, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer. It is a super real risk, and one I am not in the mood to take this spring break.

Too much sun also makes you age faster, which is not currently on my to-do list. It’s called Photoaging, and according to Yale Medicine, too much sun can cause wrinkles, loss of pigmentation, rough and uneven skin, blotchiness and more.

Annie Spratt / Unsplash

Besides cancer and wrinkles, which should be reason enough for you to load up your Amazon cart with SPF before hitting the beach, too much sun can cause inflammation, dehydration, blisters, eye injuries, lowered immune systems and fatigue. Sounds like a ruined vacation to me.

So whether you are headed south this spring break or just headed home for the week, please be sure to add sunscreen into your daily routine. Cosmopolitan compiled a list of 21 great options for every skin type and budget, so there is no excuse for you to risk the rays this break.

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