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07.10.2024 Why is SPF Important in Skincare: The Benefits of Sunscreen for Healthy Skin

Kristen Marchisotto
By Kristen Marchisotto

Kristen is a Lead Esthetician at the Bryant Park, New York City location of Silver Mirror Facial Bar. Along with a formal education in aesthetics, her years of experience as a licensed esthetician helping those achieve healthy skin has given her a deep grasp of diverse skin types and treatments.

It’s officially Summer and the days of counting down to weekends at the beach and picnics are over! It’s time to relax and enjoy the warm sun, but are you protecting your skin? 

This time of year also means an increased exposure to harmful UV rays and it’s crucial to protect your skin to maintain its overall health and youthful appearance. In this article, we’ll dive into understanding SPF and its importance, the benefits of sunscreen, and going over sunscreen myths so you can stay protected throughout the whole summer. 

What is SPF and Why It’s Important in Skincare

Sunscreen is an essential step in any skincare routine regardless of the season. It provides the first line of protection against the UV rays, with the SPF (Sun Protection Factor) indicating how well it shields your skin from the sun. Sunscreen isn’t just about avoiding a sunburn, but it also guards against premature aging and skin cancer, making it an important ingredient for maintaining healthy skin all year round. 

The Harmful Effects of UV Rays on the Skin

UV Radiation Types

UVA Rays

UVA rays penetrate deeply into the skin, leading to premature aging and increasing the risk of skin cancer. These rays are present every day despite the weather as they can penetrate through clouds, so it’s important to protect your skin at all times. 

UVB Rays

UVB rays are the primary cause of sunburns and directly damage the DNA in skin cells, which is what leads to skin cancer. UVB rays are strongest between 10 AM and 4 PM, especially during the summer months.

Consequences of UV Exposure


Sunburns are not only painful but also increase the risk of skin cancer. Enduring frequent sunburns can increase the rate of the skin aging.

Premature Aging

UV radiation breaks down collagen and elastin in the skin, which is the primary protein that maintains youthfulness. Long exposure to UV radiation causes sagging and wrinkles, a process known as photoaging that makes the skin appear older than it is.

Skin Cancer

Exposure to UV radiation is a major risk factor for various types of skin cancer, including melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. Using sunscreen protects your skin from these UV rays, reducing the risk of cancer. 


UV exposure can lead to hyperpigmentation, including age spots, freckles, and an uneven skin tone. These dark spots are often stubborn and difficult to treat.

Weakened Immune System

Your skin’s natural defenses can be suppressed by UV radiation, causing a weakened immune system. This makes the skin more susceptible to infections, allergic reactions, and other conditions.

Benefits of Sunscreen for Healthy Skin

Prevents Premature Aging

Sunscreen shields your skin from harmful UV rays, preserving collagen and elastin. This helps maintain your skin’s firmness and elasticity, preventing wrinkles and sagging, and keeping your skin looking youthful.

Reduces Risk of Skin Cancer

Using sunscreen lowers the likelihood of developing melanoma and other skin cancers. Sunscreen acts as a barrier against both UVA and UVB rays so you can reduce your risk of getting these deadly conditions. 

Prevents Sunburns

UVB rays are the main cause of sunburns so using sunscreen protects your skin from getting burnt. Ultimately it helps to reduce pain and discomfort but also works to decrease long-term skin damage and cancer. 

Maintains Even Skin Tone

Sunscreen helps you maintain a more even skin tone by preventing age spots and hyperpigmentation. This can enhance your skin’s appearance and reduce the need for corrective skincare products.

Protects Against Immune Suppression

Sunscreen supports the skin’s immune function by protecting it from UV-induced suppression. This helps maintain your skin’s natural defenses, keeping it healthier and more resilient against various conditions and infections.

Finding the Best Sunscreen for Your Skincare Routine

Broad-Spectrum Protection

Broad-spectrum sunscreen protects your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays increase the risk of developing cancers and cause premature aging, while UVB rays are what cause you to get sunburns and direct DNA damage. It’s important to choose a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection so you have a comprehensive defense against both types of UV radiation.

SPF Rating

We recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Higher SPF ratings provide more protection, but anything above 30 provides only slightly more protection. 


Knowing the base ingredients in sunscreen can help you make the best choice for your skin as everyone is unique and are affected differently by products.

Mineral Sunscreens:

These contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which sit on the skin’s surface and reflect UV rays. They are best for sensitive skin because they are less likely to cause irritation.

Chemical Sunscreens:

These include ingredients like avobenzone, octinoxate, and oxybenzone, which absorb UV radiation and convert it into heat. Chemical sunscreens are often preferred for their lighter feel and easier application.

Choosing between mineral and chemical sunscreens depends on your skin type and personal preference. If you’re unsure of your skin type, read our blog that provides information on each!

Skin Type

It’s important to pick a sunscreen that matches your skin type to ensure you get the best results.

Oily or Acne-Prone Skin:

Look for non-comedogenic formulas that won’t clog pores.

Dry Skin:

Choose sunscreens with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin. These ingredients provide moisture and protect your skin simultaneously.

Sensitive Skin:

Go for fragrance-free, hypoallergenic formulas to minimize the chances of irritation.


At Silver Mirror, we have curated a selection of the best sunscreen products to suit each skin type and preferences. Here are some of our top recommendations:

For Sensitive Skin: iS Clinical Extreme Protect 40

For Oily Skin: Supergoop Daily Dose Vitamin C+ 

For Dry Skin: Revision Intellishade Clear 

Explore our shop for more sunscreen options and find the perfect fit for your skincare routine. Protecting your skin has never been easier with our expert-approved selections!

Sunscreen Myths Debunked

Myth 1: Vitamin D Deficiency

While it’s true that UV exposure helps provide your body with vitamin D, the risks of UV exposure far outweigh the benefits. Not protecting your skin can lead to skin cancer, premature aging, and other harmful effects. You can easily reach your Vitamin D levels through diet and supplements, avoiding compromising your skin’s health.

Myth 2: Only Necessary on Sunny Days

Sunscreen is essential regardless of the weather. UV rays can penetrate through clouds, so even on overcast days, your skin is still exposed to harmful UV radiation.

Myth 3: Not Needed for Darker Skin Tones

All skin tones are susceptible to UV damage. While darker skin tones have more melanin, which provides some protection, they still endure the effects of UV radiation, including skin cancer and hyperpigmentation. Everyone, regardless of skin tone, should use sunscreen.

Myth 4: Only Necessary in Summer

UV exposure occurs year-round, not just in the summer. Whether it’s winter, spring, summer, or fall, UV rays can still cause damage. Sunscreen is an important step every day of the year to protect your skin.

Myth 5: Causes Acne

Many people avoid sunscreen because they believe it will cause acne. However, there are numerous non-comedogenic and oil-free sunscreen options available specifically designed for acne-prone skin. It’s important to pay attention to the ingredients in sunscreen as not all products are made equal. 

How Silver Mirror Utilizes SPF in Their Facials

At Silver Mirror, we make sure that SPF is applied after each treatment to ensure your skin is protected in the short-term and avoids any long-term skin damage. Since each face is unique, our estheticians select the SPF that is suited for your skin type and concerns. You can leave knowing your skin is protected and carry on with your busy day without worry.

Explore our online shop for high-quality SPF products to incorporate into your daily routine. Protect your skin and enjoy a healthy, beautiful complexion!


By Kristen Marchisotto