This Is How Sunscreen Actually Protects Your Skin

There are very few certainties in life, except for death, taxes, and the fact that you need to wear sunscreen every single day. Sun protection is up there with getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, and not setting yourself on fire with things that are absolutely essential for staying healthy — and beyond health, sun damage is one of the foremost causes of premature skin aging, so the need for SPF should appeal to your vain side, too.
But how does sunscreen work, and is wearing it really enough to protect yourself against the sun's most detrimental effects? The answers to these questions might seem obvious, but it's about time we clear it all up, just in case. Ahead, we demystify the specifics of SPF — and why it's so important that you wear it every day. (Have we mentioned that you need to wear it every day?)

More from Skin Care

Watch

R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Documentary
Five love stories behind diverse, multicultural marriages.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Life experiments, 5 days at a time.
Watch Now
Fashion
The style of subculture.
Watch Now
Beauty
Viral trends, tried and tested.
Watch Now
Documentary
From vibrators to lipstick, learn how your favorite products are made.
Watch Now
Documentary
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
Documentary
The latest stories to watch.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Inside the homes of millennial women — & what they paid for them
Watch Now
Comedy
Let's talk about sex, baby.
Watch Now
Documentary
Female artisans around the world
Watch Now
Politics
Made by and for smart, opinionated women.
Watch Now
Film
We helped 12 female directors claim their power.