I found this pretty interesting article on MVO's blog and thought that it's a good topic to share. Enjoy!
Here are some common notions about what we need to do to keep our skin vibrant and healthy. Just answer true or false, then see if your answers agree with ours.
1) High SPF ratings are your best protection against sun damage.
The problem with a sunscreen with a high SPF rating is that, because it allows you to stay out in the sun longer without getting burned, you may feel that you have not incurred sun damage when in fact you may have exposed yourself to the more insidious damage caused by longer wave-length UVA rays. Risks from UVA over-exposure are potentially of more concern than the risks associated with simple sunburn occasioned by over-exposure to UVB rays. See #2 below for more discussion of UVA rays.
Two better ways to protect yourself are:
1) MAKE SURE YOU GET BROAD-SPECTRUM UVA/UVB PROTECTION.
2) Remember that sunburn is your natural alarm system–red skin tells you that you’ve had enough and it’s time to cover up.
2) You need to wear sunscreen year round, not just when you go to the beach.
Consider this: about 95% of wrinkles come from UVA exposure, and UVA exposure is a dawn until dusk, all season affair. The longer-wave-length rays penetrate windows and clouds, so even being inside on a rainy day does not afford you complete protection.
Fortunately you generally don’t need as much sunscreen in the wintertime as on a day at the beach (with a day on the ski slopes being the exception). Just remember that UVA =aging, so choose a moisturizer with broad spectrum protection. This is more important than the SPF rating–an SPF of 15 to 20 is just fine.
3) We don’t need to wash our faces more than once daily.
Studies have shown that washing with soap in the morning reduces UV protection by about 50%, because the skin has been stripped of its protective lipid barrier. So, for most skin types just splashing on tepid water is sufficient cleansing in the morning. Night is the time to do your real cleaning, because it is then that you will want to get off the dirt and pollution accumulated during the day, as well as sunscreen and makeup.