While you're (hopefully!) applying SPF to your face every day in the form of sunscreen, moisturizer, or foundation, you probably aren't slathering your entire body before you get dressed every morning. But a new study might convince you to start.
A report published by Mayo Clinic is urging people to start adopting a year-round (yes, even on cloudy days) all-body sunscreen routine on any exposed skin because two types of skin cancer are on the rise. The Mayo Clinic-led research team discovered that between 2000 and 2010, new basal cell carcinoma (BCC) diagnoses rose 145 percent, and new squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) diagnoses rose 263 percent among women. The report shows that women ages 30-49 experienced the greatest increase in BCC diagnosis whereas women 40-59 and 70-79 experienced the greatest increase in SCC. Men, on the other hand, showed a slight decline in both forms of cancer over the same period of time.
BCCs and SCCs are the two most common forms of skin cancer, but the good thing is they don't spread across the body like melanomas. That said, it is still important to identify the affected areas as soon as possible—and better yet, take preventative measures to make sure you don't develop skin cancer in the first place. (Related: Caffeine Might Help Reduce Skin Cancer Risk)
Yes, it's important to remember to reapply while you're purposefully spending time in the sun—according to the American Academy of Dermatology, you should be applying sunscreen every two hours or every time after swimming or sweating. (Try the best sunscreens for working out.) But the report really hammers home the point that sunscreen should be the most important element of your skin care routine—even on chilly days when catching rays is the last thing on your mind. And remember, UV radiation can cause skin damage even when you're indoors.