Thinking of the beach brings some unique sensory memories: the frothy bubbles of the waves crashing on the sand, the squawking of seagulls, and the sharp scent of sunscreen. But should we wear sunscreen on occasions other than beach days?

Yes! Sunscreen’s importance factors into everyday life. Sunscreen protects you from sunburn even on cloudy days, decreases your risk of developing cancer, keeps your skin looking healthy, and protects you from heat exhaustion.

It protects you even on cloudy days.

The sun may not be as intense on cloudy days, but that star we all love is a powerful force! According to the FDA, “Even under cloud cover it is possible to damage your skin and eyes, and cause long-term damage.” Even when the sun is hidden behind clouds, lather up!

It decreases your risk of developing cancer.

The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage the DNA in our skin cells, which may “[affect] certain genes that control how the cells grow and divide,” according to the American Cancer Society. “If these genes no longer work properly, the affected cells may become cancer cells.” To keep yourself safe, make sunscreen your best friend. Sunscreen prevents UV rays from hurting your skin cells, which then prevents the development of melanoma. Add a nice hat and sunglasses, and your skin will thank you!

It keeps your skin looking healthy.

Not only will sunscreen help you stay healthy, but it will help you look healthy as well. Wrinkles can be a wonderful reminder of the many smiles you’ve smiled over the years, but there’s nothing wrong with keeping them at bay for a few more years! Wearing sunscreen can help keep your skin healthy so that those wrinkles develop more slowly.

It protects you from heat exhaustion.

No one enjoys a sunburn, but did you know that sunburns can contribute to even more serious problems, like heat exhaustion, which can develop into heatstroke? Symptoms of heat exhaustion can include dizziness, fatigue, muscle cramps, nausea, profuse sweating, and a rapid heartbeat, among other things.

The good news is that heat exhaustion is totally preventable. The Mayo Clinic recommends “[wearing] a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses and [using] a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply every two hours — or more often if you’re swimming or sweating.”

Let’s make sunscreen something we use not just on the beach, but every time we do something outside! You’ll be protected from sunburn even on cloudy days, decrease your risk of developing cancer, keep your skin looking healthy, and prevent heat exhaustion. Just a thin layer can do so much!