Experts share the 5 bonus and lesser-known skincare benefits of wearing SPF every day

We all know how important sun protection is, but wearing sunscreen daily can also lead to some other perks...

A close up of a woman with dreadlocks applying cream to her cheek with her fingers, to represent suncreen, whilst wearing a white towel/ in a beige and blue sunset-style template
(Image credit: Getty Images/jacoblund)

There’s a reason we speak so much about the importance of sunscreen. It will protect your skin from cancer-causing UV rays and, with skin cancer cases on the rise, it’s always worth reminding yourself to keep your skin shielded. But what if we told you there are other reasons to make the extra step worthwhile?

Using the best facial sunscreen is the single most important thing you can do for your skin, according to skin expert and founder of the Adonia Medical Clinic, Dr Ifeoma Ejikeme. "Using sunscreen daily is crucial for everyone, regardless of skin tone, because it provides an extra layer of protection against both UVA and UVB rays," she says. "UV rays can penetrate the skin and cause damage. Sunscreen works by absorbing, reflecting, or scattering the UV rays, thus preventing them from reaching the deeper layers of the skin."

While this is well-known, many of us are still guilty of skipping this crucial skincare step – and by doing so, we're not only missing out on essential UV protection but also several lesser-known benefits... 

The 5 bonus skin benefits of wearing sunscreen every day 

Not only will wearing suncare daily protect your skin from UV radiation (whether in the form of one of the best moisturisers with SPF or, ideally, a traditional facial sunscreen), it will also improve your complexion in a multitude of ways. After all, 80% of the visible signs of ageing are caused by sun damage, so using sunscreen daily will do more than just shield it from cancer-causing rays, it’ll help your complexion look smoother, clearer and plumper – and then some...

1. Pigmentation prevention

"You will notice a reduction in pigmentation if you wear sunscreen daily," says Dr Sophie Momen, Consultant Dermatologist at OneWelbeck. "UVA rays make our cells release pigment and can cause pigmentary disorders such as melasma. Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen will help prevent and reduce the production of pigment."

"Wearing a high-factor sunscreen protects from and reduces hyperpigmentation," agrees Dr Raquel Amado, Director and Medical Practitioner at Dr Raquel Skin and Medical Cosmetics. "Consistent use of SPF can prevent dark spots and uneven skin tone by shielding the skin from UV-induced pigmentation changes."

2. Plumper skin

"UV exposure accelerates the ageing process by breaking down collagen and elastin fibres in the skin," warns Dr Ejikeme.

UVA rays are the ones responsible for skin ageing, while UVB causes sunburn – think A for ageing and B for burning. So while you may not necessarily burn on a gloomy January day, UVA rays are present all year round, which is why it's important to wear suncare daily on any exposed areas. 

"Daily use of SPF helps protect against photoageing, which includes deep wrinkles and fine lines caused by sun exposure," confirms Dr Amado.

3. A radiant complexion

"Ageing from the sun makes your skin dry and less luminous," explains Dr Momen. "Regular sunscreen application will make your skin appear better hydrated and radiant." This is especially true if you opt for a formula with a radiant, glow-boosting finish – like Supergoop!'s Glowscreen SPF 30, for instance.

4. Healthy and undamaged skin

"SPF protects the skin’s barrier function, which supports [its] overall health," advises Dr Amado. "Wearing sunscreen will prevent damage that can lead to sensitivity, redness and inflammatory skin conditions."

“The sun is the skin’s worst enemy," agrees Mariam Abbas, facialist at The Clinic Holland Park. "UV rays impact every healthy cell process and enzymatic function and wreak havoc on the skin, causing free radical damage and depriving cells of their antioxidants.

She adds: "Additionally, UVA and UVB rays can reach different layers of the skin and break down cells, causing DNA damage and decreased water content in the stratum corneum, which damages and dehydrates the skin.”

5. Improved skin texture

Damaged skin can become thickened and look uneven, but using sunscreen will prevent this. "By protecting the skin from harmful UV rays, SPF helps maintain a smooth and even skin texture, preventing roughness and dryness," explains Dr Amado. 

Our senior beauty editor's 3 favourite broad-spectrum sunscreens

The trick to remembering to apply sunscreen daily is picking a formula you actually like wearing. I have so many favourites at different price points, but these are the top three in my current rotation... 

Rhiannon Derbyshire
Senior Beauty Editor

Rhiannon Derbyshire is the Senior Beauty Editor for Woman & Home and other publications. 

She started interning for glossy magazines while working alongside her Fashion Journalism degree. There, she was lured to the beauty desk, seduced by matte lipsticks, posh shampoos, and every skincare product imaginable. 10+ years into her career, she can confidently tell you why the best mascaras are always high street, and why SPF is a non-negotiable all year round. Ask her about her curly hair routine, skincare minimalism, and how to find the exact right red lipstick