Aw, sun. I LOVE the sun. I get depressed when we have one too many gloomy days here in San Diego and to me, there’s nothing better for the soul then a little sun and sand. As much as our world revolves around the sun, we all know by now how harmful it can be, which is why protecting our skin from the sun’s rays should be numero uno!
I think it’s safe to say, most of us know how damaging the sun’s rays can be and well, the stats on skin cancer are staggering. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, more Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer every year than any other type of cancer. UV rays are a MAJOR cause of melanoma and other types of sink cancer, report researchers.
And, if you’re someone with a history of atypical moles (like me☹️), you have to be extra careful. According to researchers, individuals with a history of atypical moles have a greater risk of developing melanoma.
But, if that doesn’t scare you into submission, then maybe you should give some thought to how well your skin takes care of you. Our skin is our bodies’ largest organ and works hard keeping us safe and healthy. Besides protecting our insides from the elements, skin also helps regulate body temperature, eliminate waste, and aid the immune system in destroying microorganisms. Our skin does so much for us, so let’s show our skin some LOVE ❤️my friends!
Now we know why we should protect our skin, so let’s talk about how we can protect it from the sun’s powerful sting.
There’s no better protection than to not expose your skin to the sun rays. However, I know you all don’t live in a bubble and to cover every part of your body every day seems a little extreme. Besides, you may not want to.😉 You just have to know: sun exposure = potential sun damage = potential skin cancer.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I’m not super religious about protecting my skin (san face). You won’t find me in a full bodysuit at the beach or pool. I love to be outdoors, lead a pretty active life in a city where it’s sunny year-round, and am not opposed to showing a little skin. So, I wear my bikinis and do what I can to keep my skin protected if I’m not covered up…and you should too.😁
Slather on that sunscreen every morning before you walk out the door, even if it’s cloudy or raining. For those of you who are like, duhhhh, I just have to put this one out there. I’m always shocked at how many people don’t use the screen daily or not at all.
You gotta make sure you’re using it properly, too. Here’s where reading directions is beneficial. Depending on the ingredients, your sunscreen may take 10-15 minutes to take effect.
And, you have to reapply. Again, this is where a quick glance at directions is beneficial. Sun Protection Factor (SPF) varies and is related to the amount of solar exposure, not to the time of solar exposure. As a general rule of thumb, you should be reapplying your sunscreen approximately every 2 hours, more frequently if you’re fair or swimming. 🏊🏽
USE ENOUGH SCREEN
Finally, you’ve got to make sure you’re using enough sunscreen. Studies have shown some most people only use about ¼ to half the recommend amount. For a 150lb. adult (approx. 5’4”), the FDA recommends using about an ounce of sunscreen for the entire body.
- Sunscreen on exposed skin EVERYDAY
- If using a chemical sunscreen, apply 10-15 minutes before sun exposure
- Reapply the screen about every 2 hours, more if you’re fair or swimming
- Use at least 1 oz. (think shot glass) of sunscreen for entire body- don’t forget about your lips👄!
Side note: you probably noticed I didn’t talk about the differences between chemical and mineral sunscreens. I didn’t mention this topic, because there’s a lot to talk about – enough for another blog!
I know there’s much talk about the pros and cons of both chemical and mineral sunscreens for consumers and the environment, especially after the FDA released a study on sunscreen ingredient absorption earlier this year. I won’t get into my thoughts and opinion on the subject today, but I urge you to do your research on both chemical and mineral sunscreens. In the meantime, please keep in mind –
- The FDA’s study did not deem any ingredients unsafe (yet🤔) and because the agency classifies sunscreen as a drug (not a cosmetic), the U.S. has the most stringent guidelines for sunscreen globally.
- Even mineral ingredients – zinc oxide and titanium dioxide – can be harmful to humans, marine, and coral life if nano- sized.
- The best sunscreen is the one you’re using.
- The safest and most effective way to protect your skin is not sunscreen, it’s to cover up.