The sun is shining and the beach is calling your name, but if you aren’t careful a few too many days spent exposed to the sun could have a lasting impact on your skin.
People have been flocking to the beach for decades. Past generations used to lather on oil and bask under an aluminum foil reflector to bronze their skin. Lately, however, people have been more hesitant to leave the house without applying a layer of sunscreen, and for good reason. When you’re young, lying in the sun might seem harmless. The worst that will happen is you’ll get a burn that is uncomfortable for a couple days and fades away into a great tan. As you age, though, these once insignificant burns play a bigger role in skin damage. The more sun exposure you get, the worse the damage will be in the long term. However, don’t get bummed out, you can still enjoy your day in the sun. By understanding the power of the sun and its long-term impact on your skin you can make healthier lifestyle choices that will slow the aging process and help you avoid health issues.
Long-term exposure to UV radiation will not only increase your risk of skin cancer: it can also result in dark spots, wrinkles, a loss of elasticity, and discoloration in your skin. Wearing sunscreen on a daily basis can help protect your skin from these extrinsic aging factors.
To protect yourself from UV rays make sure you purchase a sunscreen that has broad spectrum coverage. Apply the lotion 15-20 minutes before going outside, and opt for an SPF between 30 and 50, or higher if available.
365 Days of Protection
Sun safety needs to be practiced all year round. While it might seem silly to put on sunscreen on a cloudy day or in the middle of a snowstorm, your skin will thank you. Even though it may not be hot out, the sun is still doing damage. The sun’s UV rays are still as strong as ever, even if it’s cold or cloudy. It’s not just the UV rays coming directly from above you should worry about, either. UV rays can be reflected off the ground, exposing your skin to rays from above and from the ones bouncing back off the ground. If you are planning a day of outdoor winter activities or heading out on the water, the reflection off the water, snow, or ice, paired with the sun from above, can increase your risk of getting a sunburn and serious sun damage.
Here are some tips:
You are never too old to begin protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. The more unprotected sun exposure you have in your lifetime the higher your risk of cancer and sun damage. By using sunscreen daily you are taking action to improve your skin’s health and longevity. Now before you head off to the beach remember to reapply your sunscreen every 2 hours especially if you are sweating and/or swimming and apply a good amount of sunscreen to increase the level of SPF protection.