To kick off the new year Weight Chronicles is hosting a health tip every day in January. These are good practices no matter what time of the year. Here’s to a healthy New Year!
During my youth having a sun tan was a good thing and since spray tans didn’t exist there was a lot of skin damage going on. Now that I and my peers are middle-aged it’s time to pay the piper. Last year my first age spot popped up on my face and I was NOT happy!
Unprotected sun exposure also causes wrinkles and more seriously, skin cancer. This type of cancer is usually preventable and is the most common cancer accounting for about 50% of all cases.
Protect Your Skin from Sun Exposure
So to avoid the unpleasant effects of too much sun there are some proactive steps you can take. Here are five ways you can protect yourself.
1. Avoid the Sun. You don’t need to go to extremes and live like a vampire, but stay out of the sun during the strongest sunlight hours typically between 10 am and 4 pm.
2. Apply Sunscreen. For our vacation in Cancun last month I packed four containers of high SPF sunscreen (50+). My lip balm had a SPF of 20 as well. Between these I was able to not get a sunburn and keep the bad rays out.
Don’t forget to reapply every two hours and after swimming, toweling dry, or sweating. I learned the hard way some years ago to use sunscreen even on hazy or overcast days. Two places my husband used to forget are ears and that bald spot on the back of his head; you are warned.
3. Wear a Hat. My husband and I also wore hats every time we were outside on vacation. You want a wide-brimmed hat that will shade and protect your face,ears and neck. If you prefer a visor, be sure to put sunscreen on any exposed parts of your head including hair parts and bald spots.
4. Cover Up. Wear protective clothing that covers as much skin as possible when you are out in the sun. The most effective clothing is made of woven fabrics that you cannot see through when held up to a light.
Use an umbrella when walking or relaxing in the sun. We stayed on lounge chairs under an umbrella every day during vacation as additional protection from the sun rays. When outside, use a personal umbrella as protection; golfers and Victorian ladies weren’t wrong!
5. Avoid Tanning Beds. I can’t believe people still use tanning beds but sadly they do. Although there is no sun exposure, it emits ultraviolet rays that will damage your skin as well. If you must have that tanned look get a spray tan!
Although 80% of our lifetime sun exposure occurs before age 18, it’s never too late to make changes. What do you do to protect your skin?
- 2013 Health & Fitness Magazine Sale: 2 Subscriptions for $8.99! (twosavvysisters.com)
- Winter Sun Protection Suggestions (myadvancedderm.com)