It’s never too late to get smart about protecting your skin, especially as the summer is coming. After all, sunshine is considered the single biggest cause of visible aging. While it is true that the sun can do a lot of good for your skin, .especially when it comes to stimulating the body’s production of vitamin D, and enhancing feelings of well-being, it is very important to be aware that exposure to the sun can lead to wrinkles, age spots, and skin cancer.
Despite these increasingly well-known dangers of sun exposure, many of us, on occasion, get lazy when it comes to protecting our skin or just can’t resist the myth that getting some color from the sun makes us look healthier. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the skin cancer makes up one in three cancers diagnosed in this country
Here are a few important skin care tips for sun protection.
Minimize sun exposure and stay indoors
The best way to prevent a sunburn is to avoid sun exposure as much as possible. Find shade if you need to be outdoors. Stay out of the midday sun which is the strongest sunlight (11-4pm)
Always use sunscreen (even on cloudy days)
Sun damage builds up over time. It is important to use sunscreen every day, even if it’s cloudy. The best sunscreen to choose is the one that you will actually put on your skin. Some people like sprays because they’re easy to use, and they blend in well.
Choose a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB radiation. Make sure it is water resistant and has a SPF of 30 or higher. Other sunscreens may help keep you from getting sunburned, but they won’t protect against skin cancer.
Use a lip balm with an SPF: The sun can also burn the sensitive skin on the lips just as easily as it fires the rest of your body. At worst, the damage can lead to skin cancer. Use a lip balm with an SPF of at least 15 and reapply often.
Use Sunglasses with UV ray protection, to prevent eye damage.
Use clothing made with sun protective fabric. These clothes have a special label that tells you how effective they are in protecting your skin from ultraviolet rays. The Skin Cancer Foundation says that hats and clothing made of dark, tightly woven materials absorb ultraviolet light better than cotton fabrics in lighter shades. Dry fabrics offer more protection than wet ones.
If possible, wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants. Dark clothing with tightly woven fabric blocks more sun than white or loosely woven fabrics. For additional protection, look for clothes made with special sun-protective materials.
Keep in mind that even umbrellas or shade trees provide only moderate protection from ultraviolet light, and they don’t protect you from rays reflected off sand, snow, concrete and many other surfaces.
Don’t let the snow fool you During the winter months, snow skiers, learn the hard way that high altitudes (which have a little atmosphere to filter out the sun’s rays), blustery winds, and white snow can be a painful combination.