Ahhh the sun. We love it, we need it, yet it’s harmful when we get too much of it. Like a love-hate relationship, we just don’t know how to handle properly. Great for it’s Vitamin D properties, the sun provides not only needed daylight, but feeds the plants which in turn feeds us oxygen. We all know what happens when we enjoy those glorious UV (ultra violet) rays just a little too long without any protection. It brands us with those burning red markings of wrath, like a shameful scarlet letter letting the world know how foolish we were to toy with its power. Then, there’s the fear of skin cancer from too much sun. Luckily, there are ways to protect your skin from skin cancer.
My first tip: avoid the sun like the plague. Ok, perhaps that recommendation is a bit extreme, and, quite frankly, hard to do. What you can try to do is seek shade or cover your skin if you are to be out in the sunlight during the hours of 10 am and 4pm. While you may not think they are as attractive as a skin baring bikini, there are rashguards and other long sleeved swim shirts that have built in UV protection in the fabric if you intend to spend some time at the beach, pool, lake,etc. For everyday sun exposure, wearing dark colored, tightly woven clothing as well as brimmed hats to cover the parts of your body which are not covered by sunscreen is your best bet to protect yourself.
Probably the most obvious recommendation is the application of sunscreen daily. Most people use way too little of it. Be generous with applying it according to directions. Whether you intend on spending time outdoors or not, the slightest exposure to UV rays on any given day will be enough to cause damage to your skin. There are numerous moisturizing creams/lotions available with added sunscreen protection which are a great way to incorporate it into your beauty routine. Sunglasses are not just fashionable but are another essential item necessary in protecting yourself from UV rays.
Say GOODBYE to Tanning Beds
While you may desire a nice tanned body, avoid tanning beds at all costs. The direct exposure of the lighting used in these beds can actually be more harmful than the sun. In natural sunlight, you can at the very least have some protection from the clouds whereas tanning beds feed those harmful UV rays right onto your skin. There are plenty of great sunless tanning creams and sprays on the market that can give you the results you desire without the long lasting effects of sun damage.
When to Visit the Good Doctor
If you notice any abnormal scabs, sores, moles, or marks on your skin that don’t seem to go away, seek advice from a doctor or dermatologist immediately. These could be indications of skin cancer and the sooner you catch it, the better your chances are of treating it.
My mother always warned me to cover myself up to avoid sunburn, but did I listen? Only when she was looking. While I am lucky to have avoided any development of melanoma (skin cancer), it doesn’t mean my mother wasn’t right and I haven’t suffered some effects of skin damage from the sun. Had I heeded her warnings sooner, I could have saved myself from developing sun spots on my skin and kept a nice wrinkle free complexion going for a little while longer. The good news is, it’s never too late!