80% of skin aging is caused from sun damage… that’s right! I said it! 80%!What’s the best way to avoid this? Why, sunscreen of course! The one thing many men and women are forgetting to apply in their busy mornings. Most people are in the habit of packing sunscreen for a day at the beach or pool. But the sun is up there 365 days a year, and you need protection much of that time to reduce your lifetime sun-exposure total. Everyday exposure counts; you do not have to be actively sunbathing to get a damaging dose of the sun.
Practice these sun-protection basics all year round to give your skin the best chance of long-term health:
Wear SPF 30 or higher
- This applies to all outdoor activities: athletics, shopping, picnicking, walking or jogging, gardening, even waiting for a bus.
- Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen.
- Apply liberally and evenly to all exposed skin. The average adult in a bathing suit should use approximately one ounce of sunscreen per application. Not using enough will effectively reduce the product’s SPF and the protection you get.
- Be sure to cover often-missed spots: lips, ears, around eyes, neck, scalp, hands, and feet.
- Apply 15 minutes prior to any sun exposure
- Reapply at least every 2 hours, more often if some of the product may have been removed while swimming, sweating, or towel-drying.
Seek the shade!
- Be aware, however, that sunlight bouncing off reflective surfaces can reach you even beneath an umbrella or a tree.
Avoid the tan!
- There is no such thing as a healthy suntan. A tan is the skin’s response to the sun’s damaging rays.
- The UV radiation emitted by indoor tanning lamps is many times more intense than natural sunlight. Dangers include burns, premature aging of the skin, and the increased risk of skin cancer.
- Use self tanners or spray tans if you need that healthy glow.
Keep your children protected
- Healthy habits are best learned young. Because skin damage occurs with each unprotected exposure and accumulates over the course of a lifetime, sun safety for children should be a priority.
Here is a perfect example of no sunscreen. A 68 year old truck driver spent the majority of his life in his vehicle without sunscreen. The right side of his face was protected by the inside of his truck and the left side was towards the window with the sun beaming in. Little did he know several years of this sun exposure would age his left side to this extent.
Now go get yourself some sunscreen!