The New Rules for Sun Safe Skin
- Posted on: Feb 7 2019
When it comes to sun smarts, you know the rules. Don’t leave the house without sunscreen, stay away from tanning beds (duh!) and don’t forget to wear a hat. But even the most classic beauty routines need refreshing. Many sun health rules have changed in recent years, thanks to new research and advances in product development. In honor of melanoma awareness month, make sure you’re giving your skin the best protection with these modern updates to your old routines.
Old rule: It’s okay to burn a little first and then let your skin fade to a tan.
New rule: It’s never okay let your skin burn. Even a little pink means too much sun exposure.
Update: Never leave the house without a sunscreen that can pull its weight. That means finding a UVA/UVB sunscreen that is at least SPF 30 and integrating it into your daily routine. And making sure your product is broad spectrum may not even be enough these days. Sun-generated free radicals threaten your skin’s elastin and collagen fibers, so pairing that sunscreen with an antioxidant moisturizer is just as important.
Old rule: Tanning is a bad habit, just say no.
New Rule: Say yes to self-tanner!
Update: Did you know that your melanoma risk is increased by up to 75% every time you step into a tanning bed? That’s according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer. And you probably don’t need a statistic to understand that close to 90 percent of the skin aging effects of sun exposure – brown spots, wrinkles, etc. – are caused by UV radiation. But these days that’s no reason to forgo a great tan. New self-tanners and professional spray tanning services can give you a better summer glow, for longer, without the price of aging skin damage.
Old rule: A cover-up or a hat gives you plenty of protection while you’re in the sun.
New rule: All hats and fabrics are not created equal. Watch what you wear.
Update: Unless you’re willing to invest some serious time learning about the SPF of your clothing, don’t depend on it for sun protection. Yes, you read that right . . . fabrics have UV protection ratings (called UPF ratings). Look for the Skin Cancer Foundations Seal of Recommendation, which is only given to fabrics with a UPF rating of 30 and above. And when it comes to hats, don’t opt for the cheap version, and make sure you choose one with a wide brim. Only tightly woven, dark materials will give you the kind of protection you need.
May is Melanoma Awareness Month!
Melanoma accounts for less than five percent of skin cancers but it continues to be the underlying cause of the majority of skin cancer deaths. In fact, one person dies every hour from melanoma, and one in 50 people will develop melanoma in their lifetime. To put that into perspective, the layer of skin where melanoma occurs is just a few millimeters – that means the difference between life and death is the thickness of a credit card! Safeguard yourself and your family by keeping these basics front and center:
- Avoid peak hours of sun exposure between 10 am and 2 pm.
- Check your skin monthly and look for the ABCDEs of melanoma.
- See a dermatologist at least once a year for a full skin check.
Schedule your appointment for a full body skin exam today!
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