Sunscreen

Photo Credit: Michal Marcol

If you think that you are one of those people that can slide past the sun’s harmful UV rays or that you could never get skin cancer, think again!  According to skincancer.org, more than 2 million people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year, and it is the most common form of cancer in the United States.  Fortunately, prevention for this mean disease is fairly simple. Apply sunscreen!  Sure, it’s not rocket science but it really is that simple.  The sun can even emit harmful rays on cloudy days.  While a small amount of sun exposure is harmless, and even necessary to your health, too much sun can be dangerous.  With that, here are some tips on finding the right sunscreen for you!

If you apply a foundation or moisturizer in the morning, it is a great idea to find one that doubles as a sun block.  Most creams and makeup have spf 15 or 30, so this is a good base protection for your face if you will just be out and about running errands.  If you plan to be outside for a longer period of time, you need to find a stronger sunscreen to go on top of your makeup or moisturizer.  Spf 45 or 50 is a quality strength that will definitely protect your face and other areas from the damaging sun.  Lotions, sprays, and different types of petroleum are all acceptable forms of sunscreen, and you should choose your favorite based on what feels best on your skin.  Look for a sweat-proof sunscreen if you plan to be active while in the sun, and a gentle, unscented brand for sunscreen application on children and babies.

Don’t leave out those lesser known areas that most people tend to forget about, but still need to be protected.  The top of your ears, your bikini line, the tops of your feet, and your scalp or part in your hair are all areas that are prone to burn, but are sometimes forgotten.  The big areas that are commonly burned include the back of your neck, your arms, and your back.  Whether it is a large prominent area or a sneaky little crevice, you have to remember to apply or you could get fried.

Sunburns may only last a few days, but frequent unprotected sun exposure will cause prematurely aged skin, wrinkles, dark spots, sunspots, and increase your risk of skin cancer.  Make it a habit to spray or rub on sunscreen before your day outdoors begins.  It’s an easy way to preserve both your appearance and your life!