Don’t forget the sunscreen!
Now that the weather has turned in a favorable direction, everyone is heading outdoors. There’s nothing like fresh air in the lungs and the warmth of the sun on our skin. But we need to apply caution to outdoor elements – namely, those dangerous sun rays – and not let them do in our health.
Everyone should be using sunscreen – regardless of what skin type one has. But you shouldn’t rely on sunscreens alone. Avoiding the 10 am to 2 pm intensity of the sun is also suggested, along with wearing a hat and shirts and cover-ups that offer sun protection. And, Consumer Reports recently announced that its testing revealed many sunscreens’ claims of higher SPFs (sun protection factors) were erroneous. Thus, it’s suggested that you use a sunscreen with a 40 or higher SPF to ensure that you are getting at least a 30-level protection. Whatever sunscreen you use, make sure it offers broad spectrum protection – providing both UVA (the rays that permeate and age and wrinkle the skin) and UVB (the rays that burn the top layers of skin and can cause skin cancer) protection. And water resistant is always a bonus although reapply after swimming, regardless.
Annual skin screenings are also recommended. There has been a 300% increase in skin cancer incidence since 1994 (source: The Skin Cancer Foundation and Archives of Dermatology). Knowing one’s type of skin and how to best protect it is important. One’s primary care doctor can refer to a dermatologist for yearly checks and www.skincancer.org offers guidelines and helpful checklists.