Protect Your Skin from the Sun

Remember the days when we all used to slather our bodies with tanning oil in an effort to get that Hawaiian Tropic tan?  We were oblivious to the harmful effects of prolonged sun exposure or, if we knew the risks, we were too young and foolish to really care.  Ahh, I’d love to be tan all summer or year round.  A tan hides every spider line and blemish, so I feel healthier.  In actuality, I know it’s not one bit healthy.

So I’ve made a vow to protect my skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays.  I’m at a stage in my life where I need to prevent premature aging.  I want my skin to remain youthful looking for as long as possible.  If Nicole Kidman can make pale look beautiful, well, I’m on board.

Sunscreen: We all know that sunscreen is an essential, but WHICH sunscreen should you choose?  There has been a lot of buzz in the news lately about harmful chemicals contained in many name brand sunscreens.  The most common chemical is oxybenzone.

Because sunscreen is absorbed by the skin, it enters the bloodstream.  Oxybenzone mimics estrogen and may accelerate the growth of cancer cells.  Did you know that the FDA does not regulate sunscreen?  Sunscreen manufacturers are not regulated.  For this very reason, I choose to use an all natural sunscreen with zinc oxide as the key ingredient.  When it comes to the health of my kids – this is especially important.

What Else?

There are a few other summer essentials which you need to protect your skin.

Lip Balm: One part of our bodies that is often overlooked when it comes to sun protection is our lips.  When lips get burned, they sting!  Protect your lips this summer.

Hat: You don’t have to walk around in a big floppy hat, but you should protect your head.  Most people assume it’s important to wear a hat to protect your face from the sun.  Yes, that is one very important reason to wear a hat, but did you know that skin cancer can develop on your scalp.  It’s not just bald or balding men who are at risk – it’s all of us.  So, grab a bandana, a ball cap or a big floppy hat because your head should be protected.

Choose Shade: Twenty minutes in the sun will give you a healthy dose of vitamin D, so don’t avoid the sun altogether.  Just remember, when you are in the sun, to lather on the sunscreen or wear protective clothing.  Try to avoid exposure or limit your exposure during the peak hours of 10-2 when then sun’s most intense.  And, when you are at the beach, take a beach umbrella.  It will provide a much needed respite from the sun.  Your older self will thank you many, many years from now.


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      • San Jose, CA

    As a redhead, I just tend to subconsciously "work in the shadows", while doing yard work and stick to the more shadowy side of the street, while in a city environment.

    Long sleeve work shirts are also an excellent investment.


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