UV Protection is Your July Health Goal
UV protection is something that we all need to start taking a little more seriously to start living our best lives this July. Let’s make a commitment together to stop ignoring this important part of our health, and make sun safety as basic a part of self care as brushing your teeth and drinking water.
UV Protection is More Important Than Ever
The science is pretty clear about the damage that the sun does to our bodies. The CDC documents the different types of skin cancers, and their strong correlation with sun exposure.
What some don’t realize is that UV protection is about more than just preventing skin cancer. The sun actually damages your skin, and impairs its ability to heal. According to WebMD,
“Sun exposure causes most of the skin changes that we think of as a normal part of aging. Over time, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light damages the fibers in the skin called elastin. When these fibers break down, the skin begins to sag, stretch, and lose its ability to go back into place after stretching. The skin also bruises and tears more easily — taking longer to heal. So while sun damage to the skin may not be apparent when you’re young, it will definitely show later in life.”
Tips for Better UV Protection
Protecting yourself from the sun doesn’t have to be a chore reserved for beach days. Everyday sun exposure actually has a greater cumulative effect on your skin than just those days that you are likely to sustain a sunburn. Instead, it should be a quick and easy part of your daily routine. Here is a way to make UV protection a part of your daily self care regimen:
- Invest in a lightweight daily facial sunscreen. This is nothing like the thick stuff you put on at the beach–there are several commercially available preparations that feel just like skin lotion, and are intended for daily wear, year round. It’s not just the summer sun that poses a risk–it’s a good idea to get into the habit of using a light sunscreen every day.
- Hats are your friend. Staying in the shade is the most thorough way to avoid sun exposure, but we want you outside, active, and healthy! So, bring the shade with you.
- Don’t neglect lip and eye care. Make sure that your regular lip balm offers some SPF protection, since we never apply sunscreen to our lips, but they sustain even more damage since the skin is thinner and more sensitive there. Don’t forget a stylish pair of sunglasses to improve your driving vision and protect your eyes from sun related strain that you might not even realize you’re dealing with.
- When you do face strong sun, apply sunscreen before you get dressed. If you’re visiting a tropical location with stronger sun than you are accustomed to, don’t jeopardize your comfort (and your photos) on vacation by playing it fast and loose with UV protection. Slather on a high SPF sunscreen before you put your bathing suit and clothes on, and you won’t deal with tan lines and burns from shifting clothing. Reapply every few hours and after every time in the water.