Thursday, May 3, 2012

Take Sunscreen Seriously

I would like to say that I have always been dedicated to using sunscreen, especially since I live in Florida with it's intense sub-tropical sun.  However, I am from the "seek a tan at all costs" generation.  We used to slather ourselves with oils with no SPF (sun protection factor) and lay out on the beach for hours.  Add on sailing, swimming and bike riding, and I now have plenty of sun damage on my fifty plus aged skin.

As I hit my late twenties the scary data on UVA rays started coming out and I became pretty consistent with using sunscreen on my face, but pretty much ignored the rest.  I also wasn't aware of how much sun damage I could get just doing everyday activities like driving the car or working around the house.

I now have severe sun damage showing up in two areas, the left side of my face (the side the sun hits when I drive) and my neckline.  Definitely going to give the dermatologist a big payment at my next appointment.  I have already had several basal cell carcinomas removed and I know I have more.

We now know that UVA rays cause sunburn, but it is the UVB rays that cause the skin damage.  Sunscreen packages must now state whether they block UVA or UVB rays or both.  Obviously, you want to look for sunscreen that blocks both types.

Above is a photo of my favorite sunscreen.  It is not oily and doesn't make my face break out.  I use it on my face, neck, neckline, arms and hands every day.  If you wear cosmetics it will not affect how they apply and last.  Neutrogena makes several good sunscreens, all of them non oily.

A couple of other places to put sunscreen you may not think about:  If you aren't wearing a hat put sunscreen on your ears and the part in your hair.  My mother developed a carcinoma on her scalp in her later years because of sun exposure.  Consider a lip balm with sunscreen and reapply regularly.

Last, but not least, there is nothing good to say about tanning beds.  They are just plain bad for you.

Enjoy the outdoors, but do it safely while wearing sunscreen.

God bless,

1 comment:

  1. Just hitting 50 this month but at 45 had a nice sized basal cell C scraped off my shoulder. The dermatologist was a small of stature and had to get on a chair to muscle her way through scraping it off/out like a barnacle. I typically have used No-Ad

    which has a good product rating and is inexpensive. Considering time at the beach and football practice each July for my son it's always a good idea for protection especially in Florida.