We need the sun. It's a vital part of our planet, our ecosystems, and our bodies. The sun provides us with Vitamin D, which we need to live. A lack of Vitamin D in the body can cause problems ranging anywhere from joint pain to colon cancer. Yes, we need the sun.
That being said, we also know that too much sun is dangerous. Harmful UVA and UVB rays cause wrinkles, age-spots, and of course skin cancer. There's no excuse this day in age-- when so much information about our health is at our fingertips-- not to take the precautions necessary for the health of your skin. And while it seems impossible that the thing you need, that you get so much pleasure and sustenance from can also kill you. Never forget that it can.
Fortunately, there are ways to protect your skin from the sun.
Watch the Hour
The sun is at its most intense (and most dangerous) between the hours of 10:00 am and 3:00 pm. So if you're going to be in the sun, make sure and check the hour. Yes, even if you're using sunscreen. While sunscreens do offer some protection from the sun, and should be worn at all times while outside, it's also a good idea to avoid prolonged exposure to the most intense rays of the sun.
This is an obvious one, and one that we've all heard, yet some people still think this is optional. Yes, tanned skin is slimming, youthful, and beautiful, but it's not worth getting it the expense of your health-- and your future beauty. Remember, every time you sunbathe without sunscreen, you're prematurely ageing you skin. In twenty years, you'll be kicking yourself for each and every tanning session you took in your youth.
Instead of irresponsible exposure, invest in a good quality, high SPF (in case you didn't know, this stands for sun protection factor) sunscreen. Choose a long lasting sunscreen with an SPF of 20 or more. Make sure to apply sunscreen at least twenty minutes before exposure to the sun, and every two hours thereafter. Also reapply after exposure to water.
If you're prone to breakouts or worried about the texture of your skin, you don't need to. Not all sunscreens have to be pasty white or greasy. Choose sun-protection products with a lightweight, oil-free formula.
In the past, only UVB rays were considered the dangerous ones. But recent studies have shown that UVA rays are dangerous as well. Unfortunately, most sunscreens only protect against UVB rays. Broad spectrum sunscreens that protect against both UVA and UVB rays are harder to find, as well as less appealing-- they generally leave your skin white and pasty.
To protect your body and especially your face from both UVA and UVB rays, make sure to cover up. Large sun hats are classic, elegant, and fun to wear-- don't be afraid to bring one along on your next trip to the beach to protect the delicate skin of your face. Wear a cover-up when not in the water. These few easy steps will assure that your skin is protected, both for your future health, and your future beauty.
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