As teenagers, many of us scoffed at the idea of wearing sunscreen and reached for zero-protection, greasy baby oil instead. We sizzled and fried in the pursuit of the perfect tan. Our skin paid the price and today the sun damage is reflected in brown age spots, more pronounced wrinkling, leathery skin, or worse — skin cancer.
Sun damage is caused by two types of ultraviolet radiation (UV). While UVB rays are the main cause of sunburn, UVA rays are the most damaging. These stronger rays penetrate the deeper layer of skin and break down collagen and elastin. The result: wrinkles, sagging skin and age spots.
UVA rays, present throughout the year, are also the chief cause of skin cancers. The rays can penetrate clouds and windows. Even on a cloudy day, 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays can pass through the clouds. Sand reflects 25 percent of the sun’s rays, while snow reflects 80 percent of the sun’s rays. That’s why wearing screening is essential — no matter what the weather.
How to Use Sunscreen
Despite your years in the sun, you can still reduce your skin cancer risk — and your children’s — by wearing sunscreen now.
No matter what your skin type, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends you wear a broad-spectrum (protects against UVA and UVB rays), water-resistant sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 all year round. UVA-screening ingredients include avobenzone and oxybenzone among others.
Sun protection can prevent premature skin aging and skin cancer. Here’s how to best protect your skin:
• Apply sunscreen to dry skin 15 to 30 minutes before going in the sun.
• Use one ounce (a shot glass full or 2 tablespoons) of sunscreen to coat all areas of the skin liberally. Pay particular attention to the face, ears, hands and arms.
• Apply lip balm with an SPF of 30 or more to lips.
• Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours or after swimming or perspiring heavily. Even water-resistant sunscreen can lose effectiveness after 40 minutes in the water.
• If you rely on moisturizers or cosmetics that contain sunscreen, be sure to reapply often for continued UV protection.
• Avoid too much sun exposure from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
• Wear a broad-rimmed hat and sunglasses in the sun.
• Avoid tanning booths. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has now classified them as cancer-causing in humans.
• Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.
• See your doctor once a year for a professional skin exam.
To protect your face while you moisturize year round, Relivables r day balanced moisturizer contains SPF 15 protection along with Reliv’s exclusive RA7 nutrient complex that may actually reduce the visible effects of sun damage.