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The Importance of Sunscreen and Other Forms of Sun Protection

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We love sharing our knowledge of beauty, wellness, and regenerative medicine with you. It brings us so much joy. Today we’re sharing a priceless piece of beauty knowledge One of the most important things you can do for your skin is super easy: wear sunscreen. Wear it everyday! And we mean everyday- including overcast days. The sun doesn’t have to be shining for harmful UV rays to be present- up to 80% of harmful UVA and UVB rays can penetrate through clouds! In addition, it is imperative for optimal skin and body health to stay adequately hydrated and covered when out in the hot sun.

Here are a few reasons that will hopefully inspire you to start protecting your skin and body from the sun if you’re not already…

Prevention of Skin Cancer

We’ll start with the more obvious reason that you should wear sunscreen- it can prevent the development of deadly skin cancer(s)! According to the American Academy of Dermatology, “1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime”. No one is immune from this harmful disease- it can affect a person of any age, skin type, gender, or race.

You can perform skin cancer checks on yourself (and should perform occasionally just to be safe). If you see any areas that look different than usual, itching, and/or bleeding, you should contact your dermatologist.

The Academy recommends that we use sunscreen that offers the following essentials:

  • SPF 30 or higher
  • Water resistance
  • Broad-spectrum protection

Not only can you prevent skin cancers by using a sunscreen with the above benefits, but you can also reduce, slow down, and prevent premature aging as well as sunburn.

It should be noted however, that wearing sunscreen alone is not enough to protect your skin. The Academy further recommends the following:

  1. Sit in the shade whenever possible- especially during the hours of 10am-2pm when the sun’s rays are the strongest.
  2. Wear protective clothing if working outside regularly (whenever possible). Protective clothing includes long sleeves, pants that cover the whole leg, a “wide-brimmed” hat, and sunglasses.
  3. Exercise caution when around water, snow, and sand. These surfaces have reflective qualities that cause UV rays to bounce, increasing the chances of sunburn.
  4. Avoid all forms of tanning. This includes tanning beds and laying out in the sun. There are better healthier ways to get your Vitamin D and tan your skin. Consider trying supplements and incorporating more foods- such as milk- that are rich in Vitamin D and using bronzing lotions instead of laying out in the sun or in a tanning bed.

Prevent Skin Discoloration (Hyperpigmentation) and Other Skin Abnormalities

Skin discoloration due to sun damage includes, but is not limited to brown spots, the appearance of red facial veins, and blotchiness. Hyperpigmentation is a term used to describe any dark spots, including dark patches of skin, that appear.

There are 4 types of hyperpigmentation:

  • Age Spots
  • Freckles
  • Melasma (usually caused by hormonal changes)
  • Post-inflammatory (can be caused by acne or other skin trauma)

UV rays are known to age your skin on a faster track and cause an overproduction of melanin- the chemical responsible for giving you that desirable tan. However, as we’re sure you know, too much of a good thing can quickly turn into a bad thing. Too much exposure to the sun has the tendency to amplify hyperpigmentation, particularly post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation; this exposure can additionally exaggerate the appearance of wrinkles and cause brown “blotches” of skin.

Sun exposure promotes all forms of hyperpigmentation. Wearing sunscreen and taking great care to protect your skin from the sun should be an imperative if you want to prevent skin discoloration, premature wrinkles, and other abnormalities from appearing on the skin.

Wearing Sunscreen Helps Maintain Smooth Silky Skin

Many sunscreens these days contain moisturizer in them. Therefore, not only is wearing sunscreen great for protecting your skin against harmful UV rays and other sun pollutants, but you can also maintain your skin’s softness with the application of these certain sunscreens. Be sure to check the label if this is a benefit you’re interested in as not all sunscreens contain a moisturizer. Alternatively, you can find a skin moisturizer that contains SPF.

No matter which you choose to use, it’s important to find the right product for your skin type. Don’t be fooled: All skin types need to wear sunscreen- even if you maintain that you don’t “burn easily”, your skin is still exposed to UV rays and requires protection. If you choose a moisturizer or sunscreen that’s bad for your skin (increases oil production, strips it entirely, etc), you will basically be trading one problem for another. Yes, your skin will be protected from the sun, but now you have to deal with a problem you didn’t need to have in the first place.

Apply sunscreen/moisturizer to skin after cleansing and exfoliating, or after perspiring. If you need help remembering the order, keep this mantra in mind: cleanse, moisturize, protect. Reapply every two hours, especially between the hours between 10am and 2pm. Note that skin type can affect the SPF you need to use- some people need higher than others. Talk with a dermatologist or do some research on your own to find out which SPF is right for you.

If you’re in the market for sunscreen, consider trying our Honour: Ultimate DNA Defense sunscreen. It’s great for all skin types!

Avoid Heatstroke and Heat Exhaustion

Wearing sunscreen in combination with taking other precautions such as drinking enough water to stay hydrated can protect more than just your skin. In addition to preventing skin cancer and premature aging, you can help protect your body from overheating due to heatstroke and/or heat exhaustion.

Heatstroke

Heatstroke occurs when your body overheats due to overexertion and/or overexposure to the sun. It is the most serious form of heat related illness and requires immediate medical attention. Left untreated, heatstroke has the ability to damage your heart, brain, and kidneys and gets worse the longer it’s left untreated- this can lead to permanent damage or worse, death.

Symptoms of heat stroke include an altered mental state (confusion, slurred speech, nausea and/or vomiting), rapid breathing, among others. If there is any question that someone is suffering a heatstroke, just call 911.

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is similar to a heatstroke, but is somewhat less serious. It is most commonly brought on by dehydration. This heat related illness comes in two types:

  1. Depletion of water- symptoms of this type of heat exhaustion include weakness, headache, and (in extreme cases) loss of consciousness.
  2. Depletion of salt- signs that someone is suffering from this type of heat exhaustion include nausea and/or vomiting, cramping of muscles, and dizziness.

While heat exhaustion isn’t as serious as a heatstroke and doesn’t usually require immediate medical attention, it is still a cause for concern. The person suffering from this heat related illness should seek the comfort of air conditioning, plenty of fluids, and rest. Their body needs to cool down. If they can’t immediately get inside, they need to stay in the shade until they can.

Convinced?

With any luck, this article has convinced you to start practicing these and other forms of daily sun protection!

Have additional questions or concerns? Let us know! Give us a call or stop on by.

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