We all make excuses in life. Maybe you tell yourself that you don't have to feel guilty about all the pina coladas that you're going to drink this summer, because you're basing them off of our "Greenia Colada" green smoothie recipe. Perhaps you feel like you're well protected from the sun because your foundation includes SPF 30, so you skimp on applying sunscreen to the rest of your body.
Well, here's a wake-up call for you: sun safety isn't just about preparing for a long day at the beach or wearing sunscreen only when the weather turns warm. Truly protecting yourself from harmful UV rays is a lifestyle that should be as routine as your personal hygiene practices.
How Does UV Exposure Affect You on a Daily Basis?
The Environmental Protection agency links the sun to 90 percent of melanomas. That's the most deadly form of skin cancer, and there are about 80,000 new cases in the U.S. alone every year. There are about 3.5 million new cases of non-melanoma skin cancers in the U.S. every year.
Up to 80 percent of the sun's rays still get to your skin on overcast days, so leaving the sunscreen at home when it's cloudy or rainy isn't advised.
You know how older individuals may have age spots? Those spots aren't caused from having a high number of birthdays behind you; they're caused by the sun. Even dark-skinned individuals can experience dyspigmentation, or abnormal skin pigmentation, due to UV exposure.
Many medications and topical products result in phototoxicity, a type of skin irritation that comes about as a reaction to light. Antibiotics, NSAID drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen, diuretics and certain fragrances can put you at risk or phototoxicity.
UVA light penetrates glass. This means that you're at risk for UV damage when you're sitting in your car or by a light-filled window in your home or office.
You can see that the average person is put in a scenario that involves UV exposure on a daily basis. If you're only slathering on the sunscreen in the summer, your skin is still exposed 75 percent of the year.
Layers of Sun Protection
The best sun safety involves layers of protection. This involves using a variety of products, including:
-moisturizer with SPF on your face, hands and body
-cosmetics with SPF protection
-sun protective clothing
-sunglasses with UV protection
This doesn't mean that you need to pack these items in your beach bag and leave them unused when you're not at the beach. Make it a habit to use these sun safety measures every day of the year to keep yourself and your entire family protected from the sun's harmful rays.