The sun is just now peeking out from behind the June gloom in Southern California. Sun can have dramatic and horrific affect on your skin. To understand your best skin care you should get a real good idea of how the sun affects skin. Cancerconnect.com (yeah you heard me right…CANCERconnect) gives us the info.
There are a few types of sun rays that do different things to your skin.
- UVB rays don’t penetrate your skin very far. However, these rays are responsible for most squamous cell carcinoma. Carcinoma is another word for cancer, girls.
- UVA rays are often called tanning rays because they don’t usually cause burns. They penetrate deeper than the UVB. Still, some dermatologists believe that these rays are responsible for basal cell carcinomas and malicious melanoma.
To get the best skin care and avoid these nasty carcinomas and melanomas, you need to protect your precious skin every time you go out into the sun. Here is the good and the bad of things. The good part is that most sunscreens block UVB rays effectively. The less than stellar part is that UVA rays are not quite so easily blocked. You must look for a broad spectrum sunscreen in an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) 15 or higher.
Now is probably a good time to talk to you a bit about sunscreen. SPF is related to time. SPF 15 means that you have 15 times longer to stay in the sun before you burn….or need to reapply your sunscreen. SPF 30 would indicate 30 times longer and so forth. So, for example, if you normally burn within 5 minutes of sun exposure. SPF 15 protects you for 75 minutes or an hour and 15 minutes (5 times 15). Here are some interesting sunscreen facts you may not know.
- Apply your lotion style sunscreen 20 minutes BEFORE going into the sun as it takes that long for this type of sunscreen to kick in and start its protection
- Look for sunscreens endorsed by the skin cancer foundation like Colorescience’s Sunforgettable Line. (This is a dry style of sunscreen and works immediately!)
- You need to be wary of sunscreens over SPF 30. They contain chemicals that actually breakdown skin tissue and do more damage than good.
In addition to being a leading cause of skin cancer, the sun can have other deleterious affects on your skin. For the best skin care, you need to realize that extended sun exposure can cause
- collagen breakdown
- premature aging
- brown spots
The best skin care recommendation is that there is no such thing as a “healthy tan.” In southern California, everyone is walking around with bronzed skin. I get it. When people say, “a good tan takes off 10 pounds.” I get that, too. I am not going to lie. My answer: Self Tanners have come a long way since the 1980s. You don’t have to live with streaking and staining. You can have a perfectly lovely tan without risking your skin elasticity and health for a gorgeous glow.
Remember, your skin is delicate. When we are young we use and abuse it but as we age, we start seeing the signs of our love of the sun. Love your skin and lather on the SPF!!