Summer is finally here! It’s a great time to get outside and rejuvenate your mind and body.
But for your skin, summer means extra exposure to the sun. Most premature aging is caused by sun exposure. Without protection from the sun’s rays, just a few minutes of exposure each day over the years can cause noticeable changes to the skin. Freckles, age spots, spider veins on the face, rough and leathery skin, fine wrinkles, loose skin, actinic keratoses (thick wart-like, rough patches of skin), and skin cancer can all be traced to sun exposure.
Sun protection isessential to skin cancer prevention – about 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers and 65 percent of melanomas are associated with exposure to UV radiation from the sun.
These 5 tips can help you keep your skin safe in the sun:
- Stay in the shade, especially between 10:00 and 15:00, and wear protective clothing, hats and sunglasses. Loose‐fitting long‐sleeved shirts and long pants made from tightly woven fabric offer the best protection from the sun’s UV rays. A wet T‐shirt offers much less UV protection than a dry one. Darker colours may offer more protection than lighter colours.
- Choose a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) rating of at least 30. It should be a broad spectrum sunscreen, protecting against both UVA and UVB.
- Apply enough sunscreen – at least ¼ teaspoon for the face, ¼ t for the neck, ½ t for each arm, and 1 teaspoon for each leg, the back and chest. In total, this is about as much as a shot glass.
- Reapply. Often. Apply 20 – 30 minutes before going outdoors. To be the most effective, sunscreen needs time to absorb into your skin. Reapply once outside in case you have missed a patch of skin. Reapply every 2 hours and also after swimming, (even if waterproof) or sweating heavily. If using both an insect repellent and sunscreen, apply the sunscreen first. Sunscreen should never be used as an excuse to stay in the sun longer than is necessary!
- Discard your old sunscreen 2 years after opening, or if it is past the expiration date on the container. Also if it has been exposed to high temperatures or has obvious changes in colour or consistency. Keep in mind, however, that if you use sunscreen generously and frequently, a bottle of sunscreen shouldn’t last from one year to the next…