Let the Sun shine






By Sheryl Porter


But don’t forget the sunscreen


School is out, but summertime is not the time to forget all the lessons you have learned… especially when it comes to sun care.  External factors in the environment (like sun, smoke, pollution, etc) contribute to 80% of aging.  That means if you were shielded from all environmental elements, you would not notice the first signs of aging until around age 50.  Since living in a light proof cave is not an option (although I wish it were an option for the obnoxious Heidi and Spencer Pratt), we have to protect our skin from the harmful rays of the sun.

1> Know your number.  Here’s how you calculate SPF (Sun Protection Factor):  Let’s say you can withstand the full sun’s rays for 10 minutes before burning.  If you use a SPF 30, you can stay out 30 times longer, or 300 minutes.  When your time’s up, pack it up.  Reapplying does not give you an additional 300 minutes.   The reflection of the water can intensify the sun’s rays, so take that into consideration when choosing an SPF.

2>  Read the label. The sun’s damaging rays come in different wavelengths, so for full protection look for words like ‘parallel’ ,  ‘complete’ or ‘comprehensive’ protection.  These words signify protection against UVA (aging rays), UVB (burning rays) and Infrared (heat) Rays.

3> You may have read the phrase ‘reapply often’ on your sunscreen, but how often is often enough?  A good rule of thumb is to reapply your sunscreen every two hours, more often if you are sweating or in the water. 

3> Applying an SPF 30 over an SPF 15 does not magically give you an SPF 45.  The benefits of sunscreen are not cumulative.  If you happen to layer sunscreen in the same application, you get the benefits of the higher SPF. 

4> Do you know how much sunscreen to apply to your entire body? If you guessed one ounce, then you are right… Remember, the amount that would fit into a shot glass.  If you are purchasing a 60z bottle, that will cover you for 6 applications.  If you are going on a trip with others, you may want to consider how many applications (and reapplications) you will need for the duration of your trip and purchase accordingly.

<<< Head to Toe, this is how much you need!

Categories: Features