Many of us spend 6 months of the year pining desperately for warmer months while we trudge miserably through snow, rain and mud in twelve layers of heavy clothing. Heck, in a frigid weekend in April I wore TWO COATS!!
So of course once the weather gets warmer we shed our layers and bask in the warmth. But many of us (myself included) forget that the sun, vital to our health and wellness (vitamin D, anyone?) can also harm our skin if we don’t take the proper precautions. Here are three huge reasons to slather on the sunscreen:
Protection Against Skin Cancer
- A is for Asymmetry: A mole that has an irregular shape, or two different looking halves.
- B is for Border: Irregular, blurred, rough or notched edges may be signs of skin cancer.
- C is for Color: Most moles are an even color – brown, black, tan or even pink – but changes in the shade or distribution of color throughout the mole can signal melanoma.
- D is for Diameter: Moles larger than ¼ inch (6 mm, the size of a pencil eraser) across may be suspect, although some melanomas may be smaller than this.
Skin cancer doesn’t care what color you are, if it’s cloudy, or if it’s wintertime. UVA and UVB rays cause skin damage no matter how slight the exposure, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. And, despite what the media would have you believe, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the US. It makes sense, since the skin is our largest organ!
Sunburn not only increases your risk for skin cancer, it frickin’ HURTS! Each severe sunburn you have in life increases the risk of melanoma, so take extra care that you don’t end up like a lobster. No amount of aloe will reverse the damage a sunburn does.
Preventing Premature Aging
Want to look younger, longer? Sunscreen! Sun damage ages the skin more rapidly, so definitely use a moisturizer with built-in sunscreen on your face, and it’s easy to get extra sunscreen via BB- or CC-creams these days, both of which have sunscreen built right in. Between my moisturizer and my BB-cream, I always have SPF 30 at minimum on my face. And don’t forget your neck, chest and ears!
In short, slather it on! Stay safe, people!