It is impossible to stay inside this time of year with hiking trips, afternoons on the boat and live concerts urging us to go out. Summer just wouldn’t be summer without the heat, and of course, the sunburned skin keeping us awake at night. But now that more than 1 million people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year, we all must be aware of just how important it is to protect ourselves.
We all tend to experience the harmful UVA and UVB radiation differently based upon a number of factors including our geographic location and the time of day.
The easiest way to avoid skin cancer is to simply limit sun exposure. The worst time of the day is between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. due to the fact that this is when the sun’s rays are the strongest. Now, this is a little impossible for the average sun-basking person. Most of us can’t help but rush to the pool to lay down a towel at 9 a.m. So if this is you, there are many preventative measures that you need to take.
If you’re going to apply sunscreen, it is very important that you purchase sunscreens that say “broad spectrum” on the label. They help to protect against both UVA and UVB. You also should look to purchase healthy, organic, all-natural sunscreen lotions. Many popular sunscreens contain harmful chemicals that promote free radicals in the body. Make sure your sunscreens do not contain the following chemicals: PABA and PABA esters (ethyl dihydroxy propyl PAB, glyceryl PABA, p-aminobenzoic acid, padimate-O or octyl dimethyl PABA), benzophenones (dioxybenzone, oxybenzone), cinnamates (cinoxate, ethylhexyl p-methoxycinnamate, octocrylene, octyl methoxycinnamate), salicyltes (ethylhexyl salicylate, homosalate, octyl salicylate), digalloyl trioleate, menthyl anthranilate and avobenzone (butyl-methyoxydibenzoylmethane, parasol 1789.)
Related Article: Can Traditional Sunscreen Actually Cause Skin Cancer?
Organic sunscreen, which is made from natural mineral and plant-based ingredients, is a good alternative to the name-brand, chemical-laden products on your local supermarket store shelves. Organic sunscreen products do not contain harmful chemical preservatives and often also includes ingredients that are soothing to the skin, such as lavender, aloe vera, jojoba oil, shea butter, coconut oil and green tea extract. Additionally, organic sun protection lotions and creams are safe for use on infants as well as children and adults.
Eating a diet that is rich in antioxidants can also help with skin care and help fight against the damage resulting from sun exposure. Diets high in antioxidants not only contribute to healthy skin, but can also boost metabolism and your immune system.
Ever wonder what the sun protection factor (SPF) means? Under normal circumstances, this refers to the time it would take a person to burn without sunscreen to the time it would take them to burn when the lotion is applied. For instance, if you are able to last 20 minutes without turning to a ripe tomato, you could extend this duration to 200 minutes if you use sunscreen with SPF 10.
Medications can increase your risk of getting burned as well. It is also important to know that bug repellant works against sunscreen and the two should not be used simultaneously.
Our hair takes quite the beating out in the heat too. It has a tendency to make our locks look dry and frizzy. To avoid looking like Bob Dylan for your next night out, apply shampoo with SPF protection in it. You won’t go wrong.
- The Alternative Daily