Sunshine and Safety – How To Go Out, Get Your Vitamin D, and Prevent Sun Damage!

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Suncare should be an essential part of everyone’s routine. Because of pollution and its environmental impact, it has never been more important to protect yourself against sun damage and the outside elements. Simple, easy steps can keep you safe from dangerous yet preventable diseases like melanomas and tumors. While getting up to 30 mins of sun every day is essential to get your daily dose of Vitamin D and keep yourself feeling good and fresh, you have to take proper precautions when you do. Whether you are a man or a woman, you should ensure you’re taking the appropriate steps to take care of your body because cancer isn’t sexist! So what are the essential sun care steps you should take to keep you and your loved ones safe? Here’s where to start! 

I scream, you scream, we all scream for sunscreen!  

This is the most essential yet most overlooked step that you can take. We’re sure you’ve heard this before, but it really cannot be stated enough – if you do only one thing for your skin, it should be applying sunblock. Sunblock keeps your skin protected from UV exposure that can trigger skin cancer. Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers that are diagnosed. 

You should be using a broad-spectrum sunscreen every time you step out into the sun, or you think you will have UV exposure. The minimum SPF or Sun Protection Factor dermatologists recommend is 30 SPF. You should also apply this every two hours till sundown if you are outside. Additionally, you should reapply sunscreen after swimming or playing in the water to protect yourself against skin cancer.

Sunscreen also protects against premature signs of aging like age spots and wrinkles and keeps your skin clear from hyperpigmentation like brown spots, Melasma, and sunspots. Sunspots and melasma are challenging to treat and can often refuse to fade. In this case, prevention is indeed better than the cure! And finally, sunscreen also protects you from painful sunburns and blisters caused by UVB rays. Sunburns are your body’s reaction to too much sun exposure on the outer layer of skin. If you tend to get sunburns, beware! Your body is telling you to apply sunblock and stick to the shade more often, and you better listen before more significant issues like skin cancer develop. 

There are many types of over the counter sunscreens available in the market today that is suitable for all skin types, whether you have oily or dry or combination skin. You should extend the functionality of your sunscreen by wearing protective clothing as well. If you know you’ll be spending a lot of time in the sun you should wear long-sleeved tops made with a light-weight, breathable material like cotton, so you are both protected from the sun and don’t sweat or overheat. You should also wear hats that provide some shade on your face so that you have one extra layer of protection against the cancer-causing sun rays! 

 Sunglasses – not just for the cool kids! 

When you choose sunglasses, make sure you choose one with UV protection instead of only tinted lenses. You should look for high-quality sunglasses from reputed brands like Christopher Cloos that combine form and function to cater to everyone’s aesthetic and budget. 

Many people think sunglasses are only for vanity, but they’re not. They prevent a lot of eye problems caused by the sun’s UV rays too. When people apply sunscreen, they often avoid the area around the eyes since sunscreens contain chemicals that can irritate your eyes.  The skin around your eyes is incredibly delicate, and having them exposed to the harmful rays of the sun can cause rashes and even cancer. 

Prolonged sun exposure can also cause cataracts and glaucoma as well. People with diabetes are already at risk of eye damage because of the high blood sugar, and this risk is significantly increased if you don’t protect your eyes against sun damage. Older people are at risk for macular degeneration, which is the slow degeneration of the retina that eventually leads to blindness. If you don’t wear sunglasses out in the sun, you increase the risk of this condition developing by exposing your eyes to UVA rays that hasten this progression. 

If you’re a beach bum and surf a lot, you should definitely carry a pair of sunglasses when you hit the waves! There is a condition called Surfer’s Eye or Pterygium that manifests as an unusual growth on the eyeball. While it can be cured and has many types of treatment, it is still a preventable condition. When you can avoid the risk of possible eye surgery with a simple habit, you should always choose prevention over cure.