The Sassy Side of Sunscreen

Okay, even I admit an article on sun protection may sound as exciting as folding laundry. But I’m here to tell you sun protection is essential in our quest for healthy skin. And healthy skin is VERY sexy.

So now that I have your attention, I’ll make this short and sweet. If you get anything out of this article, get this: ALL rays do damage.

Estimates are that up to 85% of sun damage happens before we turn 18. 18! So here we are a few years or decades later experiencing wrinkles (loss of elasticity) that can’t be restored and dark patches (hyperpigmentation) that we pay dearly for to lighten.

Outdoor rays, or UVB rays, are burning cancer rays (think B for burning). Indoor rays, or UVA rays, travel deeper into the dermis and are wrinkling/aging rays (think A for aging). Sitting under fluorescent lights at work or home? Better SPF up! UVA rays penetrate not only the upper epidermal layer of skin, but also the lower dermal layer where it affects living cells and structural damage ensues.

I often hear comments from my skincare clients like, “…but I’m only going to the mailbox,” or “I’m only going to work or the grocery store,” or worse yet, “I use a tanning bed so I don’t need sunscreen.” UVB rays bounce off the ground and through your car windows, while the fabulous fluorescent lights at the store deliver those aging UVA rays. And tanning beds DO NOT offer safe tanning rays. Period. Refer to and memorize paragraph 2 on this point.

Sun protection is more than a health issue. It’s a life issue. Skin cancer is the easiest cancer to prevent. And the easiest way to prevent premature aging of the skin is a very simple application of sunscreen everyday.

So do yourself and your skin a favor: Apply a minimum SPF 15 moisturizing sunscreen everyday. Because leathery, wrinkled skin is absolutely not sexy.

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