Suncare Special: Protect Yourself From Sun Damage!

Thu, March 3, 2011 6:03pm EDT by 1 Comment
Posted Thu, March 3, 2011 6:03pm EDT

Heading on a trip? Whether you’re vacationing to sun or ski, it’s SO IMPORTANT to wear sunscreen!

Here are a few facts from The Skin Cancer Foundation that may scare you: one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime, women aged 39 and under have a higher probability of developing melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer) than any other cancer except breast cancer, and the vast majority of mutations found in melanoma are caused by UV rays! OK, now do we have your attention?

We spoke to Dr. Ellen S. Marmur, Associate Professor and Chief of Dermatologic and Cosmetic Surgery at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in NYC, who is an expert on sun protection. She told us about the best ways to protect yourself from skin cancer, and from some pretty ugly results of sun damage, like brown and red pigmentation, stretched pores, and a loss of elasticity in the face.

  • Wear Sunscreen Every Day! Even incidental sun exposure (like on your walk to work) can add up and cause damage, so use SPF 15 or 30 on days when your exposure will be light, and at least keep your face, neck, and hands covered. On days when you will be spending more time outdoors, SPF 30 to 50 is best, applied all over. (And don’t forget key areas, like lips and the space between your eyes on your forehead. Dr. Marmur sees tons of skin cancers in these areas because people forget to apply protection there!)
  • Remember Two Rules! Dr. Marmur is a true expert on skin cancer prevention, and she gave us some insider tips:

1) Reapply every two hours. This is essential! Sweat, water, and the oils in your skin all break down sunscreen, so if you applied it in the morning and it’s already mid-afternoon, don’t count yourself covered!

2) When you start feeling hot, you’re no longer protected! Sunscreen provides an “air conditioning effect,” keeping your skin from absorbing as much heat. When you start feeling hot, your sunscreen has likely worn off!

PLEASE be careful in the sun! Your skin will thank you later!

–Allie Jordan

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