By Aimee Pennington
June 13, 2019
“Sunscreen is an important tool in the fight against skin cancer, including melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.”
“Deadliest” . . . Did you read that? Do you ever think about that warm, beautiful gas-ball in the sky as being truly deadly from this distance? Do you think much about sun damage? I do! There’s so much to say about avoiding it, but it’s a topic I’m very passionate about for two reasons: 1) because it means significantly preventing skin cancer, and 2) it’s thoroughly connected to anti-aging.
Now, clearly, the #1 best way to help sun damage IS to not get it to begin with. But I also know that’s not likely in an imperfect world.
Many of us took it in while we were children just playing out on the playground at school or while the sun’s rays hit us on long family trips through the window of the car. So, since we don’t live in a perfect world, here are a few simple tips to keep your UV exposure in check while still enjoying those summer days.
1. Re-apply. Re-apply. Re-apply!
When you’re in the sun for an extended amount of time (over 2 hours) you must reapply sunscreen to stay fully protected. Since our days seem longer and more active in the Summer, we like to enjoy the outdoors after work. In order to stay fully protected you have to re-apply that SPF after work.
PRO TIP: keep an extra tube of SPF in your purse or car, and apply it to the back of your hands before pulling out of the garage in the morning. This keeps your hands looking youthful! And let’s face it, we don’t want to have aged hands equivalent of overly large “man-hands” in a certain Seinfeld episode!
2. Wear a Sunscreen year-round!
I can not stress this enough! UVA (aging rays) light is nearly equally intense all year round. Sun exposure is cumulative, so one year of casual sun exposure—for example, 30 minutes per day walking, commuting, etc.—is roughly equivalent to 22 straight days of full exposure 8 hours per day!! I think you understand the seriousness.
3. Protect Your Kids!
Since most of our sun damage is done before the age of 10, it’s so important to make sure you’re applying sunscreens to our kids and teaching them the importance of applying sunscreen and making it a routine! With our 5-year-old twins, we make it part of our morning routine to apply SPF. Yes, it might take a little longer to get ready in the morning, but this is just as important as taking vitamins or brushing their teeth. It’s part of their skin health. As a client once told me, “This is the only skin I have. I have to protect and care for it!” Yep, so true! (Don’t worry. I won’t be leaving you hanging long. Check out next weeks blog for kid-friendly SPFs.)
It takes 10–30 years before the effects of sun damage show up (which is one reason why even in your 20’s it is a good idea to start reversing treatments and products). Remember: 90–95% of aging is sun damage! Everyone is exposed to UV light every day, even if you don’t think you are you get it. Sitting by a window, walking to the mailbox, taking the dog outside, driving to the store. UV light can even penetrate lightweight/colored clothing.
My point: wear your SPF. Every. Day. No questions asked!
Let me leave you with some facts for, you know, some extra inspiration.
Next week’s blog- what to look for in a good Sunscreen and the different types.
Cover image: Yoann Boyer
Aimee Pennington is the owner of The Make-up & Skin Care Studio in Lodi, California. She has been working as a professional esthetician for over 15 years and is passionate about helping clients reach their skin care goals through education, prevention, proven products, and good old fashioned disciplined routine. Aimee is married with twins. You can follow her on Instagram @thestudioartist_aimee or contact her at email@example.com