It’s officially summer time, and you all know what that means. Hours spent at the pool, vacation time down at the shore, sitting outside watching baseball games…the potential for outdoorsy fun is limitless. I’ll admit, I have been known to chase the sun. I spent some time living down in sunny Florida, where I could walk over to the beach and get some salty sea air and sunshine during my lunch break. Sounds terrible, right?
I have always been a stickler for applying sunscreen (and re-applying x 20). As much as I loved the look and feel of a good tan and face freckles, I noticed some wrinkles and dark spots forming. Not to mention the handful of times I over did it and ended up as burnt and peeling lobster. I knew that the sun was ultimately damaging my skin, despite my efforts to protect it.
A good sun protection regime includes several, or all of the following:
* A hat
* SPF >30
* Limiting time in direct sun, finding shade if possible
* Not using tanning beds, ever
A note about sunscreen: there’s a lot of products out there, but quality really does matter here. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends choosing a Broad Spectrum (UVA/UVB sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher for daily use, and an SPF of 30 or more for extended outdoor activity. Those with fair skin may require a higher SPF like 45.
Personally, I like brands that include Zinc Oxide (think white nose stripe), such as Badger Balm. Or those that are formulated to go on clear on my face, like Ocean Potions’s Clear Zinc Oxide Face Potion SPF 45. Not so good products? Baby oil, tanning oil, or cooking oil (save that for some delicious veggies).
“That’s great Mel, but wait a minute, I thought I was reading a nutrition blog”, is probably what you are thinking by now. Yes, yes you are, and I thank you for hanging in there. But, health and wellness is very much related to nutrition, especially when it comes to cancer prevention. Read Part 2 as we will explore how to protect yourself from the inside out through good nutrition, and explore antioxidants (healing agents or all hype?).