Skin Cancer and the Benefits of Sunscreen
In last week’s blog we talked about how to make your July safe and one of the ways was to be sure that you are applying and reapplying ‘safe’ sunscreen. We understand that it is summer and most of our time right now is being spent outside in the warm weather. While nothing is wrong with doing that, it is important that you are at least doing it safely. Since we are spending a lot of time outside, that means we are finding ourselves under the powerful sun for hours at a time. Sometimes we take for granted how powerful the sun can be. In fact, prolonged, unprotected exposure from the sun can lead to many different unpleasant symptoms and conditions. However, by applying and reapplying sunscreen you can help yourself be more protected from the sun and what it can do to your body. There are many things that the sun can do to your body when it is unprotected; here is a short list of them:
- Prolonged sun exposure is the biggest culprit to early aging
- Increases the skin’s chance of becoming wrinkly, developing lines, sunspots, and more at an earlier state
- Damages our eyes
- Can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke
- Increases the body’s chance of developing skin cancer
- And more…
Even based off of this short list you can see just how our body reacts to the sun. Now, many people will argue with the reasons above saying that we need the sun to get vitamin D. However, your body can still get the necessary amounts of vitamin D when you are wearing sunscreen or even just sitting near a window in your home. Sunscreen is a necessity for your skin. Our body is meant to find its way to the sun to soak up its rays and make vitamin D. Therefore even if you are just walking to your car to go to work, your body is bound to receive ultraviolet rays. Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays is one of the main triggers to developing skin cancer. Skin cancer is one of the world’s driving force to wear sunscreen, however there are many other reasons as to why you should be applying and reapplying sunscreen every day. Here are a small few:
- Keeps skin looking young
- Reduces risk of getting sunburn
- Keeps an even skin tone
- Sets a good example to children
- The sun is getting stronger
- You can find it anywhere
- Helps decrease your chances of developing skin cancer
These are just a few reasons as to why sunscreen is not a chore but a tool. Many people, especially children, hate putting on sunscreen. Most look at it as a chore to do when you are supposed to be relaxing in the sun; that is until you come home sun burnt and uncomfortable. So not only is it important to teach your children the importance of sunscreen, but it is also ideal for you to lead by example.
Sunscreen is meant to protect your body, not hurt it. This is why you need to be sure of what products that you are buying. Not only are some sunscreens bad for the environment, but many sunscreens are bad for your skin due to their harsh chemicals. When we apply a product to our body, our skin absorbs and filters the ingredients in that product. Whatever chemicals that were found within it are soaked into the skin and absorbed by our cells. We discussed the topic of purchasing safe products in a previous blog titled, “This Earth Day Clean the Environment of Your Mind and Body”. For more information on these harsh chemicals that are found in everyday products, check out that blog.
Another thing about sunscreen that many people overlook is that fact that you should be wearing it every day, even in the winter, even on cloudy days, and even when most of your day is spent inside. Believe it or not, the sun’s powerful rays can affect you even if you are sitting inside— a glass window will not protect you. A good way to be sure that you are applying sunscreen daily is to buy a daily face and body moisturizer that contains SPF already within it. That way you moisturize first thing in the morning and you are set for a few hours. Dermatologists recommend that you reapply sunscreen every 2 hours, regardless of where you are spending your day. I understand that can sound daunting, but by adding SPF to your regular moisturizer it won’t even feel like your constantly applying sunscreen.
The easiest way to keep your July safe is by preventing you and your family from the possibility of developing skin cancer. July is a time that is surrounded by the sun and if we don’t protect our skin from the powerful rays, we can actually suffer from a life threatening condition. Some people don’t think that your life can be threatened by skin cancer, but that idea is wrong. Approximately 2,000 people pass away every year due to skin cancer. That number should not be taken likely because as we spend more and more time in the sun, we can expect that number to increase. If there is one thing that you take from this blog, let it be that you start to protect your body by wearing sunscreen every single day. Try to incorporate it into your morning routine by adding it into your daily moisturizer. Small changes like these can help save your body from the trauma that the sun may cause.