The sun shining brighter during the summer months means spending extra time at the pool and taking vacations to the beach to take advantage of the beautiful sunshine. Before you begin to write off this message due to the monotony of the “sunscreen is your friend topic”, I have to admit I was a tanning bed guru and addict. My pale, freckly skin and desire to be the perfectly bronzed goddess did not agree to say the least. A recent turn of events has changed my thinking, as I realize that one day my skin will not look like it does now and being tan does not mean being beautiful.
Skin cancer as the most common form of cancer is preventable with a few simple steps!
- To be sure not to miss out on any of the fun, protect your skin from becoming burned by applying sunscreen 30 min before you head outside. In addition, reapply after taking a dip in the pool or ocean, or after sweating during an intense game of beach volleyball!
- Prevention is the key to healthy skin. Get to know your own skin. Keep a close eye on freckles and moles. Early detection can save lives; therefore it is important to know what is perfectly normal and what can become harmful.
- There are many signs of an unhealthy mole or freckle: asymmetry, a new mole appearing after age 20, an uneven or blurred border, a change in color or uneven color, or if the mole/freckle increases in size.
- Dermatologists recommend an SPF of 15 or higher for daily use if you are going to be in the sun for more than 20 minutes. If you will be in the sun for an extensive amount of time, an SPF 30 or SPF 50 would be more suitable.
- Look for sunscreens with the ingredients zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. A sunscreen with one of these ingredients and an SPF 15 will block 93% of the UVB rays your skin would absorb otherwise. This percentage increases to 97% with an SPF 30, and to 98% with an SPF 50.
Some of my favorite products are:
Banana Boat Sport SPF 50 Mist
The mist is great easy and quick application.
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer SPF 45
This product is great for under make-up.
Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturizer SPF 15
This is a moisturizer I use daily under my make-up.
So, go ahead and soak up the summer sun, but be safe. Protect your skin with sunscreen and reapply so that you can forever be comfortable in your own skin.
Lauren Harris is an Intern for College Lifestyles. She enjoys shopping to find the latest trends at an affordable price and spending quality time with family, friends and her Phi Mu sisters. She has a weakness for chocolate and can be won over by adorable puppies in an instant. Cleaning and organization are the keys to her sanity and the occasional outdoor adventure is where she finds her happy place.