Importance of Sunscreen!

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Everyone looks forward to summer due to the beautiful Florida weather, exciting vacations, and most importantly, trips to the beach to enjoy the sunshine!  When planning for your beach getaway, don’t forget to pack sunscreen because it is more important than ever to make sure that your skin is protected from the sun’s harmful rays to keep your skin looking fresh, youthful, and vibrant.  It is common sense to remember to lather your body in sunscreen before spending the day fully exposed to the sunlight, but more people forget this important step than you may realize.  The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that you apply sunscreen on a daily basis to help reduce your chances of skin cancer, wrinkles, and sun spots, so it is especially important to include this step in your morning routine during these summer months.

Often times, people think that on an overcast day (similar to the ones we have been experiencing lately) the sun is not visible and therefore one can simply not get sunburned.  This is a common misconception because even on a cloudy day, more than 80% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays can pass through the clouds, making it still very possible to experience the harmful effects of the sun.

Sunlight consists of two types of harmful rays that can reach the Earth’s surface, UVA (ultraviolet A) and UVB rays (ultraviolet B.)  Overexposure to both can lead to skin cancer, but in addition to skin cancer, each has their own set of harmful effects.  UVA rays can prematurely age your skin, causing wrinkles and age spots.  This type of sunlight has the ability to pass through windows and glass.  UVB rays are the primary cause of sunburn but are blocked by windows and glass.  Both are very harmful and damaging to your body so remember to apply a generous amount of sunscreen so that your skin is protected!

In order to fully reap the benefits that sunscreen has to offer, it is recommended to apply 15 minutes before going outdoors so that it has time to soak into your skin.  It is also recommended to reapply roughly every two hours, depending on the amount of exposure and the amount of activity preformed.  If you find that you are swimming or sweating, you will most likely need to reapply before the two hours is up.

The sun’s damage to your skin is irreversible, so this summer while you are enjoying the many perks of living in Florida, don’t forget to protect your skin by applying sunscreen!

By Jennifer Duncanson

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