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We all know how important it is to protect your skin from the harsh rays of the sun, but many of the “rules” have changed. Keep your skin healthy by updating your habits with the new “rules” of sun safety.
1. Antioxidant rich moisturizer. Continue to wear a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 (minimum) daily but also include a moisturizer that contains antioxidants. Sun exposure damages your skin cells and also generates free radicals that attack and break down your collagen and elastin fibers. Antioxidants such as vitamin C, green tea, acai, or idebenone prevent free radicals from attacking as well as boost your level of protection.
2. If you are going to protect your skin with a cover-up wear dark colors and tightly woven fabrics at peak hours. Fabrics have a UPF rating that measures their level of UV protection; darker colors have a higher UPF. A plain white tee shirt has a UPF of under 10. You can add UV protection to your clothes with a product called SunGuard Sun Protection, a clear dye you can add to your laundry for a UPF of 30 that will last through 20 washes.
3. Layer sunscreen on commonly missed areas such as your neck, chest, and the backs of your hands. When you’re driving, your neck, chest area, and the backs of hands are directly exposed to the sun because of the angle of the windshield which offers absolutely no sun protection. Make sure you put sunscreen on any area of your body that will be exposed to the sun.
4. Vitamin D supplements. It has been said that you should get 15-20 minutes of unprotected sun exposure in order to get your vitamin D. However, doctors are now suggesting that supplements are the safest way to get your vitamin D. Any exposure to the sun damages skin cells and puts you at risk for skin cancer.
5. Never go tanning – outdoors or indoors. Using a tanning bed actually increases your risk for melanoma by 75% according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Unfortunately, the tan fades but the damage to your skin cells does not. Did you know that 90% of the signs of aging, such as wrinkles and age spots, are caused from UV exposure? The safest tan is one you get from a bottle. Self tanners give you a beautiful bronzed look without the risk of skin cancer or wrinkles.