March 15, 2013
Mary Schmich, writing for the Chicago Tribune once wrote “Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young”. That speech included this golden nugget of an advice: “Wear sunscreen”.
In this day and age when the sun is becoming more and more intense due to the changes in our atmosphere, this advice should be heeded. Studies have shown that the damage caused by the sun is the leading cause of skin cancer. The sun also causes premature aging of the skin. Also, the effects of over-exposure to UV rays are cumulative.
The good thing for people around the world is that a wide variety of sunscreen products are readily available. This abundance of choices means that the buyer has to make sure that he or she is getting the best value for his or her money.
It is also strongly recommended to learn about the sun protection factor of sunscreens or SPF. SPF is the measure of how effective the sunscreen is in protecting the skin from ultraviolet radiation. Contrary to what most people believe, SPF does not determine how many hours you can stay in the sun and be protected from its damaging rays.
In fact, there are a lot of things to consider in choosing which sunscreen to use. One should understand that the more important thing to consider is not how long one would be under the sun but how intense the sun’s rays would be when they are out and about. In the early morning and late afternoon, the sun’s radiation would spend a longer time passing through our atmosphere before it reaches us compared to the time it would take that radiation to reach us during high noon.
There are also different types of sunscreens. Buyers should be familiar with these. There are “broad spectrum” sunscreens which are formulated to shield your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. If you are expecting to get wet during your activity under the heat of the sun, you should go for waterproof sunscreens which do not wash off easily. If you sweat a lot, these sunscreens would also be great choices for you.
Going out and having fun especially during these summer months does not have to be damaging for your skin. Protect your skin and enjoy the summer!