Summer is around the corner, and it is important to take proper precautions against the sun’s harmful rays. Applying sunscreen and wearing appropriate protective clothing is essential, yet there are some common mistakes people make when it comes to sun protection…
- Not applying it 365 days of the year.
Believe it or not, the sun’s rays can penetrate through clouds, glass and even water. Rain or shine your body is exposed to harmful UVA rays and UVB rays. UVA rays are longer in length, and penetrate into the deeper layers of skin. These rays are primarily responsible for damaging collagen and other structural components of your skin and contribute to wrinkles and aging. UVB rays are shorter in length, and hit the upper layers of your skin and are responsible for most sunburns. Applying a broad spectrum sunscreen ( broad spectrum meaning protection from UVA and UVB rays) every day is essential to protect yourself from sun damage.
- Not reapplying.
You remembered to apply sunscreen, but left the bottle at home. While you are out and about all day the sunscreen wears off and needs to be reapplied throughout the day. Depending on the level of physical exertion and sweating you are enduring, reapplication should occur about every 2-4 hours.
- Thinking you are exempt from sunscreen because you have an olive or dark skin tone.
Anyone can be harmed by UVA and UVB rays, no matter what your skin complexion is. It’s true that people with darker complexions do not burn AS EASILY as fairer skinned individuals because they have increased melanin levels, which is what is responsible for skin colour and acts as a natural protector from the sun. However, the skin can still suffer from sunburns and other effects of sun damage, such as wrinkles, age spots and skin cancer. Sunscreen is still a necessity.
- Thinking your self-tanner offers protection.
Seeing is not believing ! Although you may look like a bronzed goddess on the exterior, remember your skin has not seen sun all winter. The darker complexion of your skin is entirely artificial , although if you had a natural tan you should be applying sunscreen anyways. Application of sunscreen all over your body to protect from UV rays is still a necessity.
- Missing spots.
So you’ve applied sunscreen to your face, arms and legs: good to go right ? Wrong ! There are many areas of your body that are in direct exposure to UV rays but can slip your mind. Some common areas are: ears, neck, hands, and feet. Be very careful when applying sunscreen and ensure all exposed areas of your body are covered. Better to be safe than sorry !