Did you know it takes just five sunburns in your lifetime to dramatically increase your risk for melanoma?
That’s right—just FIVE and your chances of getting skin cancer skyrockets.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, but it’s also very preventable.
You probably already know the basics of prevention: cover up, stay in the shade, and wear sunscreen. Unfortunately, most sunscreens found at your local store are filled with harmful chemicals, fillers and ingredients you shouldn’t put on your skin.
So, if you want to enjoy the sun, but you don’t want to shun it completely, how do you make healthier choices?
Here are five healthier ways to avoid a sunburn.
1. Choose a Mineral Sunscreen
Mineral sunscreens utilize more natural ingredients like zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide, according to the EWG. These ingredients do not mimic or disrupt hormones or cause the harmful internal results of typical chemical ingredients in mass-produced sunscreens.
2. Watch For Dangerous Ingredients
Not able to find a mineral sunscreen? There are six dangerous ingredients you should avoid as you scan the label of a sunscreen bottle.
The research organization, EWG, points out that many sunscreens contain these chemical filters to protect the skin and maintain stability in sunlight.
Unfortunately, these ingredients can “mimic (and disrupt) hormones or cause skin all allergies, which raises important questions about unintended effects on human health…” according to EWG.
The moral of the story? What goes on your skin goes in your skin. And the results are not always good. Avoid those chemicals at all costs.
3. Aim for SPF30 or More
SPF – or “Sun Protection Factor” – is a measure of a sunscreen’s ability to prevent UVB (“burning” rays) from damaging the skin, according to SkinCancer.org. So, what does the number next to “SPF” mean? Basically, “If it takes 20 minutes for your unprotected skin to start turning red, using an SPF 15 sunscreen theoretically prevents reddening 15 times longer — about five hours,” explains SkinCancer.org. UVA rays are further damaging (think UVA = “Aging” rays), but their results aren’t as obvious.
4. Re-Apply Your Sunscreen Every Two Hours
If you follow the guidelines of SPF, no sunscreen can protect longer than two hours. Reapplying your mineral sunscreen is critical for maintaining healthy coverage while you’re enjoying extended fun in the sun. If you need to, set a timer to remind you and your family to reapply!
5. Say “YES” to Shades
Sunglasses can be awkward when you’re on the beach or by the pool (maybe you even worry about tan lines?). But, the skin next to your eyes is incredibly delicate and extremely prone to sun damage. Tip: If you want to avoid the potential aging lines around your eyes, protect them from UVA (“Aging”) rays. They’ll also keep you from squinting and encouraging the fine lines.
And, don’t forget. Even if you’re not planning to lounge in the sun, applying a mineral sunscreen before you start your day will also protect your skin while you drive in the car (yep—the rays get through your window, too!), walk around on a cloudy day (those rays still break through!), or take your kids to the park under a shaded play structure. Make protection a priority no matter what time of year and no matter where you’re off to.
Brought to you by Simply Beautiful ~ A Willing Beauty Team
Mandy Gaskill, Founding Beauty Advisor