Important Rules of Using Sunscreen Protection
One quirk of human nature is our love of three’s…and seven’s for that matter, but for remembering information the number three is very powerful. That’s why you’ll find so many lists of three’s, such as these myths of sunscreen. This time, we’re going to hit three rules that you should follow…consider them your personal sunscreen mantra.
Rule #1: Early and Often
If there was one bit of anti-aging advice that I could my younger self, it’d be to hit that sunscreen early. I didn’t learn how important it was until my mid-20′s, and that was after years of burning myself at the beach. Now that I know just how much cancer risk–and early aging–I gave myself, I’d love to correct that.
So, I don’t care if you’re reading this at 16 and still have that total youthful perfection of skin…get on the sunscreen bandwagon now! You will preserve the appearance of youth much longer, and while you won’t see benefits now, by the time you’re in your 30′s and beyond it’ll make a dramatic difference. As it is for me, I’m pushing 30 and still hear how much I look 23 to 24…which is right before I started using sunscreen. Coincidence? I doubt it.
Rule #2: Broad-spectrum all the way, all the time
For those who do use sunscreen, I’m shocked how many don’t know the importance of broad-spectrum. At this point, you have no excuse not to use the good stuff. Besides, it’s only a couple dollars more than your basic SPF 15 spray-on can.
The problem is that while all SPF-rated sunscreen protects against UVB rays–the ones that cause your skin to redden and burn–these are only the surface damagers. There are even nastier rays known as UVA’s that penetrate deeper into the skin, doing all sorts of un-fun things to your collagen and blood vessels. If you’ve ever seen someone with multiple burst vessels under his/her skin, and looking wrinkled before their time, then you’ve seen what happens when you don’t mind your UVA rays.
Rule #3: Use enough sunscreen
Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? At the same time, studies have consistently found that people way under-use their sunscreen, to the point of putting on a half-dose or less. The way protection works, this doesn’t just cut the effectiveness in half, rather it is more like cutting it to a third or less.
The growing efficiency of sunscreen is helping to offset this, as a quarter of SPF 75 is far better than a quarter of SPF30. At the same time, you’re not getting the benefits that you should if you go way below proper dosage. So, do yourself a favor and use the full one-ounce dose for your body, or the appropriate portion thereof for your face.
So, for those of you who do care about good anti-aging, follow these three rules of face sunscreen protection. You would do your older self much good in using it appropriately, as good prevention will go a tremendous distance towards maintaining your youth. Not to mention, keeping skin cancer at bay.
Rule #4: Minimal time outside between 10 A.M. and 4 P.M.
The peak of the morning and the start of the afternoon are those times when the sun rays are at their greatest intensity. Whether you remember any other rule or not, make sure to remember that these times are an absolute danger to the health of your skin, unless of course, you are protecting yourself with sunscreen.
Here's an example, if you commute an hour to work each day, you’re getting heavy exposure to UV rays as you go about your day. Getting some UV tinting on your car windows will make a dramatic difference with sun exposure damage over time.
Another factor to consider is that you can’t rely on being indoors to protect you, as the sun’s rays pass through windows and drapes. Yet another reason to stay on top of daily facial sunscreen protection!
Using sunscreen can be the determinant of your skin's health over a very long period of time. You cannot stop going outdoors and you definitely cannot hide from the sun. Preventative measures are always worthy and if you are really serious about your appearance, know that there is nothing more unpleasant than having prematurely aged skin and there is nothing more attractive than a fresh and young-looking body.
Basically, your daily habits are going to make the biggest difference in your skin's health over time. If you get used to maintaining good hygiene, taking anti-aging treatments when appropriate, using facial sunscreen, and watching your needless exposure to the sun, you can protect yourself for a long time to come.