Protect Your Skin
Going outdoors for a walk, run, bike ride, or picnic is a great and healthy way to spend your time. However, too much time in the sun can cause a variety of issues, and not just for those of us with very pale skin. While lighter skin may make it easier to spot a sunburn, everyone can suffer from problems if they receive too much exposure to the sun.
Plan for the Long Term
Some people burn very easily when outdoors. Half an hour outside and you might be bright red and in pain. However, if this is you, then you probably are already very aware of your need for protection. Unfortunately, the rest of us may not be thinking about it quite so much. But wearing sunscreen and bringing a hat can make a dramatic difference over a long period of time. Harmful solar rays can damage your DNA, and you might not see the results for decades.
Daily application of sunscreen can cause huge differences in how your skin ages. While you won’t notice day to day, the skin of someone who has applied daily sunscreen for 20 years will look markedly different than the skin of someone who has gone without. Studies have shown that some signs of aging such as wrinkles will show up later and less frequently on those who apply a daily coating of sunscreen. Additionally, it can prevent your skin from developing blotches or red spots. Remember to use a wide spectrum sunscreen that will block both UVA and UVB rays from the sun. UVA rays, which cause aging, can pass through things like windows or clouds, and will not leave a sunburn, but will slowly damage your skin.
Lower Your Risk of Cancer
Aside from cosmetic effects, sunscreen will greatly decrease your risk of developing certain health problems. Skin Cancer is an expensive, painful, and unfortunately all too common malady nowadays. The good news though, is that it is mostly preventable. The FDA recommends that you wear a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, which will block 97% of harmful rays. Wearing a higher SPF will protect against more, but there is no evidence that an SPF higher than 60 will give any real benefit. Remember to apply every two hours when in the sun, and that a higher SPF will not last longer. Wearing sunscreen is such a simple step that everyone can take to improve their chances of maintaining a high quality of life as long as possible.