Health & Fitness
Every Day (Yes, Every Day!) Sun Protection Tips
Sure, you slather on sunscreen when you hit the pool or the beach, but are you sufficiently protecting yourself from the sun during your day-to-day activities? If you tend to be lazy about applying SPF, check out this photo of a 69-year-old truck driver who, for 28 years, was only exposed to the sun on the left side of his face. The visual is astounding—and the perfect reminder of why we need to wear sunscreen even if the only time we spend outdoors is chauffeuring our children or walking from the subway to our offices.
Taking care of your skin now will help prevent wrinkles and possibly melanoma later in life, but engaging in photoprotective behavior—that is, protecting oneself from the skin-damaging effects of UV radiation—doesn’t have to be a burden. It also doesn’t have to be expensive! Here are some easy, inexpensive ways to protect your skin from the sun (in addition to that bottle of sunscreen you bring to the swim club).
Use a facial moisturizer with sunscreen
You are already in the habit of moisturizing your face after you wash it, so why not use a lotion that does double-duty? Some favorites: CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM with SPF 30, Olay Complete Daily Defense All Day Moisturizer with Sunscreen SPF 30 and Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer SPF 50.
Use a body lotion with sunscreen
Some people apply body lotion religiously, but I had always been a slacker when it came to keeping my arms and legs moisturized. Until recently, that is. Now I keep a bottle of sun-protecting body lotion in the shower so I can lube up while my skin is still damp. Try these: Eucerin Daily Protection SPF 15 Moisturizing Body Lotion, Johnson’s Baby Daily Face & Body Lotion SPF 40 and Vaseline Aloe Fresh Body Lotion SPF 15.
Wear a hat
Why are we so diligent about making sure our babies, toddlers and kids wear hats when they spend time outdoors yet all we wear are our designer sunglasses? My dermatologist suggests that sun-protecting hats have at least a 6-inch brim, but any size wide-based brim is better than nothing. I like: Tilley TH9 Hemp Hat, The Webster at Target Coral Stripe Hat and Eddie Bauer Stripe Straw Hat.
Add SPF to your clothing
SunGuard is a laundry aid that washes UV protection into your everyday clothing and lasts through 20 washings. A white t-shirts offers an UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) of 5, but SunGuard increases its protection level to UPF 30. Pretty amazing, right?
How conscientious are you about taking care of your skin from the sun?