Summer Concerns: Protecting Your Skin from Harmful UV Rays

We all love getting tan because it’s a relaxing activity and the result is desirable. But, did you know that the skin becomes a darker tan color as a result of a natural defense system against the sun’s harmful UV rays? This means that every time you relish in your golden-brown victory, the UV radiation has further damaged the lower layer of skin, called dermis, which causes the feared visible aging and eventually skin cancer.

Tanning beds are not immune to these side-effects and are possibly more dangerous. Glowing bronze-toned skin is a fashion trend, and most people tan simply to make their fashion statement. But, when they tan in access, they are doing far more harm than good and they’re doing it younger and younger. The younger people start tanning regularly, outdoor or indoor, the more likely they are to prematurely age and ultimately get skin cancer (which can eventually lead to death).

There are several ways you can protect your skin against the harmful rays of the sun. The obvious one is to wear sunscreen consistently when you are having a day of fun-in-the-sun. When it comes to sunscreen it’s not a one-and-done, you need to apply it steadily throughout the time you are outdoors. Simply staying more in the shade can protect your skin. Eating the right foods can build up your skin’s defense system with the appropriate antioxidants. Something else we may not think of when we hear “skin protection” is our head. Especially girls with our full head of crowning-glory, we often neglect this area when lathering on the sunscreen, but that doesn’t mean the UV rays aren’t beating down on our heads all-the-same.

Wearing a hat is not only a protection from the damaging UV rays, but it is also preventing conditions such as heat stroke (and a wide brim shades your face, ears and the back of your neck as a bonus). It’s not difficult, it just requires a moment more of forethought before going out and having your fun-in-the-sun. Dermatologists recommend proper skin care, not only unwanted aging, but also a lot of frustration and pain with the ultimate consequence: skin cancer. Is the color of your skin more important than your health?