Tag Archives: Sunglasses

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You’re Missing The Mark With Your Sunscreen

You may have seen the “epic sunscreen fails” on social media. Those are those pictures of the suntans that start below the shorts, the weird patterns across the back, the white marks left from the brim of a hat on an otherwise red face. Why is it that we’re so bad at applying sun screen? Is it some ancient art that humans are not capable of mastering? Bad sunscreen application can be amusing, but it can also be dangerous. After all, we are using it to protect ourselves. If you find yourself among the sunscreen application impaired, here are a few areas you want to keep in mind the next time you find yourself charged with slathering on the SPF.

Skin Around Eyes and Eyelids
The skin around the eyes in the thinnest and most delicate on the body and eyelid cancer accounts for 5-10% of all skin cancer. According to Dr. Anjali Mahto, spokesperson for the British Skin Foundation, “Sunglasses are your best defense. Choose quality glasses that protect against both UVA and UVB rays and cover as much of the eye area as possible.” She adds that no malignant skin cancers are quite common, and surgery for their removal can be disfiguring. If the thought of sunscreen getting into your eyes is unattractive, you must sport your sunnies.

Parts
The scalp is another target for skin cancer, and cancer can often go undetected there because it’s a spot that is so hard to monitor. Dr. Mahto says,” Men with thinning hair should wear a hat and make sure sunscreen is applied to the hairline.” Pigtail and braid wearers should also be wary. If you have a severe part in your hair, your scalp will be vulnerable.

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Tips and Behind Ears
Dr. Mahto calls these high-risk areas and reports them as a common site for freckling. Says she, “(Freckling) is more common in men than in women, but everyone should be vigilant. The ears are the third most common place on the body to develop basal cell carcinomas.”

Tops of Hands and Backs of Feet
Many of us already have a horror of aging hands, and the sun will not be much help in this department. With hands, you’re not only at risk for wrinkles and dehydration but an increased risk for age spots. Be kind to your feet, as well. Remember that they haven’t seen the sun all year and are likely to be more prone to a bad burn when exposed.

The Decolletage
Another area of aging concern, the décolletage is often a target for overexposure (to the sun, that is). Dr. Mahto gives specific directions for this part of the body. “The easiest way to ensure this area is properly protected is to apply your sun cream before you get dressed,” she says. “That way you don’t have to work around bra or bikini straps. This is a part of the body that gets full exposure all summer, so use a high SPF regularly.”

Word to the wise….
If exercise or a hobby means that you are spending a lot of time outdoors, Dr. Mahto advises, “The legs are the most common site for melanoma in women, so don’t forget your SPF before you go for your run.” If sweating under your sunscreen is an issue, choose a lightweight formula that doesn’t block pores.

Are you among the sunscreen application challenged? If so, let us know the spots we’re likely to miss!

Are You Forgetting Something?

Your summer checklist probably includes a few barbecues, maybe a pool party, and a juicy beach read. It’s easy for us to remember all the fun parts of summer but below are a few things to remember when heading out for your summer fun.

Woman applying hair conditioner

Hair
We don’t often think of our hair when thinking about sun care, but prolonged exposure to the sun can lead to dry, brittle strands. Plus, color-treated hair will fade much more quickly when not properly protected. There are several products on the market these days just for hair. Look for the words “UV protection” on the bottle and shop online or check out a beauty supply store for a wider selection.

Scalp Protection
You’ve likely had a sunburn on your scalp before, so you already know how painful it can be, but it’s also important to remember that skin cancer can form anywhere on our bodies, including the scalp. Sunscreens in a spray application are ideal for reaching the scalp since they aren’t greasy like lotion formulas; however, there are also powder sunscreens you can try if your hair already tends to be oily. You can also top off your look with a hat; just make sure to keep it on while you’re in the sun!

Woman wearing sunglasses

Eyes
Some of us never leave the house without sunglasses, but for those of you who are forgetting your sunnies at home, take note! The sun is bad news for eyes. Squinting, dryness, and age spots all contribute to premature aging around the eyes and repeated exposure to the sun raises your risk of eye diseases, including cancer, cataracts, and macular degeneration. Look for sunglasses that cover as much of the eye area as possible and block 99 percent or more of both UVA and UVB rays.

Ears
Did you know that your ears are the third most likely place for skin cancer to appear? When you’re applying sunscreen to your face and body, make sure to get your ears covered. Most sunscreens need to be reapplied every two hours, and you’ll want to make sure you cover your ears again at that time.

Woman applying lip balm

Lips
Parched, sunburned lips can be a thing of the past if you keep your lips protected from the sun. Keep a lip balm with you at all times that has an SPF of at least 15 and reapply often. Make sure you avoid sparkly or shiny glosses since the reflective nature of those formulas only attracts more sun to your lips.

After-Sun Care
What you do after you’re out in the sun can be just as important as what you do before. Soothing aloe vera gel or after-sun lotions can help your skin stay hydrated and promote quicker healing of burns. You can easily grow your own aloe vera plant indoors and use the gel directly from the plant!
Woman drinking water

Hydrate
You’re already drinking your eight glasses a day, and that’s great, but in warmer weather, we lose more water through perspiration and sheer exertion. Make sure you’re sipping water throughout the day and keep plenty of water-rich foods, such as watermelon, grapes, and berries around to snack on.

The summer months don’t have to leave us dried out and burnt. Keep your skin glowing and your health intact by making sure you remember these tips!