Don’t Feel the Burn!

Sydney K. '19, Writer

We all know that applying sunscreen is a good idea, especially if you plan on spending a lot of time in the sun. Exposure to the sun is actually the best way for our bodies to get Vitamin D, which helps our bodies absorb calcium for stronger, healthier bones. It doesn’t take a long period of time in the sun for most people to get the proper amount of Vitamin D that they need. However, repeated unprotected exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause serious and permanent damage to your skin. Research suggests that approximately 90% of melanoma, or skin cancer, cases can be linked to overexposure to the sun. That is why it is so important that you start using sunscreen very early in life and continue to do so throughout adulthood. So, how can you prevent yourself from possibly developing skin cancer or other horrible skin disorders? Wearing sunscreen protection and limiting your exposure to the sun might just be the keys to eliminating your chances. Freshman Christa Mumley has a different opinion. “I wear sunscreen partially because my mom forces me to do so. Yes, I do believe it helps protect your skin, but not as efficient as one thinks,” Mumley stated. It’s important to remember that even after applying a sufficient amount of sunscreen before heading outdoors, you may still need to reapply more later, especially on young children. If you’re not already in the habit of wearing sunscreen on a daily basis, here are some tips for you to consider and to hopefully make part of your daily routine.

  1. Sunscreen protects every skin type.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that everyone wear sunscreen daily for the safety of their skin, no matter what the complexion of their skin is. Even people with darker skin are vulnerable to the dangers of the sun.

  1. Aging is really years of sun damage to the skin.

Wearing sunscreen daily and limiting your exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays can save your skin from years of visible damage later.

  1. There is a wider variety of choices and better application methods than ever.

There are many chemical sunscreens available that interact with your skin’s surface to provide hours of protection. You can spray it on, rub it in or smooth it over your skin with a rolling applicator.

  1. The sun is always dangerous, even when it’s not sunny out!

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that it’s okay not to use sunscreen on overcast days or for short periods in the sun. UV light can still penetrate clouds with ease, so you need protection even on those cloudy days.

  1. Sun damage is cumulative over time.

There’s no such thing as gradually building up to a safe tan. Every exposure contributes to possible damage.

In the end, although you may not think sunscreen is necessary, it’s sure to lower the risks of extreme sunburn. Remember, save your skin for tomorrow by wearing your sunscreen today!