Summer is the time most people think about sunscreen, but it should be all the time….whether you are in the tropics or cooler temperate environments.
A friend of mine was at a beach on an equatorial island in February and he looked like this… even though he said he applied sunscreen…
Painful eh! You think that your skin gets over it….but the damage is set and will appear later on in life when the mechanisms in the skin are unable to continue to mask it. The damage will appear for you, and all the world, to see.
And there is also the fact that you may need to deal with America’s #1 cancer – skin cancer. Maybe even have to deal with the deadliest form, Melanoma, like President Carter does? (and this is a great article in the BBC about the president’s cancer and information about melanoma).
The general rule is to stay out of the sun, and reapply your sunscreen often (even under the umbrella or sitting in the shade). If you swim, even water resistant sunscreen will give you less protection. There is no such thing as water proof sunscreen. Sunscreen can never be a sunblock…sunblock is an illegal and incorrect term because it can never block all the sun’s rays. If you sweat and wipe the sweat off, you need to reapply sunscreen, likewise if you dry yourself after swimming.
The most protection will come from inorganic sunscreens (where the active ingredients are Zinc Oxide and/or Titanium DiOxide). Any other type of active ingredient in the active ingredients list….is organic…and that is bad…because it will break down in the presence of ultra violet light from the sun. Yes, there are mineral sunscreens that don’t make you look white/pasty/chalky/ghostly. And they are not thick and greasy to wear. Check out these sunscreens. SPF is a mathematical formula and should not be relied upon as a deciding factor when choosing a sunscreen. Check out this video about sunscreen facts to make sure you know how to make sunscreen decisions.
People complain about ineffective sunscreens, as they did recently about Alba Organics, but if you comply with the suggestions in the previous 2 paragraphs, you have a much better chance of being sun safe, and reducing your potential for skin cancers.
And it is advisable to apply a multi-level antioxidant before the sunscreen. Antioxidants help defend your skin from the infra red spectrum from the sun, while mineral sunscreens help defend your skin from the ultra violet spectrum from the sun. You need to do both, not 1 or the other…
The information provided here is not meant to diagnose or cure any medical conditions. Please see your doctor or a trained medical professional should you have any concerns.