I see a lot of pages posting reminders to get outside in the sun and get a tan. Whilst there are many benefits of getting vitamin D like stronger bones and teeth and making you happy, I think it is also REALLY important to remind people about skin safety in the sun. Is trying to achieve that amazing tan really worth risking your skin? I suppose it is kind of like losing weight. Is being “thin” really worth a crazy detox, when you are damaging your body in the process? Losing weight is best done in a healthy way and the same goes for being out in the sun. I have a lot of moles. Like A LOT (over 300) and I am actually having a couple of suspicious moles removed in the coming weeks, so I am all about looking after my skin in the sun.
I am always posting of ways you can look after the inside of your body, by eating well and working out, but the outside of your body is important too. I have been very careless in the past by not putting on sunscreen and not covering up and I wish someone had reminded me of all of these things. So, here are some tips on skin care this summer:
1) Use sunscreen. This is possibly one of the most important ones, and it should not be skipped. It should be at least SPF 15 (I wear a lot higher) and should be reapplied every hour, or more often if you are swimming or sweating. Even if it is cloudy, if you are outside, put that cream on. The added bonus is, you will smell nice and coconutty
2) Avoid the hottest part of the day. If you are going to sit out in the sun, make sure you avoid sitting out between 10am and 4pm and use that time to sit in the shade. Research shows that afternoon sun exposure is five times more likely to lead to skin cancer. Also, a blistering sunburn when you are under the age of 20 can double your chances of developing malignant melanoma.
3) Cover up. A hat is really important. I have lost count of the amount of times I have burnt my head – it hurts. A lot. Put a t-shirt on and keep those shoulders covered – they burn easily. Wear some sunglasses too.
4) Check your moles at least once a month and look out for spots that don’t heal too. With moles, you should follow the ABCDE rule. A= Asymmetry. Look to see if both sides of the mole are the same. B= Boarder. Is it raised? C= Colour. Is the colour even? Has it changed colour? D= Diameter. Check to see if it changes in size. Anything bigger that the end of a pencil should definitely be checked out. E= Evolving. Does it itch or hurt? If any of these are happening, get your doctor to check them out.
5) Avoid sunbeds. I am sure you don’t need to be reminded of this. Not only does it increase your chances of developing melanoma, research has some that it can be as addictive as hardcore drugs.
6) Drink lots of water to stop you from overheating and keep your skin fresh and hydrated.
7) Sun can still come through windows, so follow these tips even when you are driving too.
These may seem obvious, but it is so easy to forget. The weather is good, you are out enjoying yourself, and the last thing you want to do is worry about reapplying cream and wearing a wide brimmed hat. But it could just be the most important thing you do. Don’t risk it. You can still stay safe and enjoy the nice weather too – I certainly will be, just under a nice shady spot