Cloudy with an Ounce of Sunscreen: Why You Should Apply Sunblock All Year Round

Protection of the skin through use of a beach ...

October may seem like an odd time for a blog about sunscreen, but sunscreen is my personal passion. It is what I’m known for by my friends. I always say sunscreen is the cheapest skin care there is.

Recently my father had a battle with basal cell carcinoma. He is an HVAC man, and for forty years he worked outdoors on the high rooftops of commercial buildings in Los Angeles, repairing air conditioning units. Never once did he think about sunscreen or skin cancer. One day last year, he noticed a small pimple-like bump on the side of his nose. He picked at and it sort of went away. But not really, it started growing back and got bigger and bigger. My mom and I begged him to get it checked out, which he did. The diagnosis came back as basal cell carcinoma. After some facial reconstructive surgery he looks just like himself again. To our relief he now wears sunscreen every single day.

UVA (ultraviolet rays) can damage cells and lead to melanoma. UV rays are determined little you-know-whats, and can penetrate through glass (i.e., your car, or office), smog, and clouds. So even if it looks like a cloudy day, the sun’s rays are still out there doing their job. Don’t wait for a day at the beach next summer to apply sunscreen, do it everyday and protect yourself from skin cancer.

  • Look for sunscreen that says “broad spectrum” or that covers UVA/UVB
  • Apply sunscreen indoors, and at least thirty minutes before going outside
  • For waterproof sunscreens reapply after 90-minutes
  •  Use a minimum SPF 15
  • Look for these ingredients in your sunscreen: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, avobenzone

I personally use Neutrogena brand SPF 90 with Helioplex (a combination of avobenzone and oxybenzone) and Coppertone Nutra Shield SPF 70 (it also has a combination of avobenzone and oxybenzone). Although experts say over SPF 50 it just gets silly, but I take all I can get!

Another benefit of using sunscreen as a daily part of your skin care regime is staving off photo-aging. That is the sun’s version of chronological aging. Aside from my daily walk outdoors(I always wear sunscreen and a hat), I avoid the sun like the plague!

If you want to prevent skin cancer and photo-aging then stock up on sunscreen now and apply it liberally every day.

That’s what I’ve got to say. What do you do to prevent premature aging and skin cancer?



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