I’ll admit it—for years I never wore any type of sun protection on a daily basis. Sure, when I went to the beach or a backyard barbeque, I’d slather on some serious sunblock, but on regular work days? Never.
These days, I’m taking my skin a lot more seriously. Every morning, I apply an SPF of 17 or 30 to my face, neck, and décolleté (that’s a fancy word for the lower neck/shoulder area). Because I’m driving to work every day, I will even sometimes apply the higher SPF on my left shoulder and neck. For those of you with a long driving commute, remember that the sun’s rays are stronger through glass. (If you don’t believe me, check out this image.)
Another confession: for the past month, there has been a slight variation in the colors of my arms. In other words, people have actually asked me ‘why is your left arm so much darker than your right?’
And here’s the thing: I don’t want any of my skin changing color in the summertime or in any other season for that matter. As lovely as a nice tan can be, it’s the end result of an extremely destructive process. When the sun’s rays penetrate the skin, the body protects itself from DNA damage by producing melanin (pigment). Altered DNA is the culprit behind skin cancer. Not convincing enough? How’s this: Eighty to 85% of aging is caused by the sun.
Have you ever noticed that you look a little older during the summer? Wrinkles and discoloration are magnified when you get a real tan. However, there’s no reason to be super-pale if you don’t want to be. Personally, I’ve been having a lot of success with self-tanner this summer. The best part about using self-tanner is that you get to experience the glow and you get to remain young and fresh-looking.
What are you doing to protect your skin every day?