Written after getting the p’geezus scared out of me from reading the Center for Disease Control’s “Sun Safety” article found on Travel & Leisure’s weekly blog.
Here’s what you need to know…
Sun’s damage happens as quickly as within 15 minutes in the sun, so do something to protect yourself:
Shade – sunscreen, protective clothing; stay out of the sun between the hours of 10am – 4pm.
Clothing – We have come a long way in the UV protective clothing market. Regular t-shirts just don’t cut it anymore (SPF around 7, but drops to SPF 3 when wet). Get yourself a long-sleeved UV protective shirt and pants: they are amazingly cool (looks and breathability) and you don’t have to worry about whether you got your sunscreen applied to every hard-to-reach place.
Hat - A hat with a brim that covers your face, ears and the back of your neck. Your baseball hat still requires that you take care of ears and neck.
Sunglasses - Who needs cataracts? Nothing tells your age quicker that the delicate skin around your eyes, so protect it with some cool looking shades. Most sunglasses sold in the US today protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Wraparound sunglasses are the best design.
Sunscreen – At a minimum, use broad spectrum SPF 15 before you head outside, even on cloudy days. I am talking about a thick layer on all exposed skin (hands, arms, legs – not just face, ears and neck). You have got to block those harmful UV rays at all times and you must reapply sunscreen every two hours to ensure adequate sun protection.
A word to our men – You have got to step up your game, especially you men with lighter skin who are more likely than anyone else to get skin cancer. Why? Men are more likely to get more sun exposure than women. Men spend more time outdoors and tend to work outdoors more than women. Women’s cosmetics often contain sunscreen, men’s don’t.
NOTE: One third of the US adults get sunburned each year, which increases the risk for skin cancer. Only 14% of men use sunscreen on their face or other exposed skin. Come on guys and just do it for the ladies.
Avoid indoor tanning - This should just go without saying. We can always spot you in a crowd by that weirdly unnatural color and over time, by your “pebbled leather” appearance. Just drop that routine and save your money, folks.
A final statistic worth sharing: The rate of new melanomas of the skin, per 100k people, show that men have 28.4% rate of cancer; women have 17.7% rate and whites have 25.2% rate, followed by every other ethnicity with rates in the low single digits. Yep, we have got to defend ourselves
No more excuses, my friends, you can do this. You will see me at the Double-Double Regatta, SPF 50 to 70 on any skin showing, SPF 50 long sleeved hoodie, hat and glamorous sunglasses. I will be styling like I know how to take care of myself -- a look that is always in fashion.
Time to sign off for this week. 'Til I see you again, be good to each other.
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