ORLANDO, Fla. – The Florida summer sun is harsh. Everyone knows to wear sunscreen at the beach to avoid awkward tans and painful peeling but are you taking action to protect your skin every day?
Ultraviolet, or UV, rays from sunlight can cause premature aging of the skin, dark spots and cancer. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and despite popular belief, everyone is susceptible to it.
Whether you’re going for a jog or running some errands, it’s crucial to take actions to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
Here are five ways to protect your body from the sun on a daily basis:
Apply sunscreen daily
Sunscreen shouldn’t be reserved for only days spent by the beach or pool. In fact, you should actually be wearing sunscreen every day that you go outdoors, even if it’s cloudy. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends broad-spectrum and water-resistant sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher. Make sure to apply enough to cover all exposed skin and reapply every two hours.
Wear SPF-infused makeup
Many beauty products nowadays include SPF, making it even easier to protect yourself on the daily while looking good. Both big-name and drugstore brands are incorporating SPF into their products as consumers are becoming more educated about the dangers of UV rays. Do some research before buying your next bottle of foundation, concealer or primer.
Cover up with clothes
Summer may be the season of shorts and tank tops, but protective clothes are a good way to block harmful rays. Put on a hat, sunglasses or lightweight jacket before leaving the house. Pay attention to the fabrics you wear -- tightly woven fabrics like denim are the most successful at keeping out radiation. Go for dark or bright colors, like red or black, because they absorb more solar UV radiation than lighter shades.
Avoid indoor tanning
The horror stories about the havoc indoor tanning can wreak on your body may seem exaggerated, but they’re not. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun and artificial sources, like tanning beds and sun lamps, has been declared to be a known carcinogen, or cancer-causing substance, by the United States Department of Health and Human Services and the World Health Organization's International Agency of Research on Cancer panel.
Using indoor tanning beds before age 35 can increase your risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, by 59 percent. Many people who use tanning beds religiously develop a dependence on it that can turn deadly. Don’t risk it -- stay away from artificial tanning.
Click here for more statistics and facts about skin protection and skin cancer prevention.