Sunday, June 14, 2009

Me + The Sun = No Bueno

As I look at the pictures over the last 10 years I am seeing how I have changed. I am noticing that I am getting older. I can no longer eat whatever I want, whenever I want. I am feeling aches and pains in places I have never felt them before. I am also not as adventures as I once was. But I think the most startling thing that I have noticed in these pictures is how much my skin has changed.
I have always had very fair skin and easily burned in the sun, but not easily tanned. I always wanted a deep dark tan in the summer that alot of my friends could get so easily within minutes of being at the beach. I would say for a good 5 summers, plus the time before my wedding all I wanted was a really nice tan. I would prep myself for summer by going to the tanning salon and working my way up to the longest I could stay in the bed. I honestly could never see a huge difference, other than the fact that my skin was so leathery feeling and looking. But none the less I kept tanning. The darkest I ever got was before my wedding. I went to the tanning bed every day for 2 months. That was the only time I was in my mind "dark."
Like I said before, now my skin is not nearly as healthy looking as it was when I was 17. I know that naturally our skin is going to look older, but I can't help but think of how it might ave looked had I not spent so much excessive time in the tanning beds, or in the sun unprotected.
So my goal this summer is to be real with the fact that I am never going to have that golden tan that I want and to really be careful while being in the sun. So here are some facts I found on Mayo clinic while researching the topic.

  • If you spend time outdoors during daylight hours, you need to use sunscreen even if you have darker skin pigment, tan easily and can tolerate longer periods of sun exposure without burning. Regardless of skin type, the sun's energy penetrates deeply into the skin and damages DNA of skin cells. This damage may ultimately lead to skin cancer.
  • SPF is not an indication of how much time you can spend in the sun. For example, if you use a sunscreen with an SPF 30 rather than one with an SPF 15, it doesn't mean you can stay in the sun twice as long. In reality, an SPF of 15 filters out about 93 percent of the UVB rays; SPF 30 filters about 97 percent of UVB rays. The beneficial effects of sunscreen decreases over time, so after a few hours the difference between the two may be even less.
  • Most people use sunscreen too sparingly. A liberal application is 1 ounce (29 milliliters) — the amount in a shot glass — to cover all exposed parts of the body. If you have a 4-ounce (118-milliliter) bottle, you'll be using about one-fourth of it for one application. Be sure to rub the sunscreen in well.
  • Use sunscreen frequently and liberally. Apply sunscreen liberally 30 minutes before going outdoors and reapply about every two hours. Use it even on cloudy or hazy days. UV rays can penetrate cloud cover.

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