sunblock, skin cancer, sunscreen, health, skin, crossfit

Preventing Skin Cancer With More than Sunblock

Mike Healthy Habits

Stop Leaving Yourself Exposed to Skin Damage

I had a great summer job in high school.  I was a lifeguard in the summer and cleaned pools in the winter.  It was great.  I got all the sun I wanted at the local pool for 40 hours a week and was paid to do it.  You know what I learned about being in the sun that much?  You need to have a whole lot of shade and you need to use it.  Wearing all the sunblock you want but being in the sun for too long is no bueno.  Your skin will start to show signs of damage even at a young age.  I know some fellow lifeguards that wanted to have that deep dark tan.  They ended up looking like a piece of leather.  The dark tan isn’t worth it compared to the potential long term health risks.  And make sure you’re taking a close look at your sunblock.

Sunblock Doesn’t Always Block All The Sun

UVA and UVB rays are harmful to the skin.  Not all sunscreens protect against both types and none of them work completely.  Hold on though.  Before you think I’m saying go full vampire and avoid the sun like the plague, think again.  There’s the flip side of coin – getting too little sun.  Not enough sunlight causes Seasonal Affective Disorder, a vitamin D deficiency that leads to bone density loss, and hormonal imbalances.  Like everything else, enjoy the sun and its benefits in moderation.

Preventive Measures

So let’s talk about how you can all look and feel your best while still enjoying the sun.  First, if you’re going out in the sun at all wear a hat that covers your face. Don’t forget to take care of those ears with some sunblock or a full brimmed hat.  Everyone forgets the ears. For extended periods of time in the sun wear long sleeve breathable shirts and light material pants (not jeans). Having been in the army for over a decade and forced to wear long sleeves in the sweltering heat, I can tell you that you’ll actually stay cooler. You’ll even be less susceptible to the sun’s energy zapping effects.  Just make sure those long sleeves are layered over a t-shirt so that you keep your options open.  Make sure you have access to shade and use it.  A tree, pavilion at the park, or even a good sized umbrella at the beach will do the trick.  When you’re in the car driving remember that harmful UV rays travel right through glass so think about a protective tint your car’s windows and windshield.

Back to the Sunblock

As far as sunblock goes, just follow the directions.  I get mine from Beautycounter.  They sell a great product that goes on easily without feeling greasy and is non-toxic.  The non-toxic part is what I’m really paying for with them.  Why protect your skin from the sun by covering yourself in poisonous chemicals, right?  Last but not least, you’re going to have some damaged skin cells so you can’t forget to take in plenty of antioxidants.  For more on good sources of antioxidants check out my blog on the topic of antioxidant rich food sources.

The Skin Cancer Foundation – UVA & UVB

Sometimes it’s the easiest solutions that work the best.  Nothing I’ve suggested will cost you an arm and a leg.  Just think ahead and plan to be on the safe side.  If there’s someone you know that could use this advice share it with them on Facebook or send them the link.

If you like the sunscreen I suggested, check out some more great resource ideas on my Valuable Resources Page