Neutrogena recently held a summit on the damage the sun causes to your skin. We all know that SPF is important, but did you realize that as the ozone layer continues to be depleted, the effects of the sun grow stronger and more damaging?
According to Drew Shindell, PhD, a scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, for every 20% depletion in the ozone, the risk of skin cancer goes up by 33%. So while it takes a bit of time to see that kind of reduction in the ozone, the increase in the strength of the sun's rays is noticeable with only a slight change.
Skin cancer is up dramatically and Dr. Doris Day, Clinical Associate Professor of Dermatology at the NYU Langone Medical Center, is seeing patients in their TWENTIES for sun damage. That didn't happen 15 years ago. No doubt the golden bronze trend that prevails year after year, tanning beds and a misuse of sunscreen are leading to leathery looking young adults at rates we have never seen before.
Despite the fact the fact that it is millions of miles away, the sun is responsible for 90% of visible aging. One of my cousins, Wormalox, has never had a tan in her entire life. Never. I mean never. She is as pure as the driven snow, as far as her skin tone is concerned.While we all can't go back in time and avoid the sun, it's never too late to turn things around. (Even the Tan Mom has changed her tune!)
So how can you protect yourself?
1. Do not use tanning beds. With all of the fantastic faux glows available, there is no reason to use tanning beds. Trust me, tanning beds are the biggest regret among beauty enthusiasts everywhere.
2. Wear a sunscreen every day, even if you just spend the day sitting in your house. You may not think that driving, working near windows or walking from the car to the store can leave permanent damage. It does. There is even research showing that working under bright indoor lights can affect your skin. You need to protect yourself whenever you're awake. An SPF of 30 is a great start. Neutrogena has some fantastic products that feel wonderful on your skin. The days of feeling like you are wearing a beachy sunscreen are a thing of the past. Newer formulas are lighter, long wearing, non-greasy and non-sticky. My preference? The Ultra Sheer Dry Touch SPF 30.
3. Repair the damage while catching some zzz's. Before going to bed, consider using a product that can help repair sun damage while you sleep. Neutrogena's Rapid Tone Repair Moisturizer Night (and a Day version with an SPF 30) claim to help reduce sun damage within one week of consistent use.
4. Understand that sun damage can happen even when it's not sunny. It's the not the warm rays of the sun that are damaging your skin. It's the UVA/UVB rays that are damaging your skin. This means an SPF of 30 every single day!
What is your favorite sunscreen? Tell me in the comments!