Facts You Need to Know from the Neutrogena Sun Summit

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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.

(This is a photo of my cousin, who has never had a tan, let alone a burn. Some redness and minimal freckling from walking outside, but no real lines or damage. She's in her early 30's! Mascara, lip gloss and an SPF is all she's sporting here. I'm so jealous!)

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!)

(Some of my personal favorites!)

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!

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  1. I am still looking for my Holy Grail Sunscreen...as a pale redhead of Northern European descent, I wear sunscreen every day...and have for years. I prefer physical sunblocks and finding one with enough SPF and no white cast is darned near impossible! Right now I'm using LRP Anthelios Mineral, but it does leave a white cast...which fortunately I can cover with a bit of bb cream... but someday my "Prince" (of sunscreens) will come along...

  2. Last summer I discovered Neutrogena's UltraSheer sunscreen in SPF 55 and I love it! I'm not convinced that SPF 55 provides anymore protection than SPF 30, but I figure it can't hurt. I'm Native American and in as little as one afternoon in the sun, I'm considerably tan. which I hope is good news for me, in the long run.

  3. Thank you for an informative post! I agree on what you've said that our ozone layer keeps on depleting. We must be more careful with our skin and also with our health to prevent such diseases. I usually wear sunscreen all the time, and before I go to sleep I make it to a point that I apply a moisturizer first to make my skin healthier and younger.


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