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wrinkles
uva and uvb rays
uva and uvb
allergic to the sun
skin cancer
ultraviolet rays
permanent damage
health and fitness
Sunscreen-avoiding Wrinkles
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Sunscreen-avoiding Wrinkles

I started my anti-aging crusade at a young age. When I was twelve I developed an interest in health and fitness and I devoured all books on vitamins, supplements and holistic- type nutrition. As a teen the spotlight naturally turned to boys and how to get their interest so I expanded my studies to include cosmetics and beauty-oriented skin care.

For extra cash needed to buy nice clothes and other teen necessities, I decided to work at the local car wash. After a few weeks I got an ugly rash on my arms and face. My nose was crusted over with horrible sunburn. Initially I thought I was sensitive to the products we used to wash the cars but I went to the doctor only to discover I was allergic to the sun! I had never heard of such a thing. How can you be allergic to the sun when it’s such a vital part of our lives? When I was in school I remember girls having contests to see who could get the deepest tan. To my dismay, I would not be part of any tanning competition.

The doctor gave me a healing cream and told me to start wearing sunscreen and protective hats and clothing as well. Back then sunscreen wasn’t a popular product. You’d be hard-pressed to find it in stores. I actually had to send away for a bottle. But I was always one to follow instructions so from 16 on I began wearing sunscreen daily. I realized that the ultraviolet rays from the sun can cause wrinkling and permanent damage to my skin. I no longer envied my sun-baked friends.

Wearing sunscreen is not just a cosmetic necessity. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Scary stuff! According to a study cited by the American Cancer Foundation, using sunscreen reduces melanoma, (the deadliest form of skin cancer), by half.

I usually wear SPF 15 in the winter and switch to SPF 30 or over for the remainder of the year. You want one that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. UVA causes the long-term damage like wrinkling and a leathery appearance while UVB cause sunburn. I remember the difference because UVA causes aging while UVB causes burning. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. It’s the amount of protection a sunscreen will provide. Don’t be stingy with your sunscreen. Most people don’t use enough. I slather it on and reapply if I dip in the pool or exercise strenuously. There are some water-resistant types that are great if you do a lot of physical activity. Don’t forget to wear a hot on sunny days because sunscreen alone won’t block all the sun’s rays.

The old saying “the proof is in the pudding” was made evident for me after I met two 40-year-old identical twin brothers. One brother was an investment banker and the other a construction worker. The one who worked outdoors looked at least ten years older than his office- worker brother. I was amazed! I wanted to pull out my LED red light therapy machine and give him a treatment on the spot!

Now that I’m over 50 I can say that using sunscreen has made a huge difference. I get a lot of compliments on my skin. Unfortunately sun damage is cumulative so the harm you did to your skin in your youth will start showing on your skin as you age. I’ve noticed that my skin has more freckles and brown spots on my left side and realized it’s due to the sun hitting my skin when I drive in the car. I’ve invested in an inexpensive press-on window screen to block the sun’s rays while driving.

If you already have sun damage using tools like red light therapy will help repair the wrinkling and damage already present. I've noticed a difference in my own skin and will continue to use anything and everything to help with the aging battle.


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