With the weather finally warming up we’re making plans to go to the beach, hike or bike a new trail or even have picnics with our friends and family. We miss the sensation of the warm rays of sunshine beaming down against our skin. And although you’re past due for a good dose of vitamin D and a good tan, too much sun can also be harmful. It’s no secret that our sun exposure has become very limited because of cancer risks and our indoor work styles, but this doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the great outdoors. We just need to do it responsibly.
· Make sure to cover up with shirts, shorts, and hats to shield your skin from the sun’s UV rays.
· Plan your time outside around the sun by going out in the morning or late afternoon when the sun is lower in the sky.
· Find shade under a tree or set up a canopy to reduce the risk of sunburns.
· Sunscreen is a must and don’t forget to reapply!
· Protect your eyes from UV radiation by wearing sunglasses no matter how fashionable they are.
Great, now with all of the options I have what sunscreen do I use? The active ingredients in sunscreens use either a chemical or mineral filter to protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays. Most sunscreens on the market contain chemical filters such as oxybenzone and homosalate. The problem with chemical sunscreens is that they can cause skin allergies, irritation, or they can even disrupt our body’s hormone system. You may have even heard that some beaches are banning chemical sunscreens because they are killing coral reefs. This really isn’t appealing for a product that you have to reapply often for it to be effective. Research is ongoing to see what the long-term effects of these chemical sunscreens could be. On the other hand sunscreens with mineral filters such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide don’t have the risk of skin irritation or health issues. They protect your skin just by sitting on it without having to penetrate it. There are several different brands but one we carry is Keys Solar Rx.