ultraviolet rays = ultra serious stuff

Ahhh sunshine. We love the way it feels, we love that summer glow, and we love what basking in the sun means: relaxation.

But the results of this pastime are not always so serene. In fact, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays are the #1 cause of skin aging, skin discoloration, and skin cancer.

Think you’re too young to worry about the sun and its invisible UV rays? That may not be the case. UV-induced skin issues are serious among young adults, and melanoma is the most common form of cancer found on 25 to 29-year-olds. Not yet a young adult? You will be one day, and you’ll have collected all that UV damage in the meantime.

You can help minimize the risks of UV-induced assaults with these top tips:

• Don’t tan. Just don’t. Not in the sun, not in a tanning bed.
• Wear SPF every day, even on cloudy or rainy days. UV rays are the culprits behind the damage (not the sun), and UV rays are always there, no matter the weather conditions.
• Reapply, reapply, reapply! Sunscreen doesn’t last all day, and a good touch up every two hours is ideal for maximum safety.
• A whole tablespoon of SPF is needed for your face. For your body, use at least a full ounce.
• Exfoliation can increase your sensitivity to the sun by as little as 13% and as much as 50%, making SPF after exfoliation a must.
• Throw on a wide-brimmed hat or wear a baseball cap and sunglasses to shield your face, especially between 10 am and 4 pm.
• Keep track of moles and quickly report any changes to your dermatologist, who should give your skin a scan once a year.

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