Before discussing solutions, let us talk about skin cancer. Skin cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells. It occurs when unrepaired DNA damage to skin cells (most often caused by ultraviolet radiation from sunshine or tanning beds) triggers mutations or genetic defects.
Only a few blistering sunburns in childhood can double a person’s lifetime chances of developing serious forms of skin cancer.
Sunlight is our best source of Vitamin D, which is vital for metabolism regulation, boosting our immune system, and growing strong bones. Over 1 billion people are deficient in this imperative vitamin, so avoiding the sun altogether is not an option.
So, what changes can you and your family implement to be safe from the sun this summer?
Clothing: Sun shirts and sun hats are a great option as a first line of defense. In seconds half of the body is covered and safe from burns. They also cover the most commonly burned areas: shoulders, backs, and faces.
Planning: Have you heard of Safe Sun Hours? Safe Sun Hours are before 10am and after 3pm. During these hours you will find the sun is not beaming down on you the same way it would be at noon. During these time periods our skin is also much less susceptible to sun damage.
Choose the Right Sunscreen: Nearly every conventional sunscreen is bad for you and many “green” sunscreens brands can be worse. It’s important to keep an eye on your sunscreen’s active ingredients and familiarize yourself with dangerous chemicals with apps like Think Dirty, which allows you to scan barcodes and give any and every product a grade based on levels of toxicity.