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Doctor's Orders: Wear Your Sunscreen

When it's hot outside, two things happen: we spend more time in the great outdoors, and we wear less clothing. This means our skin is exposed to the sun's rays, and let me tell you, those rays ain't messing around. Actually, I shouldn't tell you- an actual Medical Doctor should tell you. Enter Dr. Keith Burk, one of eVitality's medical minds. Here's what the Doc has to say about the importance of wearing SPF:


You can't iron out these wrinkles:

  • Sun exposure=free radical damage.
  • Free radical damage=photoageing.
  • Photoageing= damaged cell structure.
  • Damaged cell structure=visible aging.


From Dr. Burk: "It can take up to 12 hours for the effects of sun exposure to be visible. What might start as a bit of pink skin can become a bad burn overnight. This skin damage has long term effects."

Sun damage causes skin aging
Scary, but true:
Dr. Burk tells us, "If you get a sunburn, your cells are irreversibly damaged, and they enter a process called apoptosis, which is an intentional death of those cells. This is your body's way of removing cells with damaged genetic material. But if any of those cells don't successfully undergo apoptosis, they then have a high probability of becoming malignant or cancerous." Yikes! So each time we get a sunburn, we are giving our cells more opportunity to have to go through apoptosis (or not...).

Wear sunscreen when outdoors
Less is not more:
Dr. Burk says that many people believe that the higher SPF they use, the less they need to apply. Not so, my friends! "The SPF number on a sunscreen indicates how well it will protect against UVB rays. If your skin normally burns in 10 minutes in full sun, an SPF 30 will extend that by 30 times," says the doctor. (That's 10x30=300 minutes, or 5 hours of protection). "You still must apply your sunscreen thoroughly and evenly for it to be effective, reapplying after swimming, sweating, or any time it might have been rubbed off."

Sunglasses are sunscreen too!

I wear my sunglasses at night in the sun:
What about sunscreen that isn't in a cream format? A different type of sun protection would be your sunglasses (aka your shades/sunnies/peeper protectors). Yes, they make it easier for us to see when it's sunny outside, but they also protect from sun damage. Says the Doc, "make sure your sunglasses have UVA and UVB protection, as sun damage can cause cataracts and vision loss as you age."

See more 3 Top Tips posts >

June 30, 2016 by An eVitality Staffer

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