General Health Friday July 24, 2015

Stop Making Excuses! Put Some Sunscreen On

Expensive research tells us that the sun's rays can cause cancer, so we should wear sunscreen in the same way that we wear our clothes every day. So what's stopping us? We may as well admit it's laziness, vanity or both, and that we're all guilty of it. Here are some of the reasons you ought to slap on the factor 50.

1. Tanning is a sign that your skin is under attack. The darker pigmentation is your skin's only line of defence. If you have a tan, it's burned and damaged skin you're showing off.

2. If you have a tan, it's not going to stop you from burning. A dark tan gives you a baseline protection of about 2-4 SPF. You need at least factor 15 to prevent damage. Going on a sunbed before exposing your paleness in Shagaluf will not stop skin damage or cancer.

3. There's no point spending £££ on expensive moisturiser if you are just going to let the sun ruin your skin. Most wrinkles are caused by sun damage. Trying to reverse the process is pointless, so prevent them in the first place with a high SPF.

4. Dark tan or light tan - it's all the same. You get no congratulations for only tanning a bit. It's all skin damage, and it can all cause cancer and wrinkles. Black skin will burn too, everyone needs sunscreen.

5. Ultraviolet sunlight can damage your eyes as well as your skin. It's a good idea to wear a decent pair of sunglasses to prevent cataracts and conjunctivitis in later life. They also protect you from the reflected paleness of topless male Brits.

6. Tanning bed? Just no! Before long Tim Wonnacott will sell you on Bargain Hunt as an antique alligator skin handbag. The World Health Organisation rates them as one of the more dangerous forms of radiation. They ought to be illegal.

7. Sunburn that peels off and leaves you with white skin again like you've been blasted by dragon's breath is just as dangerous as a tan. Red skin is a sign that you've just murdered some skin cells.

8. Don't try and get out of it by applying less sunscreen if it's a higher factor. You need good coverage no matter the SPF. Expense is not an excuse. Supermarket sunscreens are just as good as the expensive versions and cost £3-£4.

9. Wear a hat. You can't apply SPF 50 to your whole head, no matter how conscientious you are. Your scalp is skin. If it burns - that's damage.

10. Don't forget to put sunscreen on your (and your children's)

  • Ears
  • Eyelids
  • Armpits
  • Under straps
  • Top of your feet
  • Back of your hands
  • Lips

You and your friends might think it looks better, but a tan is a sign that you've fried your skin's DNA and that you'll age quickly, if you don't get cancer first. So put on some sunscreen please, no matter what your skin colour or type, there is no excuse, and if you want a tan - buy a bottled one.

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