We attended a talk entitled The Sun: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly last week and learned some very interesting facts that we have to share!
If you have read our previous post on “Why you look old” you will know that we are huge sunscreen warriors and believe that the sun is one of the main reasons that we, particularly as South Africans, look older than we should or would like to. Unfortunately this opinion is shared by Dermatologists the world over, and whether or not you ”believe” in sun protection the fact is that if you’re not protecting yourself you’re putting yourself at risk. There are so many interesting facts about the sun and your skin that we want to share, but we are going to limit ourselves and rather spread the information over a few posts rather than bombard you all at once! So here we go:
- A single sunburn before the age of 16 doubles your chance of melanoma. And this one is scary because how many of us in South Africa can honestly say we never had 1 sunburn before the age of 16? How many of us can say we had less than 10? Unfortunately there isn’t much you can do about this one except protect yourself going forward, but this certainly scared the socks off us!
- The maximum amount of sun exposure you need to ensure adequate Vitamin D absorption is 5-15minutes daily between 10h00 and 15h00…in California. What this means is that if you have a window cubicle at your office, or take your lunch outside you are getting way more than enough sun for your to synthesize enough Vitamin D. Whatsmore is that if you’re Caucasian or fair-skinned you are on the 5minute side of the spectrum, where if you are black you are on the 15minute side of the spectrum. What you should also consider is that California doesn’t have the hole in the ozone layer hovering above it, nor does it have quite as much sun as we do in South Africa.
- Sunscreen does not affect Vitamin D absorption. So there is literally no good excuse not to wear SPF every single day. Thanks.
We can’t stress enough how important sun protection is, not only to keep your skin looking youthful, but also to avoid life-threatening cancers (and melanoma is not the only one!).