I like to think the sun is my best friend. It’s a natural way to get the mood-boosting vitamin D, allows me to get outdoors and be active and most of all, a sunny day usually means beach time, which is on my “things that make me happy” list.
Unfortunately, I know it can also be my worst nightmare — being exposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause skin cancer and premature aging, among the many other downfalls to exposure according to the National Cancer Institute. The older I get, the more that rings true. I have more freckles and dark spots than when I was 18, and if I can guess, will have more wrinkles by the time I’m 30, too.
So what’s a girl to do? Skip the beach? Dress in sweats from head to toe? Turn into a vampire and come out only at night? I think we would have far worse problems on our hands if any of us were forced into doing any of these three. (Unless you are Kristen Stewart, of course).
So like the old saying goes, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. By following my own advice, I hope ditch the feeling of guilt when I say hello to the sun all summer long.
So why the hat? Discussing this topic with several of my girlfriends lately, I’ve discovered a sneaky little side effect to birth control: melasma, also known as a pregnancy mask. According to America Academy of Dermatology, hormones in the pill can cause dark patches under the eyes or on the forehead and other areas of the face. Is it harmful? No. But it could leave embarrassing dark spots on the face depending on the severity. Furthermore, being out in the sun only makes the areas darker and more difficult to conceal…hence this fabulous hat from J.Crew. I traded my ball cap for a more stylish option thy offers me better coverage to hopefully reverse the dark spots on my face and also provide better protection from harmful UV rays.
Three letters: SPF. Protect your skin with sunscreen instead of hot clothing. Wear at least a sunscreen with an SPF 30 and sunglasses with 100-percent UV protection. I do love the Ray Band aviators!
Ditch the excuse…”But I need a tan!” Here’s the dilemma I’m in now. It’s hot here in Las Vegas. In my book, if you’re exposed to this type of heat, you’re likely to instantly burst into flames, or at least that’s what it feels like. So the shade has become my friend. I’d rather hide under a dark umbrella by the pool than in the apartment. And recent research shows that even in the shade, you’re likely to be exposed to UV rays so you might even score some color without putting yourself in harm’s way (but don’t forget the sunscreen).
Go au naturale. Whatever you do, DO NOT, and I repeat, DO NOT go to the tanning bed. Enough said.