Staying SunWise - tips from a guest poster

Check out this guest post from Katie Wilson, health-advisor extraordinaire. She has some great tips on Staying Protected this Summer:

It may not officially be the start of summer, but that doesn’t mean that Mr. Sun is taking any time off. Whether you’re planning a getaway to the beach or just working outside in your yard this weekend, remember to put on the sun block and do your skin a favor.
There are a lot of myths out there about sunscreen, like whether or not you need to put it on during cloudy weather. Here are some interesting tidbits about your skin and the best ways to protect it.

Sunscreens are not all the same.
In fact, if you neglect to read a label, you could very well apply a lotion that won’t actually protect your skin from the sun. The thing to remember here is to take the time to read about what you are going to rub all over your body. The skin is your body’s largest organ, and in order to keep yours in great shape you want to pay attention to what you use on it.

Start with a quality product.
Once again, your skin is an organ, and it’s just as important as your heart or your liver. You could spend hours in a gym tending to sculpting your muscles, but just one hour in the sun unprotected could do serious damage to your body’s natural covering. So put on some sunscreen, but don’t mistake a bargain brand for something you want to use all over your most visible body part.

Head down to your local natural grocer or health store and have a look at the sunscreen they offer. While you may spend a little extra for quality, you can be assured that your body won’t be absorbing nasty chemicals that cheap brands might use. Your skin is incredibly sensitive, and anything you put on it will be absorbed into your body. Ask a professional to help you and read the ingredient list.

If you don’t know what one ingredient is, look it up. Remember it’s your body and you only get one so take some ownership and do the right thing.

Every brand of sunscreen is required to label itself with an SPF, or Sun Protection Factor. This is, more or less, the ‘strength’ of your lotion. Know that there is a very real difference between a product that has say a 15 SPF and another that has a 30.
This number refers to how much of those damaging UV rays the lotion will block out. A SPF 15 blocks out approximately 93% of harmful UV rays, while a SPF 30 blocks out 97%.
But even when a lotion says ‘all day protection’ the chemicals will start to break down the minute you plop them onto your skin.

You should reapply regularly, about every few hours, and remember that being in the shade isn’t protection either. UV rays bounce off anything and everything. The only protection that is rated to 100% is a thick t-shirt or other actual barrier from the sun.

This post was contributed by Katie Wilson, who writes about the top nursing programs. She welcomes your feedback at KatieWilson06 at


Anonymous said…
You might also consider wearing clothes with SPF protection built into the fabric! It has really helped me and I'm extremely photosensitive. Coolibar has an on-line catalogue, as well as Lands End, to name a few.

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