Sunday, May 17, 2015

Top 10 reasons for not wearing sunscreen: What’s your excuse?

Wearing hats and sunscreen is the best way to keep your skin from incurring too much sun damage while you’re having fun outside. If you don’t wear sunscreen—and no hat either?!—perhaps now would be a good time to start. Below are the top 10 excuses people have given me for not wearing sun protection.
  1. It makes my skin feel greasy.
  2. It burns.
  3. It doesn’t work.
  4. I just sweat it off.
  5. I want to get color.
  6. Skin cancer doesn’t run in my family.
  7. I never burn, so why use it?
  8. It’s too much trouble.
  9. I forgot to put it on.
  10. Wearing sunscreen makes my face feel hot.
Let me address these concerns:

1.) If wearing sunscreen makes your face feel greasy, you could simply be wearing the wrong product. There are more and more sunscreens available that are made with ingredients that will keep a matte finish vs. causing an oil slick. If you indeed have an oilier skin type, I recommend wearing sunscreen during the day as your day cream. There is no need to pile a sun product on top of a moisturizer—the sunscreen is a cream, so you should get adequate moisturizing qualities from using it alone. 

2.) If your sunscreen causes any sensation like burning, itching, peeling or anything else—don’t use it! Those responses are your skin telling you to remove it now. Unfortunately, sometimes finding a sunscreen that works for your skin can involve a bit of trial and error, but I assure you it is worth the effort. Throughout your life there will be countless occasions where you will need a good sunscreen, so finding one is imperative.

3.) Once in a while I’ll have a client complain that even though they had sunscreen on, they still got color. It’s as though the sunscreen didn’t work. I am here to tell you: it did! None of these clients got sunburns, therefore the sun product did its job. Sunscreens aren’t meant to keep all UV rays away (only being inside away from windows can do that), they are made to keep your skin from burning.

4.) Sweating sunscreen off is a big concern as well as then reapplying it.

5.) I understand the desire to “get color” and therefore sunbathing or simply not wearing sunscreen to let the UV rays have there chance to turn your skin color darker. Any time you wear sunscreen you are still getting sun; however, the higher the SPF, the less color you will receive. So could we make a compromise here? How about wearing a lower SPF on the days or during the activities where you are trying to darken the color of your skin. Then have a higher SPF handy for those times when you not only don’t want to get color, but when you know you’ll be out for an extended period of time and will most likely burn without it.

6.) Congratulations that so far you have not had skin cancer in your family. Frankly, that is so rare. Melanoma, the deadliest of skin cancers, is less likely than other forms like basal cell carcinoma, but I assure you skin cancer can happen even if you haven’t had a lot of UV exposure in your lifetime. Resting on the laurel that it doesn’t run in your family seems, to me, like not only a flimsy excuse for not wearing sun protection, but a potentially deadly one as well. Please wear some sun protection at least some of the time when you’re out and about in the sun. Skin cancer is the most preventable form of cancer. Don’t tempt fate.

If you wear SPF, you shouldn’t burn
7.) Sunscreen is worn to help keep some of the damaging rays of the sun off your skin. These powerful UV rays cause tanning, burning, and skin cancer. I would say unequivocally that you should wear sunscreen to help keep skin cancer away—although it’s not a panacea; skin cancer can find you sunscreen or not and even if you never get sunburns.

8.) If wearing sunscreen is too much trouble, perhaps visiting a dermatologist who is removing a cancerous lesion from a client’s face might convince you otherwise. I will say that wearing sunscreen is not a guarantee that skin cancer won’t be in your future, but it certainly helps, as do hats and shade. If you just will not wear sunscreen, would you consider wearing a hat?

9.) Simply forgetting to put on sunscreen does happen, of course. I think out of sight, out of mind; try keeping your sunscreen out on your bathroom cabinet so you might better remember that it needs to be applied before you go out.

10.) If your face feels hot from wearing sunscreen, perhaps if you try a different, lighter-textured sun product this could solve the problem. (See #1—Sunscreen makes my skin feel greasy.) There are lighter, milky-type creams vs. heavy, thick creams you can use that shouldn’t cause that hot feeling.

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