10 Essential Facts About Sun Protection

Before soaking up the sun, read these tips that could protect your skin and save your life.

#1.Check Everywhere
Get a thorough check from a dermatologist once a year and check everywhere for suspicious marks: scalp, toes and fingers, and places where our clothes cover. A wound on Rasta legend Bob Marley's big toe was initially thought to be a scar, but turned out to be deadly malignant melanoma.

#2. Know Your Risk
Your genetic makeup and coloring can affect how dangerous sun exposure is for you. Dermatologists reference the Fitzpatrick Scale, which divides all skin types and tones into six categories based on pigmentation and genetic history.

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#3.Fight Free Radicals

Found in car exhaust and cigarette smoke, free radicals are reactive molecules that damage cells and accelerate the aging process. Counteract the damage by eating foods rich in vitamins E and C, like wheat germ, apricots, and leafy greens like kale and spinach.

#4.Remember Your Hands
These oh-so-obvious areas are among the first parts of your skin to show signs of sun damage. Don't forget to apply sunscreen to your hands just as often as you would to your face.

#5. Eat Internal SPFs
Certain foods and drinks, including red wine, chocolate, and tomatoes, contain a touch of SPF (most ingested grades hover around 2) that help fight harmful rays when included in your regular diet. Not substitutes for topical SPF protection, these good-for you eats are also usually rich in anti-oxidants.

#6. Track Your Moles
If you're plagued with freckles and moles, it can feel impossible to determine whether a spot is new or not. Discuss mole mapping, an in-office imaging system, with your dermatologist to track spot changes on your body and face.

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#7. Protect Your Scalp
The key to sunscreen application is to not miss a spot, including your scalp! If your part is visible, don't forget to rub an SPF stick along the exposed skin to prevent uncomfortable burns on your crown.

#8. Wear Your SPF
The average T-shirt contains an SPF of about 5, but some of the newest, trendiest clothing companies are now offering cute wardrobe staples that boast an SPF of 50 or higher. While this doesn't reduce the need for sunscreen, it certainly helps prevent unexpected burns.

#9. Don't Sweat It
If your outdoor activity involves more than lifting a paperback, rely on heavy-duty sun protection crafted for active people. Specially formulated lotions or sprays stick to the outer layer of skin longer and do a good job at resisting sweat.

#10. Get Your 'D' Elsewhere
Vitamin D is a hormone that lives in our skin and is released into the body after sun exposure. You can get the same benefits, minus the rays, by including things like milk, fish, and eggs in your diet.

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